Quality of life makes new homes in Winchester a magnet for London commuters
Posted 29 February 2016 by Keith Osborne
Winchester is a designated heritage city with many historic buildings including the famous Winchester Cathedral which is the resting place for celebrated author Jane Austen. With a population of 118,000, Winchester attracts around 5.6million visitors a year and has a growing university population of over 6,000 students.
Frequently ranked as one of the best places to live in the UK in the annual Halifax Quality of Life Survey, Winchester is a wealthy city with low levels of unemployment. Its city centre is famous for its many medieval streets clustered around the cathedral.
The property market is driven by a lack of stock and high demand for centrally located properties. “This is keeping prices relatively high in as people compete for schools in the desired catchment areas and for easy access to the railway station,” says Elaine French, associate at Strutt & Parker Winchester. “There are several new build sites around Winchester under construction and they will undoubtedly sell very well.”
This autumn, work is due to start on King's Barton, a new community of 2,000 homes to the north of Winchester, where CALA Homes will build a wide range of properties, from starter homes to detached family houses. The development plans also include brand new amenities such as a school, health centre, green open spaces and transport links.
Winchester offers an array of unique, independent shops and boutiques as well as traditional and nationally-known stores. It hosts the largest farmers’ market in the England twice a month, giving just a hint of its foodie profile with a burgeoning café culture and restaurants from Rick Stein, Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall and Raymond Blanc as well as the Michelin-starred Black Rat. The city holds a Purple Flag award recognising it a safe city for a night out.
The Winchester Festival held annually in July brings a feast of music, literature, theatre and the visual arts to the city. An Everyman cinema offers mainstream releases alongside independent and foreign language films. Winchester has a deep interest in theatre, with several amateur groups as well as the newly refurbished Theatre Royal.
The South Downs National Park and Test Way is on the city’s doorstep offering a wide choice of walks. The nearby New Forest is a paradise for walking, riding and cycling, while Lymington and Southampton are major sailing centres within easy reach.
Winchester has a good range of high performing state and private schools including Westgate and King’s comprehensives and St Swithuns and Winchester College in the private sector.
Fast rains into London Waterloo from Winchester take just 58 minutes and run every 20 minutes during peak times. Southampton Airport is just over 20 minutes by train.
A monthly season ticket to London costs £466.60 from Winchester (£4,860 annually) with the fastest journey time between Winchester and London Waterloo 58 minutes. Trains to Southampton Airport take 21 minutes (£88.40 monthly, £920 annually).
There is easy access to the M3, A303 and A34 with Heathrow under an hour via the M3 and Gatwick 1 hour 19 minutes. Southampton Airport is located 15 minutes away by train. Ferry services from Portsmouth link to various ports in France, Spain and the Netherlands.
Winchester City Council is planning a multi-million-pound regeneration scheme near the railway station providing new offices, parking, homes, public spaces and shops.
Here is a selection of the new homes for sale in Winchester or nearby right now:
|Bishopstoke Park (Anchor) – This welcoming retirement village has a range of just 36 stylish one- and two-bedroom apartments designed to offer an independent lifestyle with beautiful views across the village centre and grounds yet within access of the M3. Professional care and support is included within the development. Prices start at £322,000. Find out more about Bishopstoke Park from Anchor |
|Winchester Village (Bovis Homes) – Just under two miles from the centre of Winchester, surrounded by the rolling Hampshire countryside, Winchester Village is a stunning range of two-bedroom apartments and three-, four- and five-bedroom homes. Prices range from £371,950 to £1.1m. Find out more at www.bovishomes.co.uk ; 01962 440445|
|The Sidings (Taylor Wimpey) – These two-bedroom apartments and two-, three- and four-bedroom homes are ideally located within walking distance of Eastleigh station with trains to London in 75 minutes. Just south of Winchester and well placed for access to the M27, Southampton Airport is also within easy reach. Prices start from £275,000. Find out more at www.taylorwimpey.co.uk ; 01962 676700|
|Bakers Quarter (Taylor Wimpey) – The three-bedroom, three-storey ‘Woodbury’ family home is now available at this sought-after development in the popular town of Eastleigh situated between Southampton and Winchester and within easy reach of the beautiful New Forest and South Downs National Park. There is a good choice of primary and secondary schools nearby and Eastleigh Station has trains to London and the south coast. Prices range from £297,500. Find out more at www.taylorwimpey.co.uk ; 01962 676700|
|The Limes (Bargate Homes) – Coming soon is this contemporary collection of one- and two-bedroom apartments and three- and four-bedroom detached homes at the heart of Winchester a short walk for the station. The Limes also benefits easy access to Junction 9 of the M3 motorway. Prices from £250,000. Find out more at www.bargatehomes.co.uk ; 023 8060 2255|
Lovedon Fields (HAB Housing) – Taking shape now, and due for completion in 2017, is this collection of homes, with one- to five-bedroom properties offering an appealing mix centred on a village green. This semi-rural site is on the edge of Kings Worthy, just two miles from the centre of Winchester. Prices start at £467,500 for the current releases. Find out more at www.habhousing.co.uk ; 0117 403 0715