Deserted seaside towns are making a comeback as they see a huge spike in interest from young professionals since the Covid pandemic.
A rental expert says run-down areas like Great Yarmouth are being transformed into trendy hipster Meccas like Hackney – with the trend set to "snowball" this year.
Saurabh Gupta, whose website ministryofrooms.com matches tenants with landlords, told the Daily Star: “For years these towns were pretty much deserted and this will change going forward. I firmly believe it’s a trend that is only going to grow.
“And once you have an enclave of younger people living in a town it will attract more businesses like bars and clubs. This will snowball and just lure in more people.
“Before you know it Great Yarmouth's been transformed into the next Hackney. It’s already happening really."
Mr Gupta explained the remote-working phenomenon prompted by the pandemic has allowed many of these 20-somethings to live anywhere in the UK.
And with their cheap rents, open spaces and slower pace of life – many are actively seeking out these previously unfashionable bolt-holes for their next roost, he said.
He said: "I’m seeing a lot more interest in coastal areas like Cornwall, Devon and Norfolk.
“Given the option a lot of people would rather live in open spaces and they offer much lower rents. They are at least 30% less than in London.
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“When the lockdown initially struck a lot of young professionals went back to their parents.
“Some will stay there but lots of people also want freedom of their own place. This is why I think we’re seeing so much interest in these smaller towns – especially seaside ones.
“People want to live closer to their family but given the option they want their own space too. We’re already seeing a paradigm shift with that.
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“I’ve had lots of tenants contact Ministry of Rooms recently looking for a room. Many are asking for places in Cornwall, Great Yarmouth is really popular too.
“I still believe there will always be a demand for accommodation in London, and prices will go back up, but remote-working is here to stay.
“And it could help breathe life back into these forgotten towns which is only a good thing.”
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The business intelligence professional, who came to the UK in 2003 with just a suitcase, said he built his website after getting frustrated with years of poor service in numerous properties he lived in.
He said: “Over the years I’ve lived in lots of single roomed accommodation. Everywhere from Bracknell to Scotland.
“In all that time I never found one good quality website where I could create a profile for myself.
“That’s why I created Ministry of Rooms. Everything I do is based upon business intelligence – everything we do is saving people time and money.
“That is what this website is doing – it’s giving people all the information they need within 10 minutes. "
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