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Kent house prices plummet by 25 per cent

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Kent house prices plummet by 25 per cent
Kent house prices plummet by 25 per cent

by business editor Trevor Sturgess

House prices have plunged by at least 25 per cent in Kent, with flats taking the biggest hit and new housing developments "looking like the Marie Celeste".

According to property expert Graham Mitchell, head of professional services at Caxtons Chartered Surveyors in Gravesend, Kent property values have dropped by more than the 16 per cent reported by national lenders like Halifax and Nationwide.

"Certainly during the last 18 months, values locally have probably fallen by about 25 per cent, and in some sectors and locations by even more," he told more than 100 delegates at The Business Forum, organised by JFS Consulting, at East Malling Conference Centre.

The values of flats had been particularly badly affected, Mr Mitchell said. Residential development sites had fallen in value by 30 - 40 per cent, and in some case by well over 50 per cent.

"Many developments which stacked up before the credit crunch are now financially unviable.

"I am sure that everyone has seen development sites that look like the Marie Celeste, with developers mothballing schemes part way through construction. I have recently valued a prime commercial site at a third of its value a year or two ago."

It was a similar picture in the commercial property market with values "falling considerably" - in some case by more than 30 per cent.

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