With the cost of renting in the UK expected to rise faster than house prices over the next five years, many tenants are keen to secure their own home.
In the East Midlands house prices will see an average increase of 4% over the course of next year, according to the RICS housing forecast for 2016 – a modest rise compared to other regions.
Rents, on the other hand, could rise by an average of 5% each year for the next five years – so by the end of that period tenants may find themselves paying at least 25% more than they do now. This trend is influenced by the government's introduction of tax changes from April that will potentially put off buy-to-let landlords and push up rents.
Below are some interesting new housing developments currently distributed throughout the East Midlands, including many options that could suit first-time buyers.
Freemens Meadow Phase 6 in Leicester (Barratt Homes)
Following recent regeneration of the old city centre, and a project designed to improve connections across urban areas, Leicester's property market is expected to see an upturn. This striking, contemporary development of two- and three-bedroom homes, some of which have roof terraces, is situated by the river. A three-bedroom ‘Quartz’ show home is now open for viewing to give prospective buyers an idea of what it might be like to live there.
The development is situated across the river from the football stadium, within walking distance of local shops and the city centre, and in an area of the town that is benefiting from a £26m government grant to transform acres of ex-industrial land. Junction 21 of the M1 is only ten minutes' drive away, and there are a great selection of bars, restaurants, gyms and leisure centres nearby.
Prices: From £251,995
Find out more about Freemens Meadow from Barratt Homes
Scholar's Place in Clowne, Derbyshire (Bellway Homes)
A new show home is now open for viewing at this popular development in the historic Derbyshire village of Clowne, which offers a choice of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom homes in a relaxing location surrounded by gorgeous countryside.
There is a large range of house styles available, including one- and two-bedroom apartments that would be ideal for first time buyers and potentially downsizers.
The village is home to a great collection of local amenities, including a community centre, library, sports centre, a Post Office, banks, and supermarkets, and the location also offers easy access to the M1 motorway at Junction 30 for commuters (two miles away). The nearest railway station is just over three miles away in the neighbouring village of Creswell, offering direct trains to Nottingham and Worksop. There are also nurseries and good schools for all ages within the village, including the Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ infant school.
Prices: From £80,995
Find out more at www.bellway.co.uk ; 01246 819406
The Brambles in Calverton, Nottinghamshire (Taylor Wimpey)
The Brambles incorporates a choice of two-, three- and four-bedroom homes to suit first time buyers, downsizers and growing families.
Situated less than eight miles from the city of Nottingham, the location is ideal for those seeking a village location but within easy travelling distance of the city for work and leisure.
The former mining village of Calverton has two local retail areas, a playground and a leisure centre which offers a gym plus swimming, badminton and squash facilities. There are two golf courses and various activities hosted within the village including a youth club and theatre group. For buyers with a family, there are also plenty of schools in the local area to cater for all ages.
Prices: From £174,995
Find out more at www.taylorwimpey.co.uk ; 0115 8962149
Bramblings in Hinckley, Leicestershire (Jelson Homes)
The homes currently available at Bramblings add to the existing Jelson development in the market town of Hinkley, which offers a large selection of homes from one- to five-bedroom properties.
This phase sees the release of three-bedroom semi-detached and detached homes with many features included such as carpets and floor coverings, select kitchen appliances, energy-efficient heating and double glazing. All detached homes come with a garage, and all the properties have a traditional build quality with solid internal walls.
Hinkley is a handy location in southern Leicestershire, close to the beautiful and historic town of Market Bosworth and the larger town of Nuneaton. Situated just off the A5, which leads to the M69, it is ideal for commuters – offering easy transport links to Leicester, Coventry, Nuneaton and Birmingham, either by car or by train from Hinckley station.
There are primary and secondary schools in the area, as well as a good range of sports clubs and facilities, particularly central Hollycroft Park which is home to two tennis courts, a golf pitch'n'putt, and a lawn bowls green with pavilion.
Prices: From £179,950
Find out moreat www.jelson.co.uk ; 07900 687543
Buckby Meadows in Long Buckby, Northamptonshire (Bovis Homes)
The selection of brand new homes on the outskirts of pretty Long Buckby village include two- to five-bedroom options, appealing to a wide range of buyers. The semi-rural location is in a vibrant village with great transport links - just a few miles from the A5, which offers easy access to junction 18 of the M1. Commuters can also use Buckby railway station, which offers services to Northampton in as little as 12 minutes; central Birmingham in about 55 minutes, and London Euston in an hour and 20 minutes.
In the lively village centre you can find a good range of local services for day-to-day living, including schools, shops and health and sports facilities. The larger market town of Daventry is less than five miles away, and Northampton only about 11 miles.
Long Buckby has its own infant school in the High Street, and the Junior School is close by. Secondary-age pupils are catered for by Guilsborough School, seven miles away, which serves 11 to 18 year-olds.
Prices: From £184,995
Find out more at www.bovishomes.co.uk ; 01327 587007
Hopton Rise in Wirksworth, Derbyshire (Wheeldon)
Less than a mile from the centre of pretty Wirksworth, and less than five miles from Matlock, Hopton Rise is set amidst rolling, tranquil hills – yet is also within easy striking distance of Derby (approximately 15 miles) and Sheffield or Nottingham (each within about 26 miles).
Made up of a total of 47 new homes, the development has been sympathetically designed to comply with the conservation area's requirements and therefore to blend in well with the existing village and its surroundings.
Its sought-after location; good choice of schools for all ages; and wide range of shops and facilities nearby all combine to make this a popular development, with many plots already reserved.
Prices: From £234,950
Find out more at www.wheeldon.co.uk ; 01332 388400
Vicarage Gardens in Humberstone, Leicester (Hazelton Homes)
This exclusive development of just 11 high-specification, four- and five-bedroom detached homes is situated in the desirable village of Humberstone, just a ten minute drive from the city of Leicester.
All of the homes incorporate luxurious features including stylish bathrooms, impressive contemporary kitchens, and generously sized living spaces. Ideal for families, the development is within walking distance of both infant and junior schools, and there are a selection of well-regarded private schools nearby.
For commuters, it is easy to reach the M1 and Leicester train station, which offers direct services to London in just over an hour.
Prices: From £275,000
Find out more at www.hazeltonhomes.com ; 01536 714920