Despite calls from property experts for stamp duty to be reduced or slashed for first time buyers, chancellor Philip Hammond's Spring Budget failed to address the issue – so it looks like many prospective home owners will continue to struggle to enter the housing market.
In the South East, buyers purchasing their first property now find themselves falling into the third tax band (which applies for properties priced between £250,001 and £925,000) – paying a hefty 5% Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).
With the current squeeze in disposable incomes, purchase assistance schemes such as Help to Buy become all the more vital. For those moving up the ladder, however – particularly those with a substantial buying budget – the south east offers some superb luxury developments to suit discerning buyers.
Here we have put together a selection of brand new developments across the South East, including options to suit a variety of budgets.
Clarence Place in Bracknell, Berkshire (Persimmon)
Forming part of the wider Jennett’s Park community near the town of Bracknell, this development offers a choice of one- and two-bedroom apartments and three- and four-bedroom homes, with special price offers currently available.
With its close proximity to London, this popular location offers easy access to larger centres and has great commuter links and fantastic local schools. It is an affluent area with a wealth of amenities and leisure and recreational options, while Clarence Place itself has the added benefit of being right next to a brand new landscaped country park.
Prices: From £215,000.
Find out more about Clarence Place from Persimmon Homes
Claybourne at Broadacres in Southwater, West Sussex (Berkeley)
This collection of unique new homes is set in the lovely village location of Southwater in the Horsham district of West Sussex. Ultimately, Broadacres will provide a range of high quality two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom homes to suit a wide range of buyers, but in the first and current phase - Claybourne - there are two-, three- and four-bedroom homes available, set against a backdrop of undulating Sussex countryside and surrounded by generous parkland.
The properties have been designed to fit in well with the existing character of the area, creating a sustainable new neighbourhood set amongst attractive open spaces and close to improved local amenities.
The village of Southwater is charming yet offers all the modern amenities you would want from a village centre, including a supermarket, chemist, doctor's surgery, library, florist and pubs. Southwater Country Park, a 70-acre site with three lakes and numerous access paths, is near the centre of the village, and is home to walks, a café, a skate park and a children's adventure playground, as well as Southwater Water Sports Centre with facilities for sailing and canoeing. The Country Park also provides direct access to the Downs Link footpath/cycleway. Nearby the market town of Horsham is a popular place for shopping and markets.
Prices: From £335,000
Find out more about Broadacres from Berkeley
Pynham Manor in Hambrook, West Sussex (Mildren Homes)
Just three plots now remain at this exclusive collection of 30 brand new two-, three- and five-bedroom homes. Situated in the village of Hambrook, Pynham Manor is well-located in a lovely spot between beautiful Chichester Harbour and the South Downs National Park.
Organised in a crescent-shaped layout with an adjoining area of parkland featuring allotments and a newly-planted orchard, the development incorporates designs and materials that fit in seamlessly with the local area. The classic exteriors feature traditional designs such as feature brickwork, slate roofs, porch canopies and bay windows, while inside every property has a high quality specification to offer modern comfort and convenience.
Lively and historic Chichester is only six miles away, with its famous 12th century Cathedral, art galleries, shops, restaurants, and the renowned Festival Theatre. For commuters, Nutbourne railway station is less than half a mile away, providing regular services to Chichester and Havant and further afield, while by road there are great connections via the A259 to the A27 and onward to the M27 and A3(M).
Prices: From £465,000
Find out more at www.mildrenhomes.co.uk or call 01243 574552.
Mulberry Place in New Romney, Kent (Pentland Homes)
Family homes are available in the small, pretty town of New Romney in Kent, just a mile and a half from the sea, and close to the beautiful beaches of Littlestone and Greatstone. Ideal for families who want to enjoy living in an area with superb leisure and schooling options, the town sits on the edge of Romney Marsh, an 100-square mile area of wetlands which is home to diverse wildlife and some of the nation’s most endangered bird species.
There are five primary schools within a five mile radius of Mulberry Place, and The Marsh Academy for 11- to 18-year-olds is just a few minutes’ walk away. The town is also home to a great selection of amenities, including an historic high street and a leisure centre, and has good transport links close by. There are regular bus services to towns such as Ashford, Dover, Folkestone and Hythe, for example, and high speed services to London via HS1 and to mainland Europe via Eurostar less than thirty minutes away thanks to nearby Ashford International station (14 miles away).
Prices: Available four-bedroom homes are priced from £549,995 (or £439,996 with Help to Buy)
Find out more at pentlandhomes.co.uk or call 01797 361151.
Westminster Fields in Harpenden, Hertfordshire (Shanly Homes / William H Brown)
This luxury development of 32 contemporary four- and five-bedroom detached homes, due for launch soon, is ideal for commuters to the capital thanks to Harpenden's direct, frequent and fast rail connection through Central London. The rail journey from Harpenden to St Pancras International takes just 25 minutes, for example.
The development is situated on the fringes of the town, which boasts an abundance of parks and commons, a good range of shops and supermarkets, several schools, and plenty of other amenities.
“Westminster Fields is a stunning development and is in an excellent location which offers the peace of the countryside whilst being just a short distance from the town centre and excellent transport links”, says Angela Hancox, land & new homes director at Sequence UK Limited. “We are thrilled to market this development – which is a collection of beautiful houses perfect for families of all sizes and commuters – and we expect them to be very popular.”
The homes feature professionally designed kitchens with fully-integrated appliances, en-suite bathrooms to master bedrooms, fully landscaped gardens and off-road parking with garages – while some homes also have balconies offering views over the surrounding countryside.
Prices: From £900,000.
Find out more at www.shanlyhomes.com or call the William H Brown branch in St Albans on 01727 834838.
Hawthorn Chase in Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire (Charles Church)
In Buckinghamshire, Hawthorn Chase will soon bring three-, four-and five-bedroom homes to this central location surrounded by key regional towns, with a good network of schools, great transport links via rail and road, and excellent local shopping and leisure facilities.
Situated in the village of Aston Clinton between Tring and Aylesbury, the development will enjoy views across the Chiltern Hills. The village has a local store, a coffee shop and a pharmacy, all within walking distance of Hawthorn Chase, plus there's Aston Clinton Park with its children's playground, trim trail and skate park. When it comes to schooling, there is a local pre-school and primary school half a mile away, and the nearest secondary schools are Aylesbury Grammar School (3.4 miles) and the Tring School (5.3 miles). There are lots more shops to choose from in nearby Aylesbury, including at the 60+ store Friars Square Shopping Centre. And for bigger shopping expeditions or further entertainment options, the vibrant city of Oxford is only 29 miles away.
Despite its rural location, Aston Clinton has good commuter links. The M1 and M25 are about 40 minutes' drive away via the A41, with the M40 accessible via the A41 and A414 west-bound – connecting residents to London, Oxford and the North.
Find out more at www.charleschurch.com or call 01296 321 975.
Summerswood, Ifield (Martin Grant Homes)
Martin Grant Homes have just launched Summerswood, which is made up of 27 3-, 4- and 5-bedroom homes offering an excellent chance to buy a luxury home in the historic village of Ifield.
Situated on the very edge of the lfield Village Conservation Area, with nothing but rich woodland and open fields beyond and combining the delights of rural village living with the bustle of a vibrant market town, this new development offers the best of everything. Ifield’s clusters of neighbourhood stores can provide day-to-day essentials, with a selection of pubs and restaurants, while the village offers an excellent choice of schools for all ages.
Ideal for commuters to London, with London Victoria 49 minutes away on the train and with Gatwick Airport just 12 minutes away and easy access to the M23 and M25, Summerswood is located in an internationally recognised business location and is also close to the busy town of Horsham.
Prices: From £619,950
Find out more at www.martingranthomes.co.uk