New homes sales off to record start throughout Suffolk in 2021
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The pace of the new homes market here in Suffolk shows little sign of slowing – with Savills Ipswich experiencing a record breaking start to the year.
Over the course of January, February and March the residential development sales team registered 50% more new buyers than in any previous first quarter – a feat mirrored by colleagues in Chelmsford, Cambridge and Bishop’s Stortford and on a par with larger offices in Birmingham and Manchester.
The huge spike in interest shows just how popular properties in this part of the world continue to be.
The recent national lockdown only appears to have given people more opportunity to think about what they really want from their homes – with many deciding the time is still right to find somewhere with more space and easy access to the outdoors.
The social distancing restrictions have also brought about other changes – working from home and flexible hours mean people are less tied to a location because of a job.
As a result, buyers are now willing to look further afield and regional centres such as Ipswich – with its train line into London Liverpool Street and proximity to countryside and coast – have been increasingly popular. This pattern of activity has been reflected throughout the East of England, with a 58% increase in buyers from the capital.
But here in Suffolk there has also been a strong local market – with people unsurprisingly keen to stay in the county. At Generator Group’s scheme at Laureate Fields in Old Felixstowe, for example, we have seen a mix of young professionals, families and downsizers from the local area.
Sunbury Homes’ development at Cheyney Green in Darsham has been just as popular, along with one-off bespoke builds in and around Ipswich.
Interestingly, we have seen a significant rise in the number of first-time buyers, who now represent the highest proportion of all new build sales across our regional offices.
Strong buyer demand has driven increased traffic to the Savills website, with visits to the new homes pages doubling year on year. Brochure downloads are up by over 40%, resulting in a 73% increase in website enquiries. Nationally, this has helped Savills new homes teams to have their busiest Q1 on record, with more properties reserved in the first three months of this year than in any other quarter.
This strong level of demand looks set to continue – particularly as there is a shortage of new build homes in the market place. New starts fell by 25% last year, which could well result in short-term price rises.
The danger is that if prices rise beyond affordability levels, rates of sale will slow and the market will be constrained. What is desperately needed is more supply. Fortunately, we have many new schemes set to launch later this year in various parts of the county, including a lovely development in Great Cornard.
However, there remains an opportunity for developers to launch their new schemes off plan sooner rather than later and take advantage of the busier market conditions.
For more information or advice about the new homes market in Suffolk, contact Max Turner at Savills Ipswich on 01473 234826 or MTurner@savills.com