'Four buyers for every home' amid Suffolk property shortage

A country scene at Kelsale in Suffolk

Eager buyers from London wanting to live in the Suffolk countryside are contributing to a property shortage, agents say - Credit: Paul Geater/Archant

The East of England is seeing a big shortage of properties for sale, with 24% fewer homes available than two years ago, according to a new survey.

Estate agents in the area agreed with the findings, with one saying there are currently around four prospective buyers for every home.

The survey data, compiled by websites Quick Move Now and Home.co.uk, showed that 8,576 properties came onto the market in the region in April 2021,  24% lower than the figure of 11,352 in April 2019.

This is an even bigger fall in property availability than the national average, which shows a 16% fall on the level two years ago. 

Boats at Woodbridge and some houses in the background

Woodbridge is one of the property hotspots where homes are being snapped up quickly - Credit: Paul Geater/Archant

Buyers moving out from London who want to live in Suffolk towns and countryside are believed to be driving the high demand, while the stamp duty holiday, due to end in June, has been another factor. 

The latest news of property being in short supply comes after a report that house prices in Ipswich have spiked by an average of nearly £16,000.  

Lewis Wingate of David Burr Estate Agents in Bury St Edmunds

Lewis Wingate of David Burr Estate Agents in Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Evie Lewis Photography

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Lewis Wingate, of David Burr estate agents in Bury St Edmunds, said:  "The property shortage seems to be a problem across the board.

"There is a huge, huge surge of buyers coming from London, the home counties and Cambridge, who have sold their properties or don't need to sell a property before purchasing."

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He said they currently had around four prospective buyers for every property coming on the market, which in some ways was a nice problem to have.

"It's good that if you put a property on the market you can sell it, but there are a few disappointed buyers at the moment." 

Tim Dansie of Jackson Stops sells some of the most expensive homes in Suffolk

Tim Dansie of Jackson-Stops - Credit: Gregg Brown

Tim Dansie, director of Jackson-Stops in Ipswich, said: "There has been a tremendous amount of demand and, as long as houses are at the right price, they are selling as soon as they are on the market.

"There is demand from a lot of people wanting to get out of London and buy something with a bit of greenery about it."

He said one reason for the property shortage was that a lot of people were still feeling nervous because of Covid-19, and waiting until the next stage of the roadmap in June. 

Mr Dansie added the agency was seeing a shortage of properties across the area, but even more so in hotspots such as Woodbridge, Southwold and Aldeburgh.

Lindsey Hodge, sales manager at Leaders estate agents in Ipswich, said: "At the moment we are experiencing a shortage in all our offices.

"Five months ago, we had 2,800 properties available in Ipswich, and now it's just 563."

She said she thought a few more properties were starting to come through now, however.

Charlie Papworth of Diamond Mills in Felixstowe

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

Charlie Papworth of Diamond Mills in Felixstowe said: "There is high demand at the moment and properties are often going within a day, or even within a few hours."

He said in the Felixstowe area there was currently a particularly high demand for properties in the £200,000 to £500,000 price bracket.

Shaun Collins, a director of Beagle in Ipswich, said they were not really seeing a shortage of properties, but houses were selling quickly and prices had really gone up in the last six months. 

He added: "Anything in the Northgate and Copleston areas is going very quickly."

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