Why is the Norfolk property market different from the rest?
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Tim Wicks from Brown & Co and Ben Marchbank from Bedfords share their thoughts on our local market – and why it's so different from the rest of the UK.
Tim Wicks of Brown & Co says the pace of life in Norfolk (and lower house prices) is of particular appeal to buyers from the London area and the south east.
'I have read many mixed reports about the highs and woes of local property markets around the country and whilst it appears that many are indeed struggling, we in Norfolk seem to be bucking the trend.
An exceptional summer last year brought many more visitors to our fine county as people decided to spend their holidays here and discover what has long been regarded as a hidden gem.
The improved A11 has made access much quicker and the influx has contributed to what is already a strong local economy.
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The pace of life in Norfolk (and lower house prices) is of particular appeal to buyers from the London area and the south east.
There is much to explore and admire here with some of the best beaches in the country, the Norfolk Broads of course and
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lovely villages and thriving market towns woven into a blanket of beautiful countryside.
We even have our own International Airport.
It is fair to say that Norfolk pretty much has it all and I for one wouldn't wish to live anywhere else, well, maybe except Portugal; in a villa with a pool; next to a golf course....oh well, I can dream, can't I?'
But for Ben Marchbank, of Bedfords, the difference in market is because of our county's distinct identity.
'There is an old local joke that here in Norfolk we're cut off on three sides by the sea, and on the fourth by British Rail!
While this is perhaps now a little unfair, with our rail and road links ever-improving, it is still true to say that much of the charm of Norfolk derives from its insularity; after all, those of us who are fortunate enough to live and work here know full well that, as satisfying as it is to travel and see the world, there is no more satisfying moment than on arriving back home.
Our county provides breathtaking scenery with a rich and varied environment of productive farmland, gently rolling rivers and streams, mile upon mile of beaches meeting either high cliffs with chalk downs formed during the Ice Age or fenland reclaimed from marshes since the 17th century.
Our skyline is broken by some of the country's finest Saxon and medieval churches, windmills and wherries; Norwich and our market towns remain the hubs of our communities, each distinct from its neighbour, each resolutely proud of its heritage, each providing an economic and cultural centre around which a wider rural community thrives.
There are few parts of the country able to offer so distinct an identity, so it is little wonder that Norfolk's property market remains resilient. The renowned architectural historian, Nikolaus Pevsner, said of Norfolk that its residents 'are proud of it, they like it and it is a county in which one feels at home.'