Londoners moving to Suffolk at 'unprecedented' rate, estate agent says
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More people are making the move from London to Suffolk than ever before since the end of the first coronavirus lockdown, an estate agent has said.
Mike Bidwell, director of upmarket agent Exquisite Home, said his firm has been completing a sale of a Suffolk home to someone from the capital on average once a week.
He said demand for homes was "significant" and had been sparked by people's changing work circumstances due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The proximity of Suffolk to London and the culture of East Anglia have also been big drawing factors, Mr Bidwell added.
He said: "Demand for homes in Suffolk is really significant.
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"There's always been a demand. The homes, the lifestyle, the culture - all of these attractions are still there.
"Lockdown and coronavirus have got a lot of people rethinking aspects of their lives. Coming somewhere seen as a rural area, but not the back and beyond, is really attractive.
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"We identify properties that would be of interest to our clients. We're very much focussed on the quality of the house."
Exquisite Home markets properties throughout the East of England, many of which have a price tag of more than £1million.
The agent has been able to complete sales despite the ongoing lockdown, with the rules allowing for people to move home.
Movers are also still enjoying the stamp duty holiday which has reduced fees significantly for those buying bigger homes and eliminated them completely for purchases under £500,000 - though the tax break is due to end on March 31.
Mr Bidwell said the lockdown has made many people realise they do not need to work in the office full-time, prompting people to look further away from the expensive capital.
He said properties with a dedicated working area, in particular, have been top of movers' wishlists.
Mr Bidwell added: "A dedicated study is a preference, especially if it is away from the main house. People like to be able to walk to their work.
"Having a dedicated work area seems to be so important - there's a lot of demand for these.
"We have got countless examples of people moving from London to Suffolk. There's been a steady stream since the end of the first lockdown last year.
"I think it's unprecedented, in terms of completed deals."