NORFOLK’S MARKET TOWNS EXPERIENCING BUOYANT DEMAND FROM BUYERS
Published 9 February 2024
Quality of life is often cited as the reason that so many people want to come and live in Norfolk, writes Kate Gillard. Especially if they are escaping from the metropolis, a slower pace of life and proximity to nature, coupled with a genuine sense of community, are among the most common items on relocation wishlists.
All of which is a big factor in why the market in attractive market towns in the county is so buoyant. Places like Aylsham and Reepham (Norfolk has plenty of similar towns) offer that gentler lifestyle, but can also provide facilities such as good schools, vibrant local shopping, pubs, restaurants and coffee shops, everything within walking distance, and above all that sought-after community which can be lacking in some big cities.
Market towns can offer all of this, as well as easy access to Norwich and the world beyond Norfolk, without the full-on rural existence of living in a small village, something which may be a step too far for those relocating from London or other major conurbations, even though it has an undoubted appeal.
Some market towns, such as Holt, remain popular because they have a perceived prestige which people are prepared to pay a bit extra for, but for most it is the ease of access, availability of facilities, and real community feel which will be the attraction.
We tend to think of relocators as being older, retired people, for whom good public transport and the ability to form new connections and not feel isolated are important.
But lately we have seen many more younger families making the move to market towns in the county. For these buyers, the quality of the local school, the ability to connect with other families, and amenities for young people all feature strongly in their aspirations.
The supply side is neatly balancing this demand, maintaining the affordability of moving to these locations. Many market towns have ambitious new homes construction targets in their local plans, both because they have the space to accommodate them, and because they already have the infrastructure to cope.
And as we have seen in Aylsham, when new homes are built and more people come to live in a market town, amenities follow: the town now has one of the most buzzing food and drink offers outside of Norwich, for example.
There is also a ‘halo effect’ around the county’s market towns. Villages within easy striking distance are also seeing strong demand for properties. For those looking for a more rural way of life without sacrificing having facilities within easy reach, this is the ideal solution.
In a county with only one city, market towns perform a vital role. So we shouldn’t be surprised that they remain a popular place to live.
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