East of England Property Buying Guide
About the East of England
Much of the region is flat, open countryside, with the sprawling Broads being a unique feature of East England. A large part of the region goes by ‘East Anglia’, after a Germanic tribe that settled in the area during the Middle Ages.
With so many fantastic places to live, from historic cities like Cambridge and Norwich, seaside towns like Southend-on-Sea and spectacular stretches of coastline, it’s little wonder that properties here are in high demand.
Whether you’re searching for a buy-to-let property or information on choosing an area, read on for more property advice for buying in the East of England. We have fantastic developments designed for families, upsizers, downsizers and young professionals.
East of England property market prices & trends
The UK House Price Index reveals an increase of just under 10% in house prices in the 12 months leading up to December 2022.
The UK House Price Index reports East England as third to last for the lowest annual house price percentage change, followed by the South West and London. House prices have risen by 12% between 2020 and 2023.
Despite the property value being above the national average, many investment opportunities exist for short- and long-term profit. Thanks to the versatility of their property market, fast-growing cities like Cambridge and Norwich are firm favourites among homebuyers.
Whether looking for offers and advice for first-time buyers in East England or adding to your property portfolio, the region is a beautiful place to invest.
Best investment areas in the East of England
Based on its burgeoning economy and population, the European Commission has recognised East England as one of the UK’s fastest-growing regions, extremely attractive to investors.
Cambridge and Colchester are the main up-and-coming areas. This is based on criteria such as rental yields, long-term property appreciation and the percentage of the local population who is renting. House prices rose by 7% and 8% between 2020 and 2023.
Luton and Peterborough are also among East England’s best places to invest in property. Thanks to trains into London taking just 25 minutes, Luton is a hugely popular place for commuters to the capital. Peterborough is only 50 minutes from London.
Buying your first home with us means excellent investment opportunities and plenty of offers to take advantage of.
The most sought-after property areas in the East of England
WoodbridgeArty, creative and with a strong community spirit, the Sunday Times named this port town on the River Deben the best place to live in 2021. With the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB right on the doorstep, Woodbridge is characterised by its brightly coloured buildings and hidden alleys lined with independent businesses.
AylshamMidway between Norwich and the Norfolk Coast AONB, it’s no wonder that Aylsham ranks among East England’s most sought-after areas. This historic market town enjoys a strong community spirit and many attractions for all ages.
RadlettAn affluent village with a history dating back thousands of years, Radlett has been a sought-after area since Roman times. Today, this lovely spot is excellent for regular services to London, taking less than half an hour.
Best places to move with your family in the East of England
Popular among parents who want to bring their children up in rural and semi-rural environments, East England also caters for families wishing to live in big cities. From outdoor pursuits to cultural attractions, there are many great things to do for all ages across the region.
With excellent commuter links, a thriving local economy and several outstanding primary and secondary schools, Bedford is a great place to live for all types of homebuyers.
Surrounded by beautiful countryside and boasting a selection of local schools, Stowmarket is a charming market town less than 12 miles from Ipswich. Trains between the two only take around 15 minutes.
If you want to move with your family, new homes in Leigh-on-Sea could be up your street. This attractive port town boasts a prime location, a stone’s throw from Canvey and Foulness Islands, and is within commuting distance of London.
Ofsted rankings of best schools in the East of England
|School||Ofsted Rating||Date of Inspection|
|Hills Road Sixth Form College||Outstanding||March 2022|
|Comberton Village College||Outstanding||October 2020|
|Castle Newnham School||Outstanding||December 2020|
|Bedford Free School||Outstanding||March 2020|
|Great Berry Primary School||Outstanding||January 2021|
|Quarry Hill Academy||Outstanding||January 2023|
|Brookland Farm Primary School||Outstanding||September 2022|
|Hills Road Sixt Form College||Outstanding||March 2022|
|St Christopher School||Outstanding||October 2022|
|High Beeches Primary School||Outstanding||January 2021|
Best places to move to be close to nature in the East of England
As a region famous for its openness, you can find many country properties for sale in East England. The Broads National Park has picturesque waterways teeming with wildlife. Thetford Forest Park, Dedham Vale and the Suffolk and Norfolk coasts also offer breathtaking views.
Bury St Edmunds
Known as Bury by locals, this historic market town lies at the southern edge of the atmospheric King’s Forest. Two rivers flow through town, while Thetford Forest, Bradfield Woods and Dedham Vale are nearby.
Sitting in the heart of Norfolk, this attractive market town is surrounded by glorious stretches of open countryside. There are plenty of green spaces to explore in Watton, with Thetford Forest Park nearby and the Norfolk coast less than an hour’s drive away.
Hawkwell is near the Essex coast and various beaches, rivers and nature reserves. Living here means enjoying the outdoors while being able to commute to London for work or leisure.
Buying in East of England’s towns & cities
Many are attracted to the southern part of the region for access to London. This is where the highest concentration of transport links lies, with Luton, Peterborough, Stevenage and Cambridge all offering services to the capital in under an hour.
Ipswich and Norwich are connected by Greater Anglia trains. Plenty of A-roads run along the coast and through the countryside between towns and cities. At the same time, motorways that pass through the region include the A1(M) and M11.
Buying your home in LutonAround 30 miles from Central London, Luton is hugely popular among commuters to the capital. Trains to London St Pancras take just over 20 minutes, while the town is home to Luton Airport and all the modern amenities you need. Property prices have shown exceptional long-term growth of over 10% between 2020 and 2023.
Stevenage12 miles east of Luton, Stevenage is only around 20 minutes on the train from London King’s Cross and conveniently located for the A1(M). House prices grew by 12% between 2020 and 2023.
Leighton BuzzardA similar distance on the opposite side of Luton, this Bedfordshire market town is only half an hour from London Euston station. Leighton Buzzard’s house prices increased by 3% between 2020 and 2023.
Buying your home in NorwichNorwich is a pleasant city in Norfolk, a safe place for raising a family. Business and financial services, tech, retail and manufacturing are part of the local economy, and there’s plenty of history to explore.
Norfolk’s property market experienced the sharpest growth in house prices between 2020 and 2023, up 13%, followed by Suffolk’s increase of 12%. Norwich’s property prices have risen by 12%.
Over on the southwest edge of Norwich, Cringleford is another lovely village with excellent access to the city centre. House prices reflect the desirable nature of this sought-after parish, up 10% between 2020 and 2023.
Buying your home in PeterboroughIt may be 80 miles north of London but trains from Peterborough to King’s Cross station take 45 minutes. The city is an ever-improving commuter hub, with local property prices rising by just under 10% between 2020 and 2023.
Buying your home in IpswichThe county town of Suffolk, Ipswich, lies on the River Orwell and has beautiful waterfront culture to enjoy. The fact that London is just over an hour away may be a crucial part of what you need to know when buying property in Ipswich.
Local house prices have shown long-term potential, rising by around 60% between 2011 and 2021 and 12% between 2020 and 2023.