Want to finally get on the property ladder in 2017? We’ve got you covered.
Words – Rosie Benson
Newsflash! The top ten places to buy a home in the UK have just been revealed, so if you’re house hunting this January, and you’re looking to make a smart investment, these are, according to The Times, the towns worth checking out.
Southern Gateway, Manchester
Close to both the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University, property experts predict that the Southern Gateway is set to follow the success of Manchester’s Northern Quarter. 7500 homes are set to be built here in the next few years, in an area already home to, er, HOME, Manchester’s centre for international contemporary art, theatre and film, plus enough shops and restaurants to keep this new development from becoming a soulless sea of flats. Right now one-bedroom flats are available for £145,000.
West Kilburn, North London
According to Jo Eccles, buying agent and managing director of Sourcing Property, the cost of homes in West Kilburn are currently about 20 per cent below those in neighbouring Queen’s Park and Maida Vale. That gap is expected to close completely over the next three to five years, so in other words – snap ’em up quick. A two bedroom flat here will currently set you back roughly £550,000.
Property prices have already seen a 61 per cent growth in the past five years, but estate agent Martin Walshe predicts there will be more on the horizon, particularly if the UK secures a ‘strong’ Brexit deal (whatever that means). According to The Times, the northern area is the place to look, due to the scheduled opening of a Cambridge North station in May. It’s a commutable distance too – a fast train to Kings Cross from Cambridge station takes 50 minutes
Hands down, Woking’s greatest draw is it’s commuter-friendly location – passengers can be at London Waterloo in less than half an hour. With average house prices in London standing at £600,625, Woking is a comparative bargain, at about £375,000 for a two-bedroom flat, and £475,000 for a three-bedroom house – positively palatial.
If you’re looking to get further out of London consider the prettiest city in the North, York. Terry’s old chocolate factory, close to York Racecourse, has been recently converted into luxury flats, expecting to push local prices up 5 per cent this year. York is also set to benefit from the HS2 rail link, and local estate agent Michael Redmond believes ‘Bishy Road’ will be the focus of growth in the city next year. A two-bedroom house costs about £300,000.
Remember how East London become all hipster and cool a few years ago? The same thing is happening in East Leeds apparently, in a city already known for it’s student night life and the origin of Alt-J and The Kaiser Chiefs. Eastern city areas Cross Gates, Colton, and Rothwell experienced price growth of 4.2 per cent in 2016, and thanks to good city centre transport and retail options, house prices are expected to rise by a further 4 or 5 per cent this year. Currently, average house prices range from £182,000 in Rothwell to £229,000 in Colton.
Edinburgh City Centre
Consider swapping one capital city for another. While Edinburgh – a university town and the heart of Scotland’s cultural and political life – is not cheap, prices are predicted to grow 23 per cent by 2021, so now is the time to buy. One-bedroom flats start at £160,000, and there are several regeneration schemes in the pipeline that plan to deliver more homes to the city.
Prices in Garston are expected to rise by 10 per cent over the next three to four years, thanks to the expansion of nearby Liverpool airport and the subsequent increase in jobs. Three-bedroom homes, currently averaging £150,000 are expected to increase to £170,000 by the end of 2019. So if you’ve always fancied living in the city which gave us John, Paul, George and Ringo, now is the time to buy.
Estate agents are predicting a further layer of the commuter effect, the ‘double ripple’ effect to be precise, which they predict will see city workers moving further out from established commuter towns, in order to have a bigger property and greater quality of life. Alan Williams, managing partner of Fenn Wright, told The Times ‘movers will compromise on travel if they can reside in a town that retains it’s traditional feel and charm amid beautiful surroundings’. It’s not so far-fetched – commuting from Sudbury to London takes a not unreasonable 71 minutes.
Carmarthenshire, Southwest Wales
If the quiet life is what you’re looking for, Carmarthenshire has tantalisingly low prices, combined with beautiful coastline, beaches, and rolling countryside. For £500,000 (the price of a London flat) you can buy a family house with a generous garden. And you can bid the grind of city life goodbye for good – the three hour plus journey to London means commuting isn’t an option, so there’s no excuse not to throw yourself into country life. Happy house hunting!