Hope for housing market as interest in ‘hotspots’ remains strong as ever

The housing market has come to a virtual standstill as a result of the coronavirus lockdown, but an

The housing market has come to a virtual standstill as a result of the coronavirus lockdown, but an agent with properties in Suffolk's property 'hotspots' says enquiries are still coming in Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO - 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.

Tim Day, managing director of Suffolk Coastal estate agents is optimistic about the future Picture:

Tim Day, managing director of Suffolk Coastal estate agents is optimistic about the future Picture: SUFFOLK COASTAL ESTATE AGENT - Credit: Archant

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.

This Dunwich property is still generating interest, with a number of applicants requesting a viewing

This Dunwich property is still generating interest, with a number of applicants requesting a viewing at the earliest opportunity after the lockdown Picture: SUFFOLK COASTAL ESTATE AGENTS - Credit: Suffolk Coastal Estate Agents


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“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.

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“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.”

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