The success of its football team has thrown the spotlight on Leicester, one of the UK’s largest cities and one that is already well into plans to cater for a growing population with a wide array of new homes in different areas.
The city’s current Core Strategy aims to create 25,600 new homes in and around Leicester between 2006 and 2026, an average of nearly 1,300 homes every year. The general policy combines the improvement of existing residential areas with better housing and the development of ‘brownfield’ (former industrial) areas into new neighbourhoods.
Areas such as Hamilton (1,000 new properties on the north-eastern fringe) and Ashton Green (3,500 new homes in the north of the city) have been identified as among the most important areas to develop, along with a central Strategic Regeneration Area (itself targeted to take over 11,000 new homes). Targets for affordable homes, perhaps inevitably under current economic circumstances, fall way below the 55% calculated as necessary, with around 4,000 (roughly 15%) of total new builds likely to meet this definition.
A growing population also needs new jobs, and the new homes will be complemented with development of new employment opportunities and facilities to attract companies and investment is and around the city. To this end, the Core Strategy also identifies city centre offices and the Abbey Meadows Science and Innovation Park among the chief areas where such jobs may be created.
With two universities (University of Leicester and De Montford) holding a substantial student population of around 35,000, of which 70% are full time, there is a significant market for rental that will attract buy-to-let investors to the city, with benefits of new build homes able to justify premium rents.
Leicester is a well-connected city, with the M1 and M69 making long-distance travel convenient and a number of A-roads linking directly to other East Midlands towns and cities. Rail connections are also good in the region and further afield, to the likes of Sheffield, Cambridge, Birmingham and London St Pancras, the latter also providing services to continental Europe.
New homes currently for sale in Leicester:
The four- and five-bedroom Arts & Crafts-inspired homes at Redrow’s Nightingale Gardens are perfect for families, with a number of good schools within easy reach. Priced from £299,995 and with Mastermove and Help to Buy schemes available, these properties are in the north-east of Leicester, with good access to the city centre and further afield.
Bungalows have been making a comeback in the new build industry recently and there are some available now at David Wilson Homes’ Forest Chase development. The ‘Burleigh’ properties have two bedrooms, maing them equally suitable for first-time buyers and downsizers, and the open-plan layout makes them especially appealing for those who enjoy entertaining friends and family. Located in the Leicester Forest East area. These now homes are priced from £177,995. Other two-, four- and five-bedroom homes are also available.
The same housebuilder is offering a range of property types at Whetstone Park, with prices starting at £236,995. The development as two show homes (both sold now) for visitors to view, but the remaining properties have the option of a number of purchase assistance schemes, with some having the additional benefit of David Wilson Homes making a significant contribution to stamp duty.
Leading retirement developer McCarthy & Stone is offering 23 apartments for over-60s at Wolsey Court, in the Knighton Park area of the city. With seven one-bedroom and 16 two-bedroom units and prices from £199,950, the company also offers 100% Part Exchange to make the moving process easier. With excellent security and energy-efficient double glazing and underfloor heating, the homes offer peace of mind and inexpensive running costs, plus the no-maintenance benefit of new build in general.
Leicester city centre is just four miles away from Grangewood Manor, a development of three-, four- and five-bedroom homes from Taylor Wimpey. The development is conveniently located for the Highcross shopping mall and close to the A47 and M1. Prices currently start at £215,000, with some homes ready to move into before Christmas
Open from 10.00am to 5.00pm on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday to Saturday, the marketing suite at Westleigh Homes’ Belgrave Riverside development is currently promoting a range of two- to four-bedroom homes from the latest phase. The development is just north of the city centre and close to Abbey Park and the Grand Union Canal. Help to Buy is also available here.
A variety of three- and four-bedroom homes is available at Jelson Homes’ Thurnmead development in Thurnby, a semi-rural location on the eastern fringes of the city. Priced from £239,950 including carpets, flooring and some appliances, these homes can also be purchased through Help to Buy. The location has direct links to the city centre and eastwards to Stamford and Peterborough. This housebuilder also has developments at other villages on the outskirts, such as Wigston and Birstall.
There is a handful of four-bedroom detached house types for sale from Linden Homes at Trinity Brook in Whetstone. Currently priced from £269,950 to £349,950, these homes can be purchased with a variety of assistance schemes, such as Help to Buy, Assisted Move and Part Exchange, to suit buyers in different situations.