'Gazumped': Young people forced out of Norwich rent market by Londoners

Norwich Cathedral has moved services online after suspending public worship.

Norwich rental prices have risen by 9pc this past year - Credit: Norwich Cathedral/Bill Smith

Norwich renters are being pushed out of the market by "cash-rich Londoners" leaving the capital, according to a lettings manager. 

New research by Zoopla revealed rental prices in the city have risen by more than 9pc this year. 

This is making it increasingly difficult for young people to find homes in Norwich, as they are being "gazumped" by wealthier renters who are offering cash for six-months rent in advance.

Some tenants are now paying £150 more a month for a one-bedroom flat in the city centre compared with two years ago.

Lesley Levy of Brown & Co Norwich

Lesley Levy, associate partner and residential lettings manager for Brown & Co - Credit: Brown & Co

“Every time I get a property listed to rent we get around 20 enquiries within the first 30 to 45 minutes," said Lesley Levy, associate partner and residential lettings manager at Brown & Co. "I have had people in tears because they can’t get a viewing.

“So many people have sold properties in order to buy a larger house in the countryside, coming out of the bigger cities particularly London, and are renting while the sales go through.

“They rent for six months and are ‘gazumping’ those couples in their 20s to 30s who need to rent, they have more money and are offering six months rent in advance."

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Apartments that have parking are the most sought-after rental properties in the city, and flats in the city centre close to the railway station are in particular demand. 

New research by Zoopla showed rental prices outside of London are soaring at the fastest pace for 13 years, with a 5pc rise across the UK over the past 12 months.

Earlier this year figures revealed average monthly rental prices in Norwich had risen to £996, driven in part by the interest from property developers in the city.

Vantage House, Pottergate, Norwich

A number of rental properties in the city have been under development - Credit: Denise Bradley

Mrs Levy added: “New builds are also being bought by foreign owners – parents of students at the UEA.

“I can’t see it changing – I think it will be the same for another 12 months.”