Published 29 September 2020

We are openLast week marked six months since the country was placed under a lockdown, Arnolds Keys have worked tirelessly to ensure that our clients’ needs are fully serviced in these difficult times with a few of the highlights as follows:

The residential sales market in Norfolk continues to be not just strong, but booming. The stamp duty holiday has provided the excuse needed for individuals who were perhaps a little reticent before to get on and make a move and with the future of working looking set to be a balance of home working and office based collaboration the requests for space, home offices and garden rooms has exponentially increased. Our newly formed City, County, and Coastal residential teams provide a slicker than ever service and has agreed sales on a staggering 261 houses since lockdown. A figure unmatched by the north Norfolk offices in 40 years. 

Further evidence of the boom in the housing market is how busy our Surveys and Valuations Department is. Since the initial lockdown relaxed in May we have seen a dramatic rise in requests for surveys - in fact we have conducted 47% more surveys June -September 2020 than for the same period in 2019. 

The lettings market never really saw a slow down and continues apace, with properties letting, on average, within a few days of being on the market. The issue we are facing is actually demand outstripping supply leading to an increase in rents of between 6% and 8%.

Whilst the holiday cottage industry was closed from late March to early July, the very strict impetus to stay in the country has led to holiday cottages the country over being booked for not just the remainder of 2020 but far into 2021 as well. Keys Holiday Cottages alone saw a 60% increase in bookings for August 2020 compared to 2019. 

The Commercial Team are seeing increased demand for industrial and warehousing property units and a change in the make up for offices, the demand is not dead as some will have you believe but the requirements of the space have changed. Collaborative, inspirational meeting spaces with well spaced desks are the requests that are coming in now. Several deals have been done recently that demonstrate confidence in the market - offices at St Mary's Croft in Chapelfield, a retail unit in Upper St Giles and an industrial unit in Vulcan Road South to name but a few. With the value of assets, acquired, let or sold on freehold or leasehold now reaching £21M for 2020. Meanwhile commercial valuations have now surpassed the £37M mark.

Our Agricultural Team are delighted to have put a 500acre farm under offer at Sco Ruston showing unabated demand for prime farmland assets and last week held a very successful machinery auction with guide prices exceeding the vendors expectations. There is not an area that the pandemic has not impacted and our agricultural clients are no different but the environmental stewardship administration and BPS submissions have all continued.

We are as committed as ever to servicing our clients to the very best of our abilities. The 'new normal' is simply 'the future' and we are fully prepared to tackle whatever that brings, investing in the very best staff and the latest technology. 

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