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Harry Potter boosts property sales

The popularity of the Harry Potter films has been driving house sales and boosting the economy in Alnwick, the location of the Hogwarts set.

The small Northumberland town was first made famous by the Harry Potter film The Philosopher’s Stone in 2001 when it played host to Hogwarts, the famous school for witchcraft and wizardry attended by Harry Potter and his friends.

The film put the area on the map and attracted considerable attention from fans , many of whom set off to visit or even move to the area.

As a result, house sales in Alnwick and the surrounding areas have surged, rising on average 51% in between 2000 and 2001. Property sales in Alnwick itself peaked at a record 226 the year the film was release, a figure still unbeaten.

And Harry isn’t the only Potter having an impact on housing prices. Miss Potter, the film about the live of Beatrix Potter, hit the screens earlier this year and already looks set to draw similar, if not even more attention, to Cumbria and the Lake District.

Ambleside, the town which is home to the famous Hill Top where Beatrix Potter lived, is set to top the stakes.

Sales in Ambleside dipped in 2006, to the lowest level experienced for over six years.

However, the increased interest in the town and surrounding areas, following the launch of the recent Miss Potter film looks set to boost house sales and the local economy.

Economists are predicting an immediate boost, in the region of £5m as a direct result of the film, with tourists coming from as far away as America and Japan.

David Bexon, managing director, of email4property, says: “I would expect to see demand for homes in Ambleside escalate over the next year, as investors in particular look to capitalise on increased tourism in the area.

“In fact, I would expect to see the number of people looking to buy second homes at least treble, with buyers drawn in by the picturesque countryside and the excellent investment opportunities.

“However, the smart investor will have already secured a property here, beating the crowds and placing themselves in an excellent position to profit from the imminent influx of tourists, before demand reaches a peak and inflated prices push properties out of their reach.

“While no buyer is going to be fortunate enough to secure a large farmhouse for under £3,000, as paid by Beatrix Potter for Hill Top in the early 1900s, prices in the area are competitive.

“While top end properties achieved prices in the region of £700,000 last year, properties at the lower end of the market were available from around £125,000 – but for those that don’t act quickly, this is a price that is unlikely to be seen again considering the town’s new found fame.”

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