Three Norfolk villages are UK hotspots for soaring house prices
- Credit: Amy Robertson/Denise Bradley/Anne Mortlock
Three Norfolk villages are leading a property boom on the coast as buyers seek a home by the sea.
Figures from Rightmove show that Hemsby, Heacham and Caister are all in the top five villages in the UK with the biggest house price increases over the last year.
In Hemsby, which topped the list, the average house price rose by 22pc - from £221,533 in June 2020 to £270,144 a year later.
Heacham saw asking prices increase by 20pc in June 2021 compared to the same period last year, while asking prices in Caister rose by 12pc.
In June, also on Rightmove, Caister was the third most searched-for seaside village in the UK.
The jump in prices comes as people moving house continue to search for homes on the coast, with the coronavirus pandemic and working from home driving some buyers away from cities.
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Dennis and Barbara Trafford, who volunteer at the Hemsby Lifeboat charity shop, moved to the village from Reading more than two years ago.
Mrs Trafford, 55, said: "Hemsby has a beautiful beach and it's not far from Great Yarmouth, where there is more to do during the summer and there are big shops just a 15 minute drive away.
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"We're also surrounded by the Norfolk Broads and we have lovely sandy beaches.
"The other thing is the people living here are so friendly. They help you as much as they can if you're in trouble."
Mr Trafford, 69, said the village is "dog-friendly" and has "its own little climate".
"It rains for a bout five minutes and then the sun is out.
"We settled in very quickly," he added.
Sam Ward, 47, moved from Basildon to Hemsby five years ago and now works at hair salon The Beach Cut on Beach Road.
"I think with the pandemic at the moment, and a lot of people working from home, they are able to move here and live by the beach.
"We cut a lot of holidaymakers' hair as well as locals. A lot of people say it's their dream to be able to move here.
"It was my dream to move here and I've never regretted it at all. It's really friendly," she said.
Reaction to news of the soaring house prices was not all positive.
A 21-year-old woman, who did not want to be named, said: "House prices are ridiculous here. Young people just can't move out from their parents'. Even if you have a deposit, you still can't get a mortgage anyway because of the monthly repayments."
David Lowes, of estate agents Mr and Mrs Clark in Norwich, said: "With a general “escape to the country” desire prevalent for many, the rural county of Norfolk is in high demand.
"With its 90 odd miles of varied coastline, the added possibility of a 'next-the-sea' lifestyle, and the simple pleasure of a stunning sunrise or sunset means the coastal villages are of particular attraction.
"Hemsby and Caister in the east and Heacham in the west of the county offer some of the more affordable options thus driving strong percentage price growth.
Each of these villages are close to larger towns too which helps with the transition to the countryside in terms of availability of amenities and activities".
Rightmove’s director of property data Tim Bannister said: "Over the past year we’ve spoken a lot about the changes we’re seeing in where people are choosing to live, and this data shows continued demand from buyers looking for villages and rural locations outside of traditional major cities.
"While we have seen signs that cities are starting to make a steady comeback, particularly in the rental market, price growth across all areas of Britain continues to be strong.
"With the summer weather finally here, we’re seeing an added drive from buyers looking for that perfect village location by the sea, which is supporting price growth in these areas," Mr Bannister added.
Five things that make Hemsby special
- The beach - miles of sandy beaches sheltered by dunes have long been one of the village's main attractions.
- The amusements - for those who love slot machines, crazy golf, bumper cars and bouncing castles, Beach Road is paradise, with Richardson's, Sands and Oasis amusements to name but a few of the village's entertainment venues.
- Holiday camps - the site of the first holiday camp in the UK when the original Potters Resort was built in 1920 before moving four years later to Hopton.
- Hemsby Lifeboat - Independent of the RNLI, this life-saving charity relies entirely on public donations.
- The sky - especially on a summer day, around tea-time, head down to the beach and just look up.