Norwich – I want to talk about this city with you.
It’s a place loved by many, but often satirised for its isolation and Norfolk ways by comedians and people outside the county.
I hope here I’ll give you a good taste of the property market and a feel of the “fine city” of Norwich.
Some statistics for you, to start.
3592 properties are on Rightmove to buy, under offer, or SSTC, within a 5 mile radius of Norwich city centre.
Rightmove is a bit disingenuous as on its desktop site, 5 miles miraculously stretches north to the periphery of Aylsham (13 miles) and south to Wymondham (9.5 miles). This linear generosity may well be a marketing ploy? What do you think?
Of these 3592 properties, only 1767 are available to buy – under 50%.
As I’ve written about before, the coastal towns of east Norfolk, and north Suffolk despite being cheaper, with more space for your money, are only running at 35% stock sold.
Norwich is 15% higher.
So what is happening in Norwich to make over 50% of stock sold?
Not difficult to analyse really – as for a start, Norwich is a magnificently vibrant city. If you’ve been or live near it or in it, I’m sure you’ll concur. If you’ve never visited Norwich, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.
So what is the allure?
These are my favourite aspects, I’m sure you could add more:
- Shopping – some of the best in the country – it’s got everything, two modern malls, all the usual department stores, including chi-chi Jarrolds and John Lewis. It has its own version of York’s Shambles – the Lanes, crammed with quirky independent shops and eateries. It has out of town retail parks, the usual supermarkets, a fine outdoor market, and affordable city centre parking. Shopping in Norwich is a delight.
- Culture – an ancient castle and two cathedrals dominate the skyscape, along with other landmarks like the County Hall on Martineau Lane with its brutalist design, the town hall, the Forum (a glorious slice of glazed architecture sitting in the city centre), numerous churches, museums and history.
- Food and drink – whatever you want to eat or drink, Norwich has it: chain pubs, Belgian beer bars, a gin bar and the city’s main drinking quarter is concentrated in one main area: Prince of Wales road, along with branded restaurants within staggering distance on the Riverside complex. Independent and chain eateries are scattered around the city – it’s a food lover’s paradise. Some stand outs for me: Wild Thyme, Namaste and Shiki (which Jay Rayner raved about).
- Vibe – Norwich feels safe. It has that secure vibe. It’s a city we willingly allowed our son to wander round with friends when he started high school. I’ve never seen a criminal act in the city centre in 7 years here. It’s very, very civilised.
- Schools – primaries in Norwich and Norfolk have a good reputation. Secondary schools have mixed reputations and if you’re not a fan of the Academy programme, Norwich is probably not the place for you! In fact I can think of only four high schools in the whole county that are not academies (yet).
- UEA – Norwich was the first city of Literature as defined by UNESCO. It is indeed a “fine city” and the University of East Anglia is renowned for its creative writing alumni. Ian McEwan, John Boyne, Rose Tremain, David Almond, Kazuo Ishiguro and Anne Enright are just a few, who studied at the UEA, which sits outside the city.
- Green spaces – from riverside walks to Mousehold Heath, with its stunning views of the city, to Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich is a very green city with quick access to the Norfolk Broads and enticing coastlines.
- Employment – tourism and retail dominate Norwich, as do insurance and financial employment opportunities. Aviva is based here, as are many media and cultural hubs. The city is not without deprivation though, just as other parts of Norfolk are affected. There is a worry too about the city’s dependence on certain major employers.
On the negative front, I can only think of one point. If you’ve never visited, you might guess I’m talking about its pancake flatness.
But Norwich is not a flat city at all.
Grapes Hill and Bracondale in fact lead you to a plateaued metropolis.
No it’s the road network.
Getting through Norwich city centre at rush hour is torturous, though the fine views from your car window do offer you some compensation.
I’ll talk now about property prices in Norwich with you.
The city centre is expensive – in fact the most expensive property currently for sale there is listed at £950,000 on Rosary Road, near the sumptuous cathedral area.
There’s historic homes for sale, as well as newish and new builds. A home in the fairly recently refurbished Westlegate tower, handily sandwiched between John Lewis and Chapelfield, can command up to £1 million.
More affordable homes are clustered round Carrow Road but again are expensive in Norfolk terms. A 3 bed townhouse costs upwards of £300,000, whereas 20 miles away, similar properties with the same square footage can cost half of that.
The most expensive properties, however, sit in the Golden Triangle, the jewelled wedge of Earlham Road, Newmarket Road, Unthank Road, where grandiose piles are listed as SSTC for up to £1.5 million.
It all depends what you want and what your budget is. You can find your ideal home or investment in Norwich.
The most affordable property currently listed in Norwich is a studio flat, priced at £75,000, a relative bargain in London terms.
One bedroomed flats cluster around the £90,000 mark, with an extra bedroom generally adding £10k.
Properties then climb incrementally, dependent on postcode and locale, up to the £1.5 million mark – a very (Norfolk) broad range.
If you’re an estate agent in Norwich, Newcastle, Birmingham, London or indeed anywhere, reading my posts, and would like articles like this written as part of your SEO strategy, as part of your sales strategy, please contact me.
Likewise, if you have properties for sale that would benefit from an extended, engaging featured blog post, get in touch with me.