Sudbury’s newest estate agents have expressed confidence in the health of the town’s commercial and residential markets, after reporting a strong first six months for its local branch.
Fenn Wright says it has gone from strength to strength since opening a new office in Market Hill at the start of 2017, with successes across its divisions.
It believes that, despite high-profile departures by some businesses in recent years, the area’s property, retail and industrial sectors remain strong.
Fenn Wright commercial partner Lewis Chambers said that, in 20 years of working in the area, he has never seen so many of the town’s industrial units occupied.
“There are very few units open on the industrial estate,” he said. “I have not been able to say that for a long time.
“I think that’s a sign of how healthy the industrial sector is in the town.
“Individuals can make up their own mind, but I think things are incredibly good right now.
“I think they are healthier than perhaps many people think.
“In my experience, demand is strong and capital values are continuing to increase.
“The town centre, meanwhile, has come under the same pressures as any other town, but it’s still very competitive compared to other towns in Suffolk and Essex.”
Fenn Wright has recently listed three commercial properties in the area for sale – Old Joe’s Golf Range in Great Cornard, the Sulby House office building in Sudbury, and a restaurant and retail space at 41 Market Hill.
Mr Chambers stated that he feels now is an ideal time to jump into the commercial sector, in light of planned residential expansions, including the Chilton Woods development proposed for the north end of Sudbury.
“There are these residential developments going on and all these people will need to shop somewhere,” he said.
“Chilton Woods is a major expansion. That, I would like to think, will fuel demand in the town centre.”
Mr Chambers added that 2011 and 2012 had been “a really difficult time” commercially, but he believes this is now settling down.
He acknowledged there have been “high-profile leavers” in the last 18 months, with Delphi Diesel Systems possibly the next to go, placing up to 520 jobs at risk.
But he argued this did not reflect on Sudbury, but rather the health of specific industries, and he said the voids left behind are being filled and more businesses will arrive in future.
Fenn Wright residential partner Graham Buxton said the town’s housing market has also remained strong, explaining that, despite some “price sensitivity”, particularly since the Brexit vote, buyers’ interest in homes up to £500,000 had stayed high.
“The market is split into tiers. Up to £250,000, it’s very robust,” he said.
“At £250,000 to £500,000, the buyers are still very much there. In that bracket, the market is reasonably active.
“In my experience, looking at any large developments, we have always found that new homes bring positivity to the market.
“We are in a situation where we need new homes built, so I would see Chilton Woods as a positive.”