Suffolk's property market still hot - but prices rises may slow down

Peter Ogilvie

Peter Ogilvie of Savills. - Credit: Richard Marsham/Savills

Property experts expect the price of homes in Suffolk to continue to increase over the next five years - but not as fast as has been seen during the pandemic.

House prices in the county have increased by about 10% over the last year and 15% since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 - partly fuelled by the demand from people in London to move out to find more space to enable them to work from home.

Figures from Savills show there has been a 158% increase in the number of people registering that they were looking for a new home over the last year compared to the 2019 figure - and in November they had nearly twice as many viewings as they did in the same month in 2019.

In the 11 months to the end of November this year, 69% of sales received multiple offers. Over the same period, 34% of buyers came from Suffolk, with 66% from outside of the county. Of those, 25% were from London.

Peter Ogilvie, head of residential sales at Savills Suffolk, said they continue to be inundated with prospective buyers hoping to relocate to the county.

He said: “After such intensity in the market and without the imperative of a stamp duty holiday, we know there’s likely to be less urgency at some point in 2022 – but at the moment that’s not necessarily something that we’re seeing.

“The lifestyle factors that people have been looking for since the outbreak of the pandemic have driven consistent demand throughout the autumn and winter and in a lot of cases properties have been on the market for a very short period of time, with a sale agreed in just a matter of days.

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“It really is quite staggering just how busy we have been and that’s testament to what a great place Suffolk is to live. We carried out 98% more viewings in November this year for example compared to the same month in 2019 – when we experienced what you could describe as more usual market conditions. 

“However, this level of activity has now created somewhat of an imbalance – with not enough properties on the market to meet demand. As a result we are seeing some very competitive bidding among buyers.”

Savills expects to see prices to increase by about 3% next year and for the rate of increase to fall slightly over the next few years - it expects prices to increase by 10% over a five-year period to 2026.

Savills records average prices across central government regions and the East of England extends from the north Norfolk coast to towns in Hertfordshire and south Essex which are effectively London suburbs - meaning the average price of a house is a high £380,000.

New homes being built

Housing demand seems set to increase over the next five years according to Savills. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Estate agency portal Rightmove says the average price of a Suffolk home is just under £320,000 - ranging from £429,000 for a detached home to £228,000 for a terraced property. 

According to Savills' national survey, property prices in or near London have continued to be the highest  but the nearer you are to the capital, the less the increase has been. 

Flat prices have risen less than houses, and in some cases have fallen, as people seem keen to have more space if they are looking to work from home. Savills expects that to continue with London prices expected to rise by 5.6% rather than the national average of 13.1%.

Charlie Papworth of Diamond Mills in Felixstowe

Charlie Papworth of Diamond Mills in Felixstowe - Credit: David Garrad

The buoyant property market is being seen at the local level as well. Charlie Papworth from Felixstowe-based Diamond Mills said business had been very firm on the Suffolk coast.

He said: "2021 has been an extraordinary year of the UK property market. We believe demand has reached an all-time high in the market and property has achieved record prices.

"We have seen a record level of buyers in the market which has undoubtedly outstripped supply and the hidden gem of Felixstowe has been discovered!"

Mr Papworth said Felixstowe was getting a double boost from its position as an attractive seaside town - and also from the creation of the new Freeport which was creating a lot of interest for potential buyers.

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