Online home hunt surges on Mondays

SUFFOLK'S popularity as a destination for weekend breaks and another bumper year for City bonuses could be about to combine to deliver a boost for the local property market, according to estate agents and agribusiness consultants Bidwells.

SUFFOLK'S popularity as a destination for weekend breaks and another bumper year for City bonuses could be about to combine to deliver a boost for the local property market, according to estate agents and agribusiness consultants Bidwells.

Despite the stock market turmoil of recent months, a recent report by recruitment firm Morgan McKinley found that 80% of City professionals have received a bonus similar to or higher than last year.

And with Bidwells reporting a high level of interest in East Anglian property among buyers from London, a high proportion of the payouts could be heading this way.

The firm says that more than two-thirds of visitors using the test version of its soon-to-be relaunched website are Londoners searching for a country property in the region.

And with this “London effect” regularly peaking with a surge in searches on Monday mornings, Bidwells puts the phenomenon down to many people who have just enjoyed a weekend in the country logging on to find their dream home.

“The area is attractive to Londoners because the quality of life is high here and property is often a better investment than the high prices in the capital and the Home Counties,” said William Sadler, Bidwells' country house manager for Suffolk. “It's a wonderful place to live, to raise a family or retire or simply to escape to whenever you can.”

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Some of the London buyers, he believes, are likely to be City traders looking to spend millions of pounds on property in Suffolk.

“Despite predictions of prevailing economic gloom, it has been revealed that this year's City bonuses total £7 billion and are as high as, or higher than, last year,” said Mr Sadler.

“It is known that traditionally some of this huge sum will be spent on country properties, so we can also deduce that some of the 'London effect' we are tracking on the new website is also down to City traders potentially looking to invest some of those millions in the Suffolk housing market.

“This means the area could be in line for a large capital injection from the City. This year there will still be City traders with the likes of £1million or £2million bonuses that they want to invest in their dream country home. This will keep the high end of the market buoyant since these type of houses are still in short supply and this will exert upward pressure on prices.”

Mr Sadler added: “There is much talk of a credit crunch that may impact on the various property markets. We believe there is no 'crisis'; rather a correction in values which may mean that some prices go down and some go up.

“However, City traders will still be wanting to invest in the region but the type of properties they are looking for are still in short supply so this is likely to exert upward price pressure on property at the high end of the residential market.”

n Looking for a new house yourself? Try homes24, your local comprehensive website brought to you by the EADT.

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