Renters think Downham Market is the RightMove to make
In the past estate agents have called them 'Goldilocks towns' ... places that are not too big or too small and have just the right attributes to attract buyers.
And now it seems that Downham may very well be one of those.
As many have shifted from office work to working from home during the pandemic, there has also been a shift in location choices.
Many office working millennials and home-owners are selling up and moving from the big cities in search of a more rural location where they can work from home comfortably, with the countryside on their doorstep.
Downham Market has seen a 32 per cennt increase in rental searches on popular real estate website RightMove in the last year.
Morris Armitage in Downham have "never been busier" according to lettings manager Frankie Johnson.
He said:"It’s been chaos! We often have 10 or 15people ready to view and we are busier than ever.
“People are calling from a wide range of places, some are from London, yes, but it’s been from all over.
“A lot of people are also selling up at this time so properties have become more available.”
The attraction? Mr Johnson said: “It’s a sleepy town, no one is in a hurry and the trainline is on your doorstep, people like that.
“There’s also some great places like Shouldham Warren nearby which gives that countryside feel.”
Downham is on the commuter line to London, with cheaper rents than Cambridge, Ely and Royston, which are often the hotspots for London office workers.
However, Downham rents are considerably less expensive and overall living cost and crime rates are lower than nearby alternatives.
Several new estates have cropped up in Downham over the last decade with the influx of Londoners leaving the city, and with the impact of the pandemic on job loss, working from home and a drop in household income, suburban towns like Downham are set to become more popular if RightMove’s statistics are anything to go by.
Other popular searches included Ayr in Ayrshire, Scotland which has had an increase of 18 per cent.
Ayr is similar to Downham, with low living cost and enough retail facilities to accommodate young families and also has a wealth of natural sights to enjoy nearby.
Downham is one of the oldest Saxon market towns in the country, and has many historic buildings, including the town clock which was presented in 1878 by James Scott, a draper and grocer. The clock was built by William Cunliff, of London.
Downham was known as the "Gingerbread Town" after the town hall, built about the same time as the clock, out of a local white brick and carrstone.
Many buildings in the town were built with this carrstone which is ginger in colour and gives the impression that the bricks were made out of gingerbread.