Hope for housing market as interest in ‘hotspots’ remains strong as ever
- Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
With the housing market stalling as buyers are urged to delay moving, some experts are speculating just how far prices could fall after the lockdown.
According to the monthly House Price Index for February – before lockdown brought the market to a virtual standstill – UK prices had fallen by 0.6%, with our region seeing the lowest annual growth.
Due to the delayed reporting completed transactions, it will be at least another month before knowing the true impact, and while one agent with properties in Suffolk and London admits things have come to a “grinding halt”, the drop-off in interest has been nothing like expected – especially on the coast – where he thinks the market could bounce back quickly.
Tim Day, managing director of Suffolk Coastal estate agents, said: “We’re somewhat of an outlier, being in an area more robust than others. Whereas, in London, we’re feeling the brunt. There are very few buyers, it’s very tough to transact and the market has taken a hiding.
“I’m continually surprised by the robustness of hotspots like Aldeburgh and Southwold, which are bucking the trend by having a fairly continuous pull on buyers wanting to move permanently or have a holiday home. That interest is shifting from Londoners to people from Essex, Hertfordshire, and Cambridgeshire. As such, we’re appealing to a substantial marketplace – and due to the desirability of the area, that’s not going to change.
You may also want to watch:
“At the moment, everything has come to a grinding halt and we’re not getting viewings, but we’re still getting interest. Four applicants want to see a Dunwich property (with offers in excess of £650,000) at the earliest opportunity post-lockdown.
“Despite current events, I’d say buyers are still committed. I’ve spoken to buyers in the pipeline who are almost more motivated to get on with it. If anything, it’s prompted people to move ahead.
- 1 'I can't carry it' - Shock as plant starts growing eight inches a day
- 2 First look at £10m Sudbury garden centre revamp
- 3 QPR trigger buy-out clause to sign Dozzell for £1m
- 4 Gill has 'no regrets' over Norwich to Ipswich switch
- 5 Ipswich Town transfer rumour: Portsmouth 'fend off' Blues to agree Stockley deal
- 6 If your surname is on this list you could be sitting on a fortune
- 7 WATCH: 'Selfish' drug-driver ploughs into police detective's vehicle
- 8 Construction work begins on TV set ahead of Amazon series filming
- 9 Ipswich Town face fight to keep young midfielder Gibbs with rivals Norwich among interested clubs
- 10 Lorry 'not seen' by crane operator in container crush, port say
“The only caveat is where there’s someone buying in Snape, for example, but relying on selling in the commuter belt of Hertfordshire, where prices are high and robust, but where the market has taken a hiding.
“I think anything of good quality, in a good location, at a reasonable price will attract interest, even in these uncertain times. The idea of working from home has led people to look internally, so we might actually see more impetus in this neck of the woods.
“If anything, we might see people saying ‘you know what, we’ve done London; now’s the time to move out’. We might see that decision making move forward, rather than being put on hold.
“Of course, we also have to realise that people have been holed up in one property and may have the appetite to move.
“I’d be feeling pessimistic if I wasn’t still getting the email enquiries.
“People in London and the commuter towns have been doing Facetime viewings, especially for the long-term rental market.
“If restrictions are lifted, it would be easy for us to conduct viewings by opening up properties but taking precautions with masks and gloves.”