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News


downsmail.co.uk


House prices surge as priorities change


Smokey farewell


THE staff at Kent Life are mourn- ing the death of one of their favourite animals at the working farm.


Smokey the ferret, who was


aged two, died over Christmas after a short illness. Vets found he was suffering from cancer and he was put to sleep. Kent Life staff, who doted on


Smokey, have given him a grave with a headstone. They took him under their wing


when he was rejected as a kit by the other ferrets, gave him his own cage and lavished love on him. One upset staffer said: “He was


such a little darling and so affec- tionate. Like all ferrets, he slept a lot, but we spoilt him rotten and he always seemed so happy.”


HOUSE prices rose significantly in the final part of 2020 – despite surging COVID-19 cases and un- certainty about the economy. Lockdown and stamp duty


breaks have led many people across Kent to up sticks, as well as attracting Londoners looking to move to the countryside. James Emson, of Clive Emson


Auctioneers, says summer sales were due to a “backlog of potential sellers and buyers” after the pan- demic halted most deals. Mr Emson said: “People still


need somewhere to live. There has been a lot of planning happening in the Maidstone area, with a lot of new builds and people moving to Kent from London. “I think people have had time to reconsider their life choices and with more people working from home, they are looking for a prop- erty with more outdoor space.”


But the auctioneer worries that


Kent’s high COVID-19 levels may be stopping people putting their houses on the market because of the risk of infection. He said: “Maidstone has always


had a strong market and I see no reason why that will change any time soon. We recently saw a prop- erty in College Road go for


£200,000 above the guide price, which was pretty amazing.” According to The Land Registry,


the average price of properties in Maidstone in the last 10 years has risen by £92,462. For instance, in August 2020 a two-bedroom house in Maidstone was worth on average around £258,595. By December, that price had increased to £292,777, accord- ing to a survey of estate agents. Head of residential sales at Sib-


ley Pares Chris Wallington says the market has remained “incredibly buoyant” and sales have been achieved thanks to “unforeseen positives” like the stamp duty hol- iday.


Brian Pitzey, of The Homes Group, said: “As many people and companies have adapted to work- ing online or at home, wanting a home five minutes from a station is not as important as it once was.”


If you are looking to buy, sell, invest, develop or


would just like a chat and need some friendly advice. The Homes Group have agency representatives in


Kent & South East London. We provide a traditional face to face estate agency service whilst embracing the latest property technology.


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Contact us at advice@thehomesgroup.co.uk T: 01322 532889


www.thehomesgroup.co.uk 34 31 High Street, Snodland Tel: 01634 240458


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