Fri 06 Jul 2018
If you were to conduct a straw poll across Norfolk residents and ask them where they think the majority of our second home buyers originate from then the answer would almost always be that they come from “up that there London.” The reality however is somewhat different. Having conducted your poll, were you then to put one end of a pair of compasses in the centre of Burnham Market and draw a circle that indicates about a three-hour drive distance from that point, then that would pretty much ‘encompass’ our true demographic. They will all have very happy associations with this part of the world, be it childhood holidays or a more recent discovery as an adult, but all falling for those simple things that make this part of the county so special.
That said, once we go over £1million there is unquestionably a shift towards buyers that come from within the M25, or at least the home counties, and we have started to see some of these London centric buyers returning to North Norfolk with some strong second homes selling in March (despite the weather) and again in June (despite the weather). These were not enough to foretell a definitive trend or indeed a recovery of the market most affected by the extra 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). Perhaps these green shoots will continue to grow over the second half of the year and we are optimistic that they will. However, with the London market appearing (from up here) to be relatively static, it will be led by confidence returning there before it ripples out to here.
One clear indicator of our strengthening market is the number of best bid scenarios that we have experienced so far this year. These are numbers we haven’t seen for a tangible period of time and this ties in with the definite signs that the extra SDLT’s previous impact may be beginning to wane. No longer is it the opening gambit of every single negotiation, but now more often mentioned in passing at the latter stages, and I think it has been excepted as a fact of life going forward.
You might understandably expect the vast majority of our buyers are looking for a property with history and character. But, whilst we are never short of such buyers, one trend that we have really seen emerge and develop over the last year is the enormous appetite for traditional looking and sympathetically designed new build properties. Some of our more discrete sites with highly regarded developers are selling off plan before even a spade goes in the ground. 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.
To that end, the fundamentals that underpin our market remain fairly constant against the vagaries of other housing markets. It is this ‘bread and butter’ market that has seen strong growth in the first half of 2018 and we do not anticipate this diminishing going forward.
by Spencer Cushing
Burnham Market Branch Manager
"Throughout the process, the Sowerbysâ€™ team have been first class and provided a gold standard service. A special thank you to yourselves for supporting me through some of the challenging moments! "