Shortage of homes for sale in Suffolk is 'unprecedented'

A young couple studying property for sale in an estate agents window. For many, homes are unafordabl

Suffolk is seeing an 'unprecedented' shortage in homes for sale, according to one estate agent - Credit: PA

Suffolk is currently seeing an "unprecedented" shortage of homes for sale, according to a leading estate agent. 

Jonathan Penn, of Jackson Stops and Staff, which has branches in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, and Newmarket, said potential sellers are reluctant to put their house on the market because they do not have the confidence they will be able to find a home to buy. 

In September, figures from property website Rightmove revealed Newmarket as the town with the biggest property supply shortage in the country over the past year.  

The statistics showed that house sales in the horse racing town had increased by 79% compared with July 2020, with a drop of 49% in new sellers putting homes onto the market. 

All of the top 10 supply shortage hotspots were in the South East and East of England and likely reflected a fresh desire for people to escape London for areas still commutable to the capital, according to Rightmove. 

The average price of a property in Suffolk currently stands at £272,839.

Jonathan Penn, from estate agents Jackson Stops and Staff 

Jonathan Penn, from estate agents Jackson Stops and Staff - Credit: Jackson Stops and Staff

Mr Penn said: "The demand is unsatisfied. There are a lot of very motivated, focused buyers who are still looking. A lot of them have missed out on properties that they've liked and they've made offers on. 

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"As we close towards the end of the year, what's happening is that the supply is actually reducing because people are not likely to put their house on the market between now and the new year so every time we do a deal we're seeing the supply reduced further which just adds more pressure on the market. 

"What has been happening to a lot of them is that they've found buyers for their house but they can't find anything so that's what's holding it up. 

"Those who want to sell are reluctant because their perception is that can't find or won't be able to find a house to buy, and if they do, they'll get pipped at the post by a more proceedable buyer. 

"The market is no longer balanced. There's more buyers than properties for sale which is making it a seller's market and it's been like that for the past two years. 

"It's unprecedented. I've been doing it for 35 years and I've never known the supply to be so tight.

"I think, certainly in my experience and talking to other agents, we could get ourselves in a position in the beginning of January where we start the year with a very empty market in terms of availability."

Caroline Edwards, from Fenn Wright estate agents

Caroline Edwards, from Fenn Wright estate agents - Credit: Fenn Wright

Caroline Edwards, country and coastal property specialist at Fenn Wright, which has branches in Woodbridge, Sudbury and Colchester among others, said: "The problem is there's such a log-jam right now, it's almost like you want to tell your potential clients to get their home on the market.

"But so many people are saying they don't want to put it on the market because they haven't found anywhere. And yet if all of those people did go onto the market, we'd have a proper trading floor. 

"So it's just really trying to encourage everyone to get their houses onto the market as soon as possible because the buyers are definitely out there. People are nervous to put their houses on the market because they can't find things."

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