What’s ahead for Suffolk’s housing market?

Couple smiling while looking in an estate agents' window and Max Turner, inset, smiling at the camera

One of the most common questions Max Turner, inset, has been asked over the past month is about how he thinks the property market will fare over the rest of the year - Credit: Getty Images/Savills

Perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly the most common question I’ve been asked by buyers and developers alike in the last month or so is how we think the property market will fare as we head into the rest of the year.

The momentum for moving throughout the pandemic – born from a desire for more space, and spurred on by the government’s stamp duty holiday – resulted in a mini-house price boom that led to rapid growth.

The Suffolk market continues to perform well – it’s still busier than it was pre- pandemic, particularly at higher end, but it’s not quite as busy as it has been.

couple in front of the window of a real estate agent

The property market in Suffolk is continuing to perform well, says Max Turner - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

In the mainstream market, sales have fallen back towards pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, in the prime market – where equity outweighs debt as a source of funding and more affluent buyers are better insulated against increases in living costs – activity has remained well above normal throughout 2021 and so far in 2022.

Indeed, data from TwentyCi tells us that in March and April, newly agreed sales of homes worth over £1 million were 99% higher than in the same months of 2017-19. Though this partly reflects a greater number of properties falling into higher price bands because of price growth, it is just as much about the ongoing appetite of wealthier households to move, despite stronger economic headwinds.

Two wooden houses and a green good positive trend on easel. Real estate value increase. Rising price

Latest figures from Rightmove also show that house prices in the region increased by 1.4% over the last month and by 10.8% year on year - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Latest figures from Rightmove also show that house prices in the region increased by 1.4% over the last month and by 10.8% year on year. That certainly tallies with our own experiences.

Demand for homes in well-connected locations, close to lots of amenities and with access to green space continues to be strong. Our schemes at Ashfield Park in Elmswell, The Lilacs at Trimley St Martin and Laureate Fields in Felixstowe are commanding lots of interest.

Brick built new home at Ashfield Park, Elmswell, which is on sale with Savills

Ashfield Park in Elmswell is one of three Savills' developments in Suffolk commanding high interest - Credit: Savills

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Our 2022 buyer and seller survey meanwhile highlights how prime property buying intentions are evolving. The net balance of respondents committed to move remains high – particularly for those planning to relocate during the next 12 or 24 months.

In terms of interest rate rises, 80% of respondents said that recent increases had no impact on their budget, while 74% said the rising cost of living had no effect. But 47% of those looking at property below £500k said their budget had decreased.

CGI impression of a new-build home at The Lilacs, Trimley St Martin, in Suffolk

The Lilacs are Trimley St Martin is also generating high interest says Max Turner - Credit: Savills

So what for the rest of the year? Four successive interest rate rises and the increasing cost of living are likely to bring more caution over the coming months and price growth will likely slow.

However, with a strong employment market, mortgage regulation having stress tested borrowers’ ability to sustain rate rises and many having already locked into historically low interest rates, our research team’s view is that there don’t appear to be the triggers that have fuelled previous market downturns.

For advice about the new homes market in Suffolk contact Max Turner at Savills on 01473 234826 or email MTurner@savills.com