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Demand for breaks in Norfolk and Suffolk soar - as second home owners encouraged to capitalise on thriving market

Tourists flock to Southwold to enjoy the warm weather along the Suffolk Heritage coast.

Tourists flock to Southwold to enjoy the warm weather along the Suffolk Heritage coast.

Second home owners have been encouraged to capitalise on the region’s buoyant holiday industry as letting agencies report soaring demand for breaks in the east.

In Your Bag feature - Heather McCraith of Norfolk Country Cottages - 

Picture: MARK BULLIMOREIn Your Bag feature - Heather McCraith of Norfolk Country Cottages - Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Holiday firms with rentals across Suffolk and Norfolk have seen an increase in searches for the area, as the popularity of the staycation remains strong.

Searches for breaks in Suffolk have risen by as much as 24pc on last year, the UK’s largest holiday lettings agency cottages.com claims.

Picturesque coastal communities Aldeburgh and Southwold were the most popular, with demand for towns including Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury also high.

Booking patterns also revealed an increase in winter and New Year getaways, a 20pc rise in short breaks of three or four nights and double the amount of bookings for groups of nine or more people.

Victoria Schofield, regional manager for cottages.com, which booked holidays for more than 19,000 people in Suffolk last year, said: “Suffolk is a stunning holiday destination and is very deserving of its increased attention from holidaymakers searching for the ultimate location for their next staycation.

“Holiday ideas closer to home are becoming ever more popular, and we are actively recruiting new properties in the area to meet our growing demand.”

Holiday homes business Norfolk Country Cottages has also reported a recent boom in new properties, thanks to a rush in pushing purchases of second homes through before stamp duty increases came into force in April.

They claim properties in north Norfolk outperform many other staycation destinations by up to 10pc, with self-catering accommodation representing about 7pc of the county’s £2.96bn tourism industry.

If the 5,000 second homes in north Norfolk - a National Housing Federation figure - were let for £600 per week over a 20-week period, industry standards, they could contribute a massive £60m to the region’s economy, Norfolk Country Cottages says.

Heather McCraith, general manager, said: “The figures are impressively high and rising. What is interesting is that while there has been a boom in second home ownership this has yet to be realised in an increase in holiday lets.

“We firmly believe that homeowners can capitalise on the continuing high demand that we are seeing for high quality self-catering accommodation, and we should be the first port of call for those looking for advice on preparing their properties for the market.”

Meanwhile, enquiries for breaks in Huntanton have soared by 124pc and 70pc for Happisburgh, according to holidaylettings.co.uk.

Do you have a tourism story for us? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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