According to the Office of National Statistics in its House Price Index for May 2015, released in early July, “the pace of annual house price growth picked up in five of the nine English regions in May 2015. The largest annual increase was in the East at 9.3% [year-on-year]...followed by the South East (8.2% increase in the year to May 2015, down from 8.4% [in the year to 2015])”.
On a national level, Halifax reported that quarterly year-on-year house price growth was 9.6% in the three months to June 2015, its highest point since August 2014.
“Supply remains very tight, with the stock of homes available for sale currently at record low levels. This shortage has been a key factor in maintaining house price growth at a robust pace so far in 2015,” Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis remarked.
Surveys suggest the pick-up in house price growth since the election may be largely the result of home movers feeling reassured by the potential stability promised by a party gaining a majority in the new government - particularly since the Conservatives are regarded as being supportive of homeowners and rising house prices.
The Old Orchard in Strood, Kent (Persimmon Homes)
New homes are being snapped up before a single brick has been laid at this new site at Strood – with 80% of properties already sold. This exclusive collection of just 16 two- and three-bedroom semi-detached, detached and terraced homes will overlook farmland, offering panoramic views of much of Medway. There are also the added benefits of an Ofsted 'outstanding’ school within walking distance; superb transport links; and great shopping in nearby Rochester and Bluewater.
“Discerning buyers have been quick to buy off-plan. They know that they will have the pick of the best plots and also have some say over their final fixtures and fittings,” explains Jo Richards, head of sales and marketing for the housebuilder. “We knew The Old Orchard would be popular because of its great location, as Strood offers fantastic transport links by both rail and road to London, the coast and Europe. It is easy to see why this new development is really catching people’s eye.”
Prices: From £269,950
Find out more at www.persimmonhomes.com ; 01634 565211
Bluebell Gate in East Grinstead, West Sussex (Barratt Homes)
Contemporary two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom homes are available at Bluebell Gate near the historic market town of East Grinstead, set in the High Weald on the edge of ancient Ashplats Wood, with some lovely countryside views and great schools nearby.
The location is also very convenient for many commuters, offering easy access to central London, and with Brighton only 32 miles away. At the same time it offers plenty to occupy leisure time: East Grinstead itself is home to plenty of shops, restaurants, and cultural venues; there are five woodlands and a lake within 20 minutes' walk of the development; and there are fitness and country clubs within a five mile radius. The Help to Buy scheme is available at this development.
Prices: From £419,995
Find out more at http://whathou.se/MbdEGo ; 01342 420113
St Clements Lakes in Greenhithe, Kent (Bellway Homes)
Set in landscaped grounds, St Clements Lake is a collection of high-specification two-bedroom apartments and three- and four-bedroom homes in the small Thameside town of Greenhithe.
Located between Dartford and Gravesend, with Bluewater Shopping Centre nearby and excellent links into the capital, Greenhithe caters for all the day-to-day essentials, with its own supermarket and train station, which has direct services into London Charing Cross.
Ebbsfleet International station is also nearby, offering High Speed services to London St Pancras and Eurostar to Paris and Brussels, and a short drive takes you to larger towns such as historic Gravesend and Dartford, for a large selection of shops and leisure facilities.
Find out more at www.bellway.co.uk ; 0800 043 7777
Montague Park in Windsor, Berkshire (Charles Church Developments)
This exclusive development of luxurious four- and five-bedroom homes is nestled in a gated parkland setting with private tennis courts, in the affluent, semi-rural village of Winkfield, near Ascot and Windsor. Montague Park also incorporates a man-made walking trail, which passes through parkland, beautiful trees, green open spaces and a pond. Windsor Forest is close by, as are Windsor Great Park, Ascot Racecourse, Wentworth golf course and the River Thames.
Some of the UK's most sought-after schools are within easy reach of the development, which also offers great commuter links to London. Ascot railway station has direct links to Paddington and Waterloo in less than an hour, and Maidenhead offers a journey time to Paddington of just 25 minutes. By road, the M4 is just a short drive away for easy access to London and the M25.
Prices: From £1.25million
Find out more than www.charleschurch.com ; 01344 208 124
Park View Apartments in Preston Park, East Sussex (Property Frontiers)
Ray Withers, chief executive of this property investment specialist, tells investors: “Life in London can be fabulous, but we've found a growing number of young professionals who want to combine a London salary with a home life that offers more than the big city can. Tenants are demanding luxury apartments with easy access to the sea and the green spaces of the South of England, with London less than an hour away by train.”
This scheme offers spacious two-bedroom/two-bathroom apartments in a contemporary, boutique building that will make executive tenants and young professionals feel right at home, with stylish details such as recessed LED lighting, underfloor heating and high-gloss kitchens. A yield of up to 4.7% is expected on these homes
Prices: From £330,000
Find out more at www.propertyfrontiers.com ; 01865 202700
Millfields in Bethersden, Kent (Rydon Homes)
Set in a thriving community in the heart of the garden of England, Millfields is a collection of 15 traditionally designed two-, three- and four-bedroom quality homes just six miles from well-connected Ashford.
In the sought-after village of Bethersden, this development is, in the words of the housebuilder “in a small community with a big heart”. The village features two popular pubs, a Post Office, a well-stocked village store, a primary school, and a butcher, famed for his local produce.
Transport links are excellent, with fast road links nearby and a High Speed rail link just 15 minutes from home, at Ashford International. This provides a commute to London in less than 40 minutes, as well as connections to continental Europe by Eurostar.
Prices: From £569,995
Find out more at www.rydonhomes.co.uk ; 0808 281 0314
Langton Priory in Guildford, Surrey (Newcourt Residential)
This boutique development of 12 individually designed two- and three-bedroom apartments in Guildford – just launched on 23 July – is set in a quiet enclave overlooking the River Wey and the meadows beyond. It comprises a charming converted priory and a stylish new build, sympathetically designed to complement the original building – each will have six apartments within.
Open-plan living areas will create a modern space in which to relax and entertain friends, while the heritage of the development is captured in the decorative details and the original period features which include bay windows, original cornicing and Gothic features on the windows and doors. The open-plan kitchens will form the heart of the home and have all been designed with bespoke cabinetry, glass splashbacks, integrated appliances and quartz worktops.
There will also be a woodland path leading down to the river walk, and the development is just a stone’s throw from Guildford’s attractive town centre.
Prices: From £550,000
Find out more at newcourt.co.uk ; 01372 237888
Royal Wells Park in Tunbridge Wells, Kent (Berkeley Homes)
Just a few minutes’ walk from the railway station, on an elevated, central position on a former hospital site, progress is already well under way at Royal Wells Park. Just seven of the current phase of 29 two- and three-bedroom apartments are available. A launch of 12 townhouses and mews properties is planned for the autumn, which will provide a new four-bedroom show home to view.
A senior living block is already completed, as are a number of street scenes with a variety of property types. Visiting the marketing suite will give house-hunters the chance to see a model of the full development, explore details with some clever audiovisual technology and walk around a full-size, fully fitted show apartment that demonstrates the standard of fittings, fixtures and appliances.
Prices: From £460,000
Find out more at http://whathou.se/d6NaKK ; 01844 452516