7:30 AM May 31, 2022
Estate agents say there are signs the housing market is starting to slow down, despite house prices continuing to reach record levels.
According to property website Zoopla, average property prices hit £250,200 in April but the pace of price growth is slowing. In Suffolk, the average price of a home is just over £314,000.
Nationally house prices increased by 8.4% in the year to April, cooling down from 9% growth in March. In the east of England, growth is slightly above the national average at 8.6%.
Zoopla said it expects the rate of house price growth to slow further, to 3% by the end of the year.
It found the time taken between a property being listed and having a sale agreed is starting to rise in most cases.
Grainne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, said: “Another signal that the market is starting to soften is the number of properties where asking prices are being cut by more than 5%.”
However, estate agents say the housing market in Suffolk remains “very good” with demand continuing to outweigh supply.
Peter Ogilvie, who leads the residential sales team at Savills Suffolk, said: “The level of activity over the last two years or so has been unprecedented and it is perhaps no surprise that things are now starting to cool.
“The Suffolk market remains very good – it is still busier than it was pre-pandemic, just not quite as hectic as it has been.
“Of course, economic pressures both here in the UK and abroad may well have an effect. But there remains a healthy number of motivated buyers who are committed to a move – particularly at the higher end of the market.
“That said, four successive interest rate rises and the increasing cost of living are likely to bring more caution over the coming months.
“However, with a strong employment market, mortgage regulation having stress-tested borrowers’ ability to sustain rate rises and many having already locked into historically low interest rates, our research team’s view is that there don’t appear to be the triggers that have fuelled previous market downturns.”
Tim Dansie, director at Jackson-Stops in Ipswich, said: “What seems to be happening is that agents and vendors are getting a little bit carried away and putting slightly inflated prices on properties which are just now not being achieved.
“Vendors risk being stranded in the market if they take the advice right now. If you get your price right, they are still selling.”