Could now be a good time to buy a house? Suffolk housing market after coronavirus explained

Stuart Clarke, partner at Clarke & Simpson, has explained the challenges facing Suffolk's housing ma

Stuart Clarke, partner at Clarke & Simpson, has explained the challenges facing Suffolk's housing market as it reopens after coronavirus. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/iSTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A leading Suffolk estate agent has explained why now could be a good time to buy a house for some people – but has warned that, for others, things could be more difficult.

Stuart Clarke, partner at Clarke & Simpson, said that estate agents had been very busy since the relaxation of the coronavirus lockdown, with lots of property hitting the market.

Last week, the Office for National Statistics said that inflation had fallen to its lowest level for nearly four years. It was announced that last month, the Consumer Price Index – which is used to measure inflation – fell from 1.5% to 0.8%.

This is far below the Bank of England’s target of 2% - and Mr Clarke said it could be good news for those looking to buy property.

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He said: “When there’s a high level of inflation, we do tend to see house prices rising. But when there’s zero or very little inflation, house prices are more stable.

“So, in theory, bearing in mind inflation and interest rates, now should be a good time to buy.”

However in March, the Bank of England cut its interest to 0.1% – the lowest ever rate in the bank’s 325-year history – in response to the coronavirus economic crisis.

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This could be bad news for those saving for a house.

Mr Clarke said: “Interest rates in terms of savings have been poor for a few years now – which is great if you have got on the ladder, because your mortgage rates will be very affordable – but tough if you’re saving to get there.

“Certainly those who have been furloughed will have a little bit less money coming in.

“And anything you save is just going in the pot with 0% interest on it, which is really tough for people.

“It will be interesting to see how people get on with getting mortgages.”

Mr Clarke was also the latest Suffolk estate agent to predict that the county could see an influx of Londoners post-lockdown, despite the potentially tricky market conditions.

He said: “We feel that there might be some real pent up demand there.

“We’ve certainly been talking to more London buyers saying: ‘The sooner I can get out of London the better.’ They’re saying: ‘Actually, I’d like to be able to find a house to buy before everyone else does, so keep me updated.’”

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