Marks and Mann House Prices.
House prices are rising faster in the East of England than anywhere else in the UK
New figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that average house prices for the year up to July 2015 have risen faster in the East of England than anywhere else in the country.
While the overall rise in the UK was 5.2% in our region it was up by 8.3%.
There is considerable variation between the counties with average prices in Cambridgeshire hitting £257,671 and in Essex £278,660, while the Suffolk average was £229,360 and Norfolk’s was £207,101, according to the online property website Rightmove.
The county averages tell only part of the story, however. Rightmove breaks the data down further into averages for house types.
For Suffolk detached properties on average sold for £318,422. Terraced properties had an average sold price of £174,095 and semi-detached properties averaged £200,089.
The figures tell only part of the story, however. There is considerable price variation between different Suffolk towns and villages and equally between more or less desirable areas in a town like Ipswich, for example.
But why should prices be rising faster here than elsewhere?
A number of factors are likely to have played a part.
One of the country’s lowest crime rates coupled with a number of excellent public and state schools and a slower pace of life make it an attractive place to raise a family.
Then also, Suffolk has much to recommend it as a desirable place to live for all income groups. There is a wide range of housing types and sizes available from the ancient and Listed in Suffolk’s historic towns and villages to the modern developments available around towns like Ipswich, Stowmarket.
The county has always been a magnet for artists, particularly for its wide-open coastal skies and light and for the possibility of finding somewhere peaceful for creative types seeking solitude.
The variety and beauty of the natural environment plays a part too. The Heritage coastal area from Felixstowe in the South to Lowestoft in the North encompasses ancient towns like Aldeburgh, Woodbridge, and Southwold but also RSPB nature reserves at Dunwich and Minsmere.
Inland and towards the west of the county the landscape changes dramatically with fertile river valleys alongside the River Gipping, through Ipswich, the River Stour and the Deben Vale that inspired the artist Constable in the South and the River Brett, which provided the flowing water needed for the wool trade that brought wealth to market towns like Hadleigh and to smaller towns like Lavenham and Kersey.
Finally, as London property prices and availability become well beyond the reach of most ordinary families the likelihood is that people will look further afield for a place to live that is still within reach of the capital not only for work but also for entertainment and shopping.
Suffolk is ideally-placed with good road and rail links to the city, only just over an hour away by train and within reach of Stansted Airport and the ferry terminal at Harwich.
Taking all this into account it is perhaps no surprise, therefore, that property prices have risen so much more here than anywhere else.