How the pandemic rush to the suburbs triggered a house price crash

How the pandemic rush to the suburbs triggered a house price crash

Hudson says first-time buyers still need to move, whereas second-steppers are being more cautious with their purchases and avoiding expensive houses.

Kate Eales, of Strutt & Parker estate agents, says East Anglia and the outer South East were popular destinations for people relocating from cities like London, with coastal areas highly sought-after. She says a return to pre-pandemic buying patterns explains why these areas are being hit hardest. 

“East Anglia saw a huge rise in interest over Covid, where we came out of that period realised they didn’t need to be as close to cities to work,” she says. “House prices went up quite significantly, particularly around Norfolk and Suffolk.”

The soaring cost of buying

While interest rates were low, it made sense to take out bigger loans to afford a bigger home with an extra room to work from home in. 

Interest rates plunged to 0.1pc in March 2020 where they remained until December 2021, which pushed down mortgage rates. The Bank Rate is now at 4.25pc. A stamp duty holiday also made it cheaper for homeowners to buy bigger homes. 

These buyers are in for a rude awakening when they come to the end of their fixed-rate deals, experts warned.

Interest rates are expected to fall, but many economists believe the era of cheap debt during the past few years is over.

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