Freehold boom in East Anglia

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Related tags: East anglia, Suffolk

Agents have reported a boom in freehold pub sales across East Anglia. Christie+Co's Ipswich office has seen demand from buyers outstrip supply. Pubs...

Agents have reported a boom in freehold pub sales across East Anglia.

Christie+Co's Ipswich office has seen demand from buyers outstrip supply.

Pubs director Bill Colquhoun said: "September has seen plenty of pub sales go through across Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex. We have experienced no deceleration in the pace of pub sales, despite the industry having faced a range of challenges, such as the introduction of a new licensing regime and the upcoming smoking ban."

Colquhoun said the shortage of freeholds has driven the sales and the trend is set to continue for the remainder of the year. "Under these market conditions our expectation is that property values will continue to rise for the forseeable future."

Colquhoun said that average property values have gone up considerably in the last year.

"The average price of freeholds selling through the Ipswich office is marginally above £500,000. This is up from marginally under £500,000 in 2005 - a similar rise in sales prices as occurred in 2004/05."

Colquhoun expects this trend to continue.

"I don't think the smoke ban will affect the steady rise of freehold prices. At the end of the day the short supply of freeholds means there is always more than enough buyers to go around and they are competing against each other."

Fleurets director Bob Whittle in the Sudbury office has also reported a boom in freehold sales across East Anglia.

"The average price of freehold freehouses is substantially up at £471,500, compared to £370,312 in 2005, and the number of transactions is increasing," said Whittle.

Fleurets chairman Barry Gillham said East Anglia is one area where lots of freeholds still exist.

"Pub companies haven't bought into this area and, as a result, there are more freehold freehouses available.

"But the lack of freeholds in general means that prices have been driven up."

Related topics: Property law

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