What's ahead for Suffolk's property market in 2022?

House for sale and letting signs, blank for your design

Estate agents in Suffolk are still seeing high demand - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Last year was a turbulent one for Suffolk’s property market.

There were lockdowns, an extended Stamp Duty holiday and lots of moments of high demand and low supply – something local estate agents are still continuing to see now, in 2022. 

“Demand continues to outstrip supply and therefore prices remain strong,” says Stuart Clarke, who heads up the residential team at Clarke and Simpson in Framlingham.

“There is a school of thought that prices have been lower in Suffolk than some other counties in the past few years and now that the county has been well and truly discovered, and whilst people want to be here, prices will remain strong with potential for future growth,” he explains. “There is huge demand.” 

Stuart Clarke, an estate agent with Clarke and Simpson, wearing a shirt and tie

Stuart Clarke heads up the residential team at Clarke and Simpson, based in Framlingham - Credit: Clarke & Simpson

The lack of supply has made some sellers nervous, Mr Clarke says – but only as buyers. “Some sellers are nervous about putting their property onto the market unless they have some possible houses they may be keen to buy.

 
“But now that we are well and truly into the new year, more potential sellers will take the leap and just get cracking – in fact, we have begun to bring more properties onto the market than we were late last year, with many of our clients saying that one way or another they will find temporary accommodation and be ready to pounce onto properties that come to the market over the next six months.” 

Peter Ogilvie, head of residential sales at Savills Suffolk

Peter Ogilvie, head of residential sales at Savills in Suffolk says buyers are still motivated by the same lifestyle changes they were at the beginning of the pandemic - Credit: Richard Marsham Photography

Peter Ogilvie, head of residential sales at Savills in Ipswich, says that demand is running at more than double normal levels for this time of year. “The lifestyle opportunities that people have been looking for since the outbreak of the pandemic continue to motivate buyers and in a lot of cases properties are on the market for a very short period of time, with a sale agreed in just a matter of days,” he says. 

Such demand has pushed prices up, with 11 local authority wards now reporting average house prices of £500,000 or more. In 2020, there was just one. 

“Properties in coastal areas with a good view and close to amenities such as those in Woodbridge, Aldeburgh, Thorpeness, Walberswick and Southwold are incredibly popular, but there has also been a strong move towards more rural country homes in peaceful locations such as the Stour Valley or out towards Bury St Edmunds and Framlingham,” says Mr Ogilvie.
 
Interest has come from all over - including those who already live in rural areas and want to upsize – but also from London. 

“With its connectivity to the capital, excellent schooling, variety of high quality housing stock and access to lots of green space and wonderful beaches, Suffolk will continue to be a popular choice for a wide number of buyers,” says Mr Ogilvie. “Consequently, I think it will remain a sellers’ market in the short term – although setting a realistic asking price will remain key to maintaining momentum as we progress through the year.” 

Director of David Burr estate agents, Steven Ray

Director of David Burr, Steven Ray - Credit: Mike Fletcher

Director of David Burr, Steven Ray, agrees that demand is high. “There is every indication that 2022 will be a very good year for the property market,” he says, although it is “very unlikely” that we will see the exceptional demand experienced last year. 

“The continued demand is driven in the main by those moving from further south – from Essex, Hertfordshire, London – and whilst there may be a softening of house prices in these areas, it is unlikely that house prices in Suffolk will be impacted to the same extent, simply because demand is likely to continue to outstrip supply.” 

The difference in house prices in more southern areas is likely to be absorbed by those making the move, says Mr Ray, rather than those in Suffolk who are selling, but he also acknowledges that some things will remain much harder to predict: “There are areas of the wider economy that may yet impact the housing market and a great deal rests on how well the economy performs this year, thus generating the confidence that is necessary for a buoyant market.”

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