Shortage of mansions for sale in Norfolk as 'life's too good'

Hales Hall Norfolk

Hales Hall, the most expensive home currently on the market for sale. But there is apparently a dearth of the top end homes on the market because people don't want to leave Norfolk. - Credit: Savills

'Top end' houses for sale for more than £1m across the county are in hot demand - but too few are coming on the market.

Agents say there's currently a lack of new stock generally but in particular, a dearth of the £1m plus properties usually flooding the market at this time of year.

The homes with the really big price-tags usually come up for sale when their sellers opt to downsize or relocate. But because of Covid, neither of these is happening and instead owners of mansions are preferring to stay put.

Saddleback, Old Hunstanton

Saddleback, Old Hunstanton, for sale for £1.95m - Credit: Sowerbys

Things are starting to change as Covid restrictions ease with one country house agent about to launch 'arguably the most impressive house to reach the open market in Norfolk this year.'

Ben Rivett, joint head of residential sales at Savills in Norwich, could not divulge details except to say the house in north-east Norfolk would be priced at around £3.5m.

He has also just launched Hardley Hall, near Loddon, for sale for £1.8m.

He said: "The level of activity in the prime markets has been such that demand has outstripped supply – with very few properties actually coming onto the market.

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"In part that dearth of large country houses has been due to the lockdown restrictions, but vendors were also aware of how few properties there were available. Understandably they wanted to ensure they had somewhere to go to before they sold their own home.

"However we’re now beginning to see signs of a change and I think there is now a bit more momentum. The easing of social distancing measures and the speed of the vaccine programme has given those people who were reluctant to sell greater confidence.

"Even with the stamp duty deadline looming I think that’s unlikely to change. There is significant unmet demand to indicate that amongst buyers with the necessary financial security, the strong desire for larger homes, with bigger gardens or in greener locations, and closer to family, will continue to underpin activity.”

Badley Moor, Norfolk

Old Hall Farm, Badley Moor, for sale for £1.75m - Credit: Sowerbys

Max Sowerby, who runs Sowerbys, said: "The big houses come on when people are downsizing or moving areas. People haven't been doing either - instead they are enjoying having the family all coming up to stay and relocation hasn't happened because owners prefer to live in Norfolk than anywhere else.

"Norfolk has been just too good a place to live in. As things get back to normal and people start to want to go to London again for the weekend, it will change but for now, life in the countryside is too good to give up."

The big spenders

Homes for sale for more than a million listed in June include:

Saddleback, Old Hunstanton - £1.95m. A detached home with four bedrooms, a home office and outside, immaculate gardens.

The Farmhouse, Old Hall Farm, Badley Moor - £1.75m. A traditional Victorian property with an award-winning red brick barn conversion. The main house comes with four double bedrooms and there are paddocks, a tennis court and pavilion.

Long Row, Tibenham, Norfolk

Long Row, Tibenham, for sale for £1.5m - Credit: Savills

Long Row, Tibenham - £1.5m An imposing Grade II Listed farmhouse with ornate octagonal chimneys, leaded windows, exposed beams and inglenook fireplaces, situated in seven acres of mature gardens and land including a moat.