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House prices in Suffolk won’t see dramatic crash, say estate agents

PUBLISHED: 07:24 30 August 2020

The Office for Budget Responsibility has predicted a worst-case scenario of a 22% crash in house prices - but Suffolk estate agents say the county is likely to be insulated from the downturn. Picture:Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Office for Budget Responsibility has predicted a worst-case scenario of a 22% crash in house prices - but Suffolk estate agents say the county is likely to be insulated from the downturn. Picture:Getty Images/iStockphoto

© I-Wei Huang, All Rights Reserved

Estate agents say they are confident Suffolk will avoid a crash in house prices following the Covid-19 crisis - despite some predictions the value of homes could fall by as much as 22%.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) projected that house prices could fall by 22% before the end of 2021 in its worst-case scenario.

Its most optimistic scenario is that house prices will fall by 2% by the end of this year, before rapidly getting back on the same course as they were before Covid-19.

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However Suffolk estate agents say that house prices in the county are likely to be insulated from any fall in prices, as the pandemic has changed what buyers want from a house.

Oliver Johnson, partner at Clarke & Simpson estate agents, said: “In my opinion, we are reasonably insulated from any considerable downturn in the property market.

“Because we’re not the values of London and the south-east, we still demonstrate good value for money.

“I don’t think that there will be a correction to that extent [22%] in the next six or 12 months – I can’t believe that is likely to happen for our area.

“I think what underpins it is the demand. And we’re still seeing pent up demand for property in our area.”

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Tim Dansie, director at Jackson-Stops Ipswich office, also said he could “certainly not” see a crash coming in the property market.

Both Mr Johnson and Mr Dansie said that the pandemic had changed what buyers were looking for in homes.

They said that people who previously worked in London were now working from home more and therefore did not need to live so close to the capital.

“There is this patter of migration from town to the country,” Mr Dansie said.

“If anything, I could see property prices dropping in London but rising the countryside.

“That has been our experience so far this year.”

Their experiences are supported by data from Savills.

A survey of 550 buyers and sellers conducted in June found that 74% reassessed their work-life balance because of Covid-19.

The same survey found that the pandemic had greatly increased people’s desire to move home.


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