James Hopkins started his property development career by renovating a rundown cottage in Suffolk and making a tidy sum. He set up Hopkins Homes in 1993 to build homes on brownfield sites in Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester and Ely. ‘We realised people wanted to buy attractive homes with character, but didn’t want the maintenance problems of an old house,’ Hopkins says. Suffolk-based Hopkins Homes has increased sales 101% a year from £2.7m in 1997 to £22.3m in 2000, when it employed 38 people. With options to build on 2,000 plots throughout East Anglia, the company’s growth looks set to continue.
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