Written by Clive Hedges.
It is an accepted fact that location is one of the most important aspects in determining the saleability of a home, but it is less easy to second-guess which locations are going to become desirable in the future. But there are certain factors which can help us make sensible predictions, and two such factors have come together to enable me to say with some confidence which will be one of Norfolk’s ‘hotspots’ for 2013.
The north Norfolk coast has always been popular, not just for residents of the county, but for people from further afield – and in particular London – looking for second homes. Although some argue, with some justification, that this phenomenon has driven house prices beyond the reach of many locals in the more favoured villages, there is no denying that it has helped maintain the market across a wide sweep of our northern coast. In fact, as prices have risen we have seen a gradual ‘coastal drift’ of demand eastwards; first the Burnhams became too pricey for many people, then Blakeney, Salthouse and Cley, and now we are seeing that demand shift further eastwards around the Norfolk coast. At the same time, a second factor has come into play. All house buyers will look carefully at local amenities; pubs, restaurants, shops, schools and healthcare facilities are all important, and, like it or not, a major factor is the local supermarket. Which is why the coastal triangle north and east ofNorth Walshamis set to buck the market this year. Upmarket homebuyers are attracted to Waitrose like bees to honey, so the opening of the new store inNorth Walshamtowards the end of 2012 will, I predict, have a major impact on the local property market. As some buyers become priced out of the traditional hotspots, the coastal villages south-east of Cromer – Mundesley, Walcott, Happisburgh, Sea Palling and Winterton – will, alongside villages slightly inland such as Stalham and Horning, be much in demand. I believe thatNorth Walshamitself will also benefit from this growing demand. As well as people wanting to live full time on our coast and Home Counties-based second-homers, this new ‘Golden Triangle’ is also an increasingly popular holiday destination, and quality holiday accommodation will always make a good investment. Our cottage holidays division Keys Holidays is predicting strong demand amongst holidaymakers right around the coast, and with prices at a more sensible level here than further west, now would seem a good time to consider investing in this up and coming area. One thing is for certain: knowing where to invest in such a location requires true local knowledge, which is not something that can be done from a head office inLondonnor evenCambridge.
Clive Hedges is a partner at Arnolds Keys. Visit www.arnoldskeys.com.