'More houses needed' to satisfy demand in Suffolk, says estate agent
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House prices in the East of England have increased by 6.5% in the past year, with a leading estate agent saying demand in Suffolk has outstripped supply.
Halifax House Price Index found that the average house price in Eastern England was now £302,158.
This makes Eastern England — which includes Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire — the second most expensive region to buy a home in the UK, trailing only London.
And, one estate agent says, there's no end in sight for the price rises without more homes being built.
According to Tim Dansie, director of estate agents Jackson Stops in Ipswich, prices will keep climbing as long as demand for houses in Suffolk outstripped supply.
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He said the increased demand for property in the county was down to the "green migration" brought about by the pandemic, with people leaving cities for more space in the countryside.
"There's a lot of competition for anything that comes to the market," he said. "And at the moment people are prepared to push the boat out to secure what they want.
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"We need to build more houses and satisfy the demand."
Oliver Johnson, a partner at Framlingham-based Clarke & Simpson estate agents, agreed that the increase in prices was being driven by people moving out of London but said building new homes would only solve part of the problem.
"People from out of area have a different perception of value," he said. "They are selling in high value areas and therefore come up here with a larger budget.
"Where we're seeing some incredible prices being achieved is the the upper end — probably £750,000 and above.
"That is where we've seen the the greatest competition and therefore that's where the greatest demand is.
"People who want a lovely barn conversion in Snape or another rural location in East Suffolk don't necessarily want a four or five bed new-build home in Woods Lane in Woodbridge."
Instead, Mr Johnson believes the market will correct itself.
He added: "[The current growth] can't be sustainable, there's got to be a bit of a correction.
"There are question marks over furlough coming to an end in September and then the Stamp Duty holiday finishing completely. It may mean a slight correction to the market.
"We don't anticipate anything radical, we just think it may cool in the last quarter of 2021."