Property agents Savills celebrates 30 years of business in Suffolk

Savills Ipswich team in 2017.
Front row, L-R: Chris Moody, head of Ipswich commercial, Tom

Savills Ipswich team in 2017. Front row, L-R: Chris Moody, head of Ipswich commercial, Tom Orford, head of Ipswich residential, Mark Oliver and Peter Start who opened the office in 1987, Michael Horton, head of Savills farm business in the East and William Hargreaves, head of Ipswich rural. Middle row L-R: Peter Ogilvie, Rebecca Roberts, Andy Redman, Agatha Blount, Katy Stephenson, Sam Tydeman, Phil Rankin and Sheryl Davey. Back row L-R: Allison Dunn, Isobel Cooper, Eileen Webster, Max Turner, Sarah Walsh, Sue Monks and Jessica Foskett. - Credit: Archant

A property business based in Ipswich is celebrating after reaching 30 years in Suffolk.

Savills first opened its doors in Princes Street, Ipswich, in July, 1987, with Mark Oliver and Peter Start leading a team of six selling country houses and advising farmers and estates across the county.

Fast forward 30 years and Mark and Peter still lead the team, now more than 20 strong, offering a multi-disciplinary service to many long-standing clients.

Mr Oliver said: “Today we provide expertise in new homes, commercial and development alongside our original residential and rural departments.

“It’s wonderful to see the success of the office and to be able to give clients continuity, experience and sound market knowledge of the areas in which we operate.

“Suffolk is undoubtedly an appealing place to live yet over the years it has managed to retain its staunchly understated charm and character.

“The coast has grown enormously in popularity as has the Stour Valley which combines the twin advantages of being both beautiful and commutable.

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“Other sought-after areas include picturesque Lavenham, Woodbridge, Bury St Edmunds and Framlingham.

“The rise of the internet has had a significant impact on estate agency but fundamentally nothing has changed - someone wants to buy and someone wants to sell. Our job is to facilitate that and while technology definitely helps us, it’s a tool. Property is personal.”

Looking at the rural market, Mr Start added: “Suffolk has arguably been at the heart of UK agricultural innovation with its fertile mixed soils, beneficial climate and proximity to export routes.

“Thirty years ago pigs were mainly indoors and are now largely outdoors, dairy herds are now few, automated and much larger, vegetables are grown abundantly with irrigation on previously unproductive land, Suffolk Sheep are less evident and chickens are everywhere.

“Farmland prices have undulated from £3,000 to £1,000 an acre some 25 years ago, before leaping to £11,000+ an acre just three years ago. They are now around £7,000 an acre.

“Old farm barns and land are turning to houses, farmers markets and holiday lets are growing like mushrooms, micro breweries and vineyards are expanding and wedding venues are blooming.

“Throw in the internet and Londoners looking east - Suffolk’s rural scene has transformed in 30 years.

“The county’s further countryside potential is substantial with prime lands and its increasing popularity fuelling alternative enterprise. That’s why we came to be part of Suffolk’s future in 1987.”

In the 30 years of operating, the office has moved once, from 30 Princes Street to a few doors down at 40-50 Princes Street.

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