Moving to the Home Counties – why now is a good time to move out of the capital

Posted 6 May 2016 by Keith Osborne

Price rises may be slowing in the capital, but a look around in the Home Counties still shows much better value for money for house-hunters...

Storey Homes MD, Katy Jordan, explains why now is the best time for house-hunters to move out of the capital and into the Home Counties. With rising – but more affordable - house prices, new transport links planned and the lifestyle benefits of a home away from the hustle and bustle, there is good reason to invest in a forever home early.

“Demand across London’s outer boroughs and prime commuter belt towns continues to outperform the rest of the country, spurred by improving transport links and employment prospects, courtesy of several multi-million pound regeneration schemes across the South East and Home Counties.

“If you’re looking to escape London and want more brick for your ‘buck’, the popular market town of Bedford is a great option. Not only has it recently been heralded as the third most popular property hotspot by eMoov, prices there have been steadily rising in recent years, making it an ideal time to invest in a new home and grow your equity.

“The town of Bedford and nearby market areas, such as Ampthill, are seeing strong demand across the marketplace, from first-time buyers to families, with stable market conditions. At Storey Homes, we have recognised the appeal of these areas for homebuyers, and we have witnessed strong interest in the region, particularly at our new development, Lime Tree Court in Ampthill. We continue to invest in the area, with another new site at the former De Montfort University in the heart of Bedford, where we are building 152 homes, offering a range of house types – ranging from one-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom homes - to suit a variety of lifestyles and budgets.

“We believe this popularity is due to better transport links and affordability. Certainly, everyone wants a fast and hassle-free commute to work. From Bedford, for example, you can get to London St Pancras within 40 minutes by train. Improving connectivity to other key centres of employment is also a real boost to the town, so we welcome the government plans for a new fast rail service between Oxford and Cambridge, stopping in neighbouring towns, including Bedford. By attracting an agile workforce to the area, companies would follow suit. Better job prospects and higher rates of employment lead to increased spending, which keeps the local economy buoyant, and means the whole community benefits from the new infrastructure.

“In our experience, our purchasers are often young, aspirational buyers who want to live in the Home Counties, who have young pre-school children and have moved out from the capital. We also see downsizers, predominately those who are moving from four to five bedroom houses with large gardens. They often still need the bedroom space but are looking for smaller plots in a new build, maintenance-free home.

“Bedford does have a lot to offer these types of buyers, and the regeneration effect of developments like ours in the centre of the town really make their mark. Despite the volume of housebuilders constructing on the outskirts of Bedford, people still want to live in the heart of the town, close to amenities, like excellent schools and transport connections.

“Seeing such a regeneration project come to life is exciting particularly because the site in Warwick Road, has been derelict for over a decade. The vast majority of our properties will be eligible for Help to Buy so the development will provide much needed private housing, affordable housing and community benefits. It is a great example of just how important regeneration schemes are to the northern Home Counties."

Thanks, Katy Jordan of Storey Homes.



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