With London rental prices reaching record highs and demand heavily outweighing demand, professionals and young families are ditching the capital for a slice of coastal and country living.
Staycationers and second-homeowners are flocking to North Norfolk as an escape from the expensive and laborious London lifestyle.
DFL – meaning ‘Down from London’ – is the token term given to somebody who has made the leap from London to live in southern England, particularly Kent.
Given North Norfolk’s north-easterly geographical location from the big smoke, people moving to the area are being dubbed ‘UFLs’ – Up from London.
North Norfolk is an incredibly diverse part of the country, featuring a spectacular coastline, National Trust estates and market towns.
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Coming to public attention after Prince William and Princess Kate established a country retreat at Georgian Amner Hall in 2013, the region has become a hit for local tourists and has suitably adapted.
This was helped by the Covid-19 pandemic, with international travel becoming heavily restricted many Britons turned to exploring their homeland outside of the usual popular destinations.
Staycations proved and continued to be, popular. Many British tourists discovered, and are discovering, the natural beauty of North Norfolk’s beaches and stunning countryside for the first time.
Lots of people like to imagine themselves living in a place when they come to visit, and the draw for Londoners in this portion of East Anglia is simple – a peaceful and picturesque way of life.
Holt, a charming Georgian market town, has become a favourite with DFLs coming thanks to its vibrant high street featuring art galleries, book shops and eateries.
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According to Rightmove, the average price of a property in Holt is £384,021 (up five percent from the previous year), compared to the average property price in London – £724,881.
That brief snapshot perfectly illustrates why some young Londoners would consider making the switch East: you get far more for your money. However, this hasn’t gone down well with Holt locals, with many wondering how they will ever be able to afford a property of their own thanks to the influx of Londoners and second-home owners inflating house prices.
Lucy Paine, 26, a waitress at Holt’s “posh B&B café and restaurant” Byfords said one of the downsides to living in the region is potentially not ever being able to own a property there. She told The Telegraph: “The good bit of living here is that it’s nice to serve happy people here on holiday.
“The downsides are that I have zero chance of owning my own home as house prices are totally insane and that there’s no nightlife for young people.”
Norfolk County Council is also not pleased with the large number of tourists flooding the area and is set to introduce street parking fees for non-residents in over-crowded villages.
But some shop owners in the region are generally pleased with the new locals and day-trippers because their high-quality goods can be successfully sold for suitable prices.
Proprietor at Follyology Holt Judith West, a clothing and interiors shop, said the retailers in Holt aim to stock all the brands and labels Londoners covet. She added: “I make a point of cherry-picking the really fashionable brands.”
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