27th June 2016

Location Report: Suffolk

Chris Rogers reports to Pub & Bar magazine on the licensed property market in Suffolk

Suffolk is a picturesque county in which large portions remain untouched and this is why it continues to attract tourists all year round who relish the relative tranquillity. With 50 miles of coastline incorporating pleasant seaside resorts such as Dunwich and Orford and The Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB that includes Aldeburgh, Southwold and Woodbridge amongst the stand out locations. Here, on and off-market opportunities continue to attract very strong interest, if the vendor’s aspirations are appropriate. This AONB also covers the Stour estuary where we completed the sale of the Bull at Brantham. The Dog & Duck at Campsea Ashe (sold June ’16) falls just outside.   

The garden is not necessarily so rosy everywhere as some seaside towns still find themselves with units closed, often long term. These closures however provide purchasers who combine good local and trade knowledge with the opportunity to exploit the gaps in the market that have been left. Away from the coast, opportunities in Suffolk’s historic market towns and pretty villages also continue to be popular. The White Horse at Framlingham and the Shannon at Bucklesham both generated significant interested before sales were completed in late 2015. Regional multiple operators, such as Chestnut Inns continue to work with Everard Cole to further their expansion plans. The White Horse at Easton re-opens on June 17th.

Inward investment into the region continues with an established and growing energy sector, particularly renewables and a recognized manufacturing sector supported by the many freight ports in the region. Suffolk also benefits from a large scale agricultural economy and an increasing number of smaller niche food producers the leisure sector is able to take advantage of.

Generally 2016 has been encouraging for the licensed property market. We have seen an increase in general sales and letting enquiries and both freehold and leasehold values have risen.  We are very positive about the rest of the year but do have a concern over the effect that Brexit may have on the liquidity of the finance markets, although if unaffected, we expect the cost of borrowing to remain low, which will assist values in their upward path.