21 March 2017

The North Norfolk property market, can you afford to ignore it?

By Richard Hewitt, Director, Hayes + Storr

Why now?

A wise old client once said that she disliked pensions, preferring to see and touch her investments.

Many now agree – 0.0%, or thereabouts, sitting in a bank is not at all “interesting”, with demand  strong for all types of property.

Whilst we are threatened by City money skewing our market, there are plenty of opportunities being exploited by locals.

The banks

A key to stress-free property investment is to minimise the need for bank finance.  Banks can make life awkward and whilst interest rates may be low, upfront survey and arrangement fees are often not!

Some clients achieve ‘bank free’ developments, where landowner, developer, contractor and purchaser share in the risk and reward all relying on the sale of the completed build, as the time to get paid.

The frenzy

Currently, our local towns can resemble a gold rush with swathes of land promoted for valuable development – see Cromer, Holt, Fakenham and Swaffham for example – with plenty of companies and individuals understandably jumping on the bandwagon!

Whether the frenzy makes sense in the long-term is debatable. Tensions are felt very locally, as important landscapes are threatened by “grand designs”, and village tranquillity lost to the new outlying housing estate. However, it is certainly capable of making money for anyone involved.

Is it for you?

So, what about individuals thinking of bricks and mortar pension pots?

One or two cautionary points; such purchases are relatively expensive with higher stamp duty and the cost of upgrading properties to make them fit to rent out.

If you do need to borrow, whilst mortgages are widely available, including equity release and ‘buy to let’ options, these are administratively time-consuming and complicated.

The Aim

Find a well-built property. Avoid flats and apartments if possible as they involve monthly maintenance fees and restrictions on use. Such restrictions can prohibit some rental options.

The work

All services and facilities must be checked and up-to-date. Please research your duties as a residential landlord. Take time to choose a decent tenant and visit your property regularly.

The taxman

Once the rent is flooding in, do not forget the taxman!


If all the above seems daunting, perhaps it is not for you? But if that new build in your large garden or a cute Victorian terrace appeals to you, then why not?

What now?

Contact the local agent, the savvy broker, the clever accountant or thorough insurance broker – or even your experienced local property solicitor! Tapping the knowledge held locally can be a good first step!

Richard Hewitt is an experienced property solicitor based in Sheringham, who leads a small but expert team at Hayes + Storr, looking after clients throughout the area.

If you would like further advice on this matter please contact Richard on 01263 825959 or for advice on any other legal matter call our Holt office on 01263 712835 or email law@hayes-storr.com.
This article aims to supply general information, but it is not intended to constitute advice. Any similarity to people living or dead is unintended and purely coincidental. Every effort is made to ensure that the law referred to is correct at the date of publication and to avoid any statement which may mislead.  However no duty of care is assumed to any person and no liability is accepted for any omission or inaccuracy. Always seek our specific advice.

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