Where Can First-Time Buyers Secure a Spacious Property?
With people looking for more indoor and outdoor space since the first lockdown, property buyers are favouring houses over flats. So where can first-time buyers comfortably afford a spacious home of their own?
Here are some key points that your readers may find of interest:
- Ceredigion, West Wales, is the most affordable area for a first-time buyer to buy a property with a garden, with semi-detached houses 8.35% below the first-time buyer average property value.
- If you’re looking to buy a semi-detached house in England, consider North Kesteven, where the average price is £5.3K lower than the average first-time buyer spend.
- South Northamptonshire has seen the highest demand for properties with gardens in the UK, with semi-detached houses increasing in price 1.24% more than flats pre to post lockdown.
November 2020: UK lawn treatment specialists Greensleeves Lawn Care have compared the increase in demand for semi-detached houses versus flats since lockdown began to reveal the areas of the UK where property buyers are favouring more space and a garden versus a flat, and the areas that first-time buyers can afford a spacious property. You can view the full piece here.
North Kesteven has the best value spacious housing for first-time buyers in England, as well as some of the highest life satisfaction
If you’re a first-time buyer searching for affordable semi-detached housing in a great area, look no further than North Kesteven. This district topped the ONS wellbeing charts for the life satisfaction and the worthwhile life categories in 2016, and consistently features in the top 30 for both, ranking above London and most UK areas. The average semi-detached house here is £172,770.50, which is £5.3K lower than the average first-time buyer property in the area – a huge saving for people looking for a spacious residence.
From North Kesteven, you can commute into a couple of larger cities nearby. Nottingham is only a 45-minute commute if you choose to settle in villages such as Swinderby and Beckingham. Nearby Newark-on-Trent, a thriving market town, also runs a regular train taking under 30 minutes to reach Nottingham centre. As the area is largely covered by farmland, you can then escape from the bustle of work and spend your evenings enjoying the rolling, relaxed fields, in some of the best value large properties in the country. If you’re looking for easy access to employment in Nottingham, with lower living costs and higher life satisfaction, North Kesteven is the area to hone in on.
Nearby Boston has a large stock of affordable, spacious property
Boston also offers some of the best value for semi-detached houses in England, versus the first-time buyer average spend. You can pick up a spacious, semi-detached house for just £141,931 on average, 0.47% lower than the amount a first-time buyer would usually pay in the area. If you’re looking for classic coastal views, check out several of the villages located on the East Coast seafront, to the northeast of Boston.
David Truby, spokesperson for Greensleeves Lawn Care: “It’s great to see the increased interest in houses with gardens over flats since the UK lockdown. Many families have reassessed the importance of outdoor space to call their own, whether it’s for a spot of gardening or a family BBQ at the height of summer.
“At the moment, the stamp duty holiday and low-interest mortgages have created an excellent opportunity for property buyers to push the boat out, and opt for a house with a slice of garden.
If you’re a first-time buyer or moving from a flat, check how well cared for the lawn is. Dead patches will jump out at you first, but also make sure the grass isn’t waterlogged or covered in weeds. Read up further with our winter lawn care tips for any common issues to look out for and how to resolve these.”
Where are the top areas for investing in larger properties?
Commuters are moving out of London in search of bigger homes
The top areas seeing a surge in demand for semi-detached houses versus flats are primarily areas within commuting distance to London. With companies turning to remote work and reducing office size, more London workers are looking outside of the capital for a spacious property with useful travel links. While it may seem like a strange time to buy for travelling to London, as more people turn to remote working with the occasional commute, these areas will continue to rise in value, especially the pricier semi-detached properties that equal the cost of a London flat.
Where are London workers moving?
The top spot, South Northamptonshire, has easy access to the M1 via several A-roads, along with train stations in Northampton and Milton Keynes. A train from Milton Keynes to London Euston can take as little as 33 minutes. Situated between Birmingham and London, this area of the midlands is also great for workers that move between different locations.
East Sussex, third for semi-detached demand, is located between Royal Tunbridge Wells and Brighton. Travelling from Crowborough, in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, to London Bridge takes just 1 hour 9 minutes – you can go from some of the most scenic UK countryside to the shard in under an hour and a half!
Oxfordshire is fourth in this ranking for semi-detached demand and is another excellent choice for commuting into London. Travelling directly to London Paddington or Marylebone via train will take an average of 1 hour 8 minutes, or you can take the M40 straight to the M25 ring road.
East Hampshire, fifth overall, has a few towns nearing the golden 1 hour commute time, such as Petersfield, described as a ‘nirvana for commuters’ by the Guardian, and Alton, which takes just over an hour by train to London Waterloo.
South Northamptonshire has the highest demand for properties with gardens
Semi-detached houses in South Northamptonshire have increased by 1.03% in value between March and May, versus flats which have decreased in value by 0.21% over the same period. This has resulted in the largest increase in semi-detached demand over flats in the UK, at 1.24%. Therefore buyers are demanding extra space and gardens the most in this area.
The reason that demand for houses in South Northants is higher than the other London commutable areas featured is the lower house prices attracting buyers. You can get a semi-detached house here for an average of £266,638, versus £313,072 for one in East Sussex, or £372,357 for a semi just over the border into Oxfordshire.
Why move to South Northamptonshire?
There are a handful of commuter towns to choose from in South Northants, the largest of which is Brackley, followed by Towcester. Both of these lay on the A43, with the A5 also running through Towcester. The A5 leads directly to Milton Keynes – a great city for both shopping and catching a train into London Euston.
If you’re looking for a combination of bustle and countryside, consider moving to the village of Silverstone, where the motor racing circuit hosts the Grand Prix, Moto GP and other car events that’ll keep you occupied throughout the year.
Another great village to check out is Stoke Bruerne, which is situated just 10 miles north of Milton Keynes, and lies directly on the Grand Union Canal. As a result, this village is a popular area for tourism, with canal boats drifting up and down the river adding to the relaxed way of life.
North West Leicestershire is second in demand for properties with gardens
With the prices of semi-detached properties increasing by 1.14% more than flats, demand for more spacious properties in North West Leicestershire has risen by the second-highest amount since lockdown. Access to the M42 and M1 means that you can commute up or down the country to your office when necessary. Birmingham is also easily within reach, with a drive down the M42 from the central market town of Ashby de la Zouch taking just 35 minutes.
Why move to North West Leicestershire?
Neighbouring cities include Leicester, Loughborough, and Nottingham, all of which enjoy a thriving nightlife and plenty of job opportunities for the budding young professional or relocating office worker alike.
When we can finally travel abroad again, the East Midlands airport services the area from Castle Donnington, and is a quick drive from most parts of the district.
Ashby de la Zouch and Coalville are the two main towns in the area. Ashby de la Zouch is a vibrant up-and-coming market town with pubs, shops and venues. As a finalist for rising star highstreet of 2019, potential buyers can be safe in the knowledge that the area will only become more popular, and house prices will continue to increase. If you’re looking to experience a larger town, head to the busier university town of Loughborough, where a taxi there will cost just £30-£35.