Four of the best places in Norfolk to buy a home
- Credit: Archant
We've looked at four of the fastest growing areas for house prices in Norfolk. Here's a look at where they are and what makes them attractive to potential buyers.
Well known for its striped cliffs, the seaside town of Hunstanton boasts many traditional coastal attractions, a theatre, restaurants, pubs and a variety of shops including an award-wining delicatessen. The closest train station is located in King's Lynn, roughly 14 miles from the town and from there a train to London King's Cross takes just under two hours.
Data from the Land Registry shows that within the last year the town (and the rest of the PE36 postcode district) has seen its average house prices grow by almost 30pc, rocketing from £257,927 in 2014 to £336,371 in the latest figures for 2016, but has this impacted sales in the area?
Ellie Archer, a from Sowerbys in Hunstanton said the popularity of property in Hunstanton has been on the rise.
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'Last year was a really good property year for us and the first few months of 2016 were also really busy,' she said. 'The market has been a little quieter since April when the changes to stamp duty rates were made, but lots of people are still looking and registering their interest in Hunstanton properties online.'
The area is especially popular with retirees and investors. 'We sell a lot of retirement bungalows and holiday homes. The seafront properties are perfect for those looking to invest in holiday lets because they're so easy to manage and in such a great location,' Ellie added.
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Another area popular with tourists, Wroxham and the NR12 postcode, have seen average property prices grow by 30pc since 2014 to £300,000.
The 'Capital of the Broads' has a wide range of boats available for hire, however there is much more to Wroxham than just the river and Broads. There is also an abundance of restaurants, attractions, pubs and shops, the most notable of which is perhaps Roys of Wroxham, a department store which sells clothes, toys, home furnishings and an array of gardening tools.
The closest city is Norwich, which is approximately 20 minutes away.
Average house prices in Dereham and the NR20 district have risen by 35pc in the last two years, according to the Land Registry figures, but that hasn't put buyers off, according to Spencer Cushing, from Abbotts Countrywide Prestige in Dereham.
He said: 'Last year was a very strong year for property sales in the area. You would normally expect a slump in sales over the winter period at the very least, but we were as busy as ever leading up to Christmas Day, which really highlights how hungry the market has been.
'We've had lots of buyers looking to relocate from areas such as Norwich and Essex to make lifestyle changes and it's been interesting to see the demographics shift. The town is incredibly vibrant and provides lots of great facilities, like a swimming pool, cinema and bowling alley. Marks and Spencer even just opened a food store here. The area is really changing.'
Dereham's market place and high street offers its residents a mixture of the past and present. The town has a low crime rate and attractions include the Mid-Norfolk Railway, a 19th century windmill, a weekly market as well as popular coffee shops such as Costa Coffee and chain stores.
The nearest train station is in Wymondham, which takes half an hour to reach by car, and from there trains run to Cambridge, Norwich and Ely and these services continue to Liverpool, Peterborough and Nottingham.
Dereham also has plenty of good quality schools to offer, including King's Park Infant School which has been rated as 'good' by Ofsted and Dereham Neatherd High School which is also rated as 'good'.
With its vast history and array of Georgian cottages, Wymondham might cause you to feel slightly disconnected from the rest of the modern world, despite actually being an extremely accessible area of the county. David Warner, a Partner at Warners Estate Agents in Wymondham, thinks the area has risen in popularity over the last few years thanks to its location on the A11.
'Five or ten years ago, it was a challenge to get in and out of Norfolk,' he said. 'It was as if there was a brick wall blocking the way, but recently living in this area has become more of an option. It's a great location for commuters, as the southwest corridor into Norwich has improved and is possibly one of the easiest ways to get into the city. The completion of the Elveden bypass on the A11 also means that a commute to Cambridge is much more viable.'
The market town has a very low crime rate, according to UK Crime Stats, and is home to many picturesque sights such as a 900-year-old abbey, the old market cross and Becket's Chapel, riverside walks and a historic rail station.
In terms of education for young children, all of the schools in the town have been rated as 'good' by Ofsted, apart from Browick Road Infants which was rated as 'outstanding'.
Currently the average price of a house in the NR18 district, which includes Wymondham, will set you back £287,283. This price has grown 19pc since 2015 when it was £224,335.
•See Friday's EDP for our weekly property guide