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‘Kicking myself I didn’t move faster’: fear and panic grips housing market

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The phone has all but stopped ringing at Mullucks estate agent in Bishop’s Stortford – except for calls from buyers with bad news about collapsing chains.Since the chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget two weeks ago, a chill has spread through the Hertfordshire commuter town’s housing market.

Viewing numbers, house prices and client confidence are all cooling rapidly after lenders pulled thousands of mortgage deals, only to return with far pricier interest rates.So far this month Mullucks has had just 20 viewings, versus 232 for whole of September, as the crucial autumn selling season threatens to fade with a whimper.A buyer rang the office on Wednesday morning to say the mortgage they had been offered would now cost £3,000 a month, far more than their original quote, meaning they could no longer afford the home they had been interested in, says William Wells, residential sales director.“The result is that your money doesn’t go as far.

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