Recent news of mortgage rises, increasing energy costs and a cost of living crisis have made many “industry experts” predict falling house values. 10% to 20% has been mooted as a decrease across the UK and there’s no doubt that an overheated property market has cooled down in Norfolk and Suffolk. The area still is relatively affordable, when compared with London, the Home Counties and Essex, with towns like Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth providing the most value. Ipswich is another area with surprising prices – considering its proximity to London.
At Sefftons, we’re 99% certain that property prices won’t fall – this is not simply a hunch, but one based on our experiences and simple economics.
We value and list properties from Norwich to Ipswich and all points in between and we are immediately inundated with viewing requests. That is not a sign of a market in free-fall. Like used and new cars, where depreciation has ceased to be a thing, the supply of properties (and cars) is tight, demand is high – meaning prices remain firm.
The pandemic also made many people leave the 9-5 and the daily commute. Companies adopted remote working habits and many employees adapted so well to working from home that they made it permanent.
If you factor out the travel costs, and make a home a workplace, people suddenly realised that their home need not be within 30 minutes of a London workplace. No. They could settle in Norfolk and Suffolk, enjoy a very different lifestyle and work from home in a much lower priced property.
You only have to compare property prices in places like St Albans and Norwich to see the differential.
Norfolk and Suffolk are pretty well connected too in terms of rail. Roads, perhaps not, but rail yes.
You can reach London from Norwich railway station in under 2 hours. Okay – you wouldn’t want a 4 hour round trip every day – but if work requires a day in the office once a month, it’s eminently possible.
Norfolk has its own micro hotspots don’t get us wrong. North Norfolk, along with Southwold, Aldeburgh and Walberswick in Suffolk, command London prices. Burnham Market, Blakeney, Cley, Holkham are hugely expensive, with places like Holt, Cromer, Sheringham snapping at their heels. Norwich city centre is more affordable; but you pay much more here than a Norfolk suburb generally.
Again, Thorpe St Andrew and the Golden Triangle of Earlham, Unthank and Newmarket Road, command premiums, as do many riverside and city centre homes and apartments. But here, you have easy access to areas outside Norwich via train (or river, if time is not at a premium).
What we’re saying, at Seffton’s, a leading Norwich estate agent, is that Norfolk and Suffolk are fairly recession-proof in terms of housing. These are two counties with great weather, low crime, fantastic scenery and affordable living.
20% falls may happen in London, Edinburgh etc – but sleepy Norfolk and Suffolk, we don’t think so.