Thu 23 Aug 2018
Sowerbys is renowned for its marketing of properties with period charm and character, and while these are still very much at the core of what we do, a new trend has emerged and developed over the last year. There is fast becoming an enormous appetite for traditional looking and sympathetically designed new build properties; a market which Hestia Real Estate has fully embraced.
Creating beautifully crafted homes in charming locations, Hestia has forged a name for uncompromising quality. Each home is designed to blend in and enhance their surroundings, with flexible living spaces and high standards of craftmanship.
Where is this demand coming from?
The active retiree market is a key driver in this new trend. Most recently, Sowerbys have sold Hestia developments such as Sea Mist in Blakeney to purchasers from this market. Typical buyers of Hestia products have been predominantly couples aged over 50 with a healthy budget looking for easy living and low maintenance – a turn key home.
For many, it is practicality over period charm. These time-poor buyers want something that won’t dominate their lives, so they can travel and enjoy their new freedom. They want to be warm in winter without huge heating bills and the convenience of a simple lock up and go. Buyers from this market want to retire in a coastal location, away from the bustle of London, Leicestershire, Cambridge and the Home Counties.
Paul Newell of Sowerbys says, “These buyers have certainly shifted towards new homes with high end finishes and contemporary theme, but which is still stylish and elegant. It’s almost like buying a brand new car, they want it ready and they want the bells and whistles and optional extras to go with it. They also seem to be much ‘trendier’ than they ever were and like to entertain and take pride in their new home. This means they want a beautifully designed and fitted house, without having to go to Homebase every weekend.”
While a lot of new build homes are clustered in large developments, the demand of this market means Hestia seek out smaller, more discrete sites with just a handful of plots. This in turn is having a positive impact on the values and desirability of the neighbouring properties, as well as to the reputation of the villages they are about to build in.
Ben Morgan, Director at Hestia says “Largely unspoilt by mass development, Norfolk boasts exceptional sandy beaches, marshes and waterways with a wealth of wildlife as well as traditional, well-preserved villages. Experiencing the dramatic Norfolk sky and living near the fine city of Norwich as well as areas of outstanding natural beauty ensures there is always demand from discernible buyers who expect the finish of their house to compliment the beauty of their location.
We deliberately select locations that we would live in and only build houses that we’d be happy to own. Our homes are designed with modern living in mind, offering the balance between design aesthetics and practicality. Blending open plan, flexible interiors with vernacular architecture, we aim to provide considerable family space, privacy, storage and natural light which are all integral components of our design ethos; components that can be lacking in many period properties.”
While the Norfolk coastline has traditionally been the most popular location for retirees, there is growing demand further south. According to be Ben Morgan, “demand for high quality homes has increased in south Norfolk due to recent improvements to the A11 coupled with affordability constraints in the home counties and Cambridge. The area is well connected for commuters and families, as well as for active retirees who enjoy the history and vibrancy of Norwich but also require the benefits of country life with open spaces.”
So, while period properties are very much a mainstay for Sowerbys, this emerging market of retirees who demand practical, high spec new homes in the countryside built in keeping with the stunning surroundings, shows signs of an exciting area of growth for the industry.
"I have been meaning to 'pop in' for the past few weeks - but not managed to yet! I just wanted to say a big thank you to you all, for your help over the last few months with our move. I think this is the first time (in 40 years) I have ever thanked an Estate Agents! But we found you all to be very professional and also very pleasant to deal with. Many thanks again."