Signs of stability in the property market give cause for new year optimism

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Needs-based buyers such as downsizers or first-time buyers continue to be particularly active, says Max Turner of Savills (Image: Getty Images)

Max Turner from Savills reflects on how Suffolk’s new homes market has fared in 2023.

It’s certainly been a whirlwind 12 months in the property market. The rise in the cost of living and increase in interest rates has led to a well-documented slowdown of sales. However, there are tentative signs the market could start to pick up in the new year.

Savills’ own research expects average house prices to fall by 4% by the end of 2023, which will leave values down a total of 7% since the autumn of 2022.

Less activity among buyers reliant on a mortgage – most notably buy-to-let investors – also means overall transactions are expected to be 20% down on last year.

East Anglian Daily Times: Max Turner, who leads the new homes team at Savills Suffolk

Max Turner, who leads the new homes team at Savills Suffolk (Image: RMG Photography)

However, with interest rates beginning to stabilise, there could be cause for cautious optimism as we head into 2024.

Of course, it remains to be seen just what impact a potential general election could have on the housing market, but overall, demand for new homes remains remarkably robust.

Needs-based buyers – downsizers or first-time buyers (FTBs), for example – continue to be particularly active.

A cash-rich, older group represented 40% of exchanges by Savills’ regional new homes teams in 2023, up from 29% for the whole of 2022.

Almost a quarter (24%) of exchanges by our new homes teams have been to FTBs – in line with the average since 2020. The number of downsizers meanwhile has increased to 15%, up from 10% for the whole of 2022. Typically these buyers are also committed to a move over the

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