News reports early this month have suggested that first time buyers may be the main losers in the Brexit fallout when it comes to the housing market – although purchase incentive schemes such as Help to Buy could still offer a helping hand.
House prices have shown surprising resilience since the Brexit vote, with indices from Halifax and the Office for National Statistics revealing that prices are still rising rapidly, and a summer lull accounting for only a modest cooling. At the same time, there has been a small net drop in the number of 95% mortgages available since the EU referendum.
So, despite mortgage rates being at record lows, and monthly affordability therefore at a record high, would-be home owners may find themselves struggling more than ever to get a foot on the housing ladder. For aspiring home owners in the South West, many new developments across the region are offering Help to Buy and other purchase incentive schemes which could make enough of a difference to make a new home more affordable. Here we have found some brand new developments in Devon, Somerset, Wiltshire, Bristol and Gloucestershire, most of which offer such schemes.
Meldon Fields in Okehampton, Devon (Linden Homes)
Two-, three- and four-bedroom homes are available at Meldon Fields, a development which overlooks open countryside, yet is situated on the edge of the west Devon town of Okehampton – potentially appealing to many first time buyers and families.
There is a primary school and a college offering secondary provision within the town itself, plus various other educational options in the wider local area, making the location a handy one for families with school-aged children. Situated at the northern edge of Dartmoor, there are also plenty of opportunities for outdoor pursuits nearby, while for shopping and business the lively city of Exeter is only 25 miles away.
Prices: From £159,950
Find out more at www.lindenhomes.co.uk ; 01837 732042
Now released in the historic cathedral city of Wells, the first phase of homes at Bishops Green includes energy-efficient, three- and four-bedroom family homes offering plenty of flexible living space.
Expected to sell quickly, these homes form part of a brand new development that will ultimately incorporate a wide selection of properties ranging from two-bedroom starter homes right through to substantial five-bedroom properties. Situated two miles from the city centre, there are good schools nearby – including Wells Cathedral School just five minutes away – while the A37 is only seven miles away, and Bristol and Bath are both 20 miles away.
“Wells is a beautiful part of the country to live in and it’s easy to see why homes here are in high demand," says David Wilson sales director Louise Ware. "The City of Wells, steeped in medieval history, is full of character and something residents are proud to have on their doorstep. With the Mendip Hills, Cheddar Gorge and Wookey Hole Caves not far away, Bishops Green is perfectly located for those who enjoy the great outdoors.”
Prices: From £275,000
Find out more about Bishops Green from David Wilson Homes
Clarendon Place in Petersfinger, Salisbury, Wiltshire (Kitewood Estates)
Eight new three- and four-bedroom family houses are now available on a private road in the village of Petersfinger, less than two miles from the centre of Salisbury, with its many shops, leisure facilities and great schools.
“Clarendon Place offers modern, functional homes with the timeless traditional architecture that Salisbury buyers look for," says Susan Nicklen, sales and marketing manager at Kitewood. "The homes provide excellent space for entertaining and a choice of arrangements to suit either lovers of open-plan or those who prefer separate rooms.”
There is a handy park and ride nearby offering easy links into the city centre, and Southampton and the South Coast are only 25 minutes' drive away via the A36. For commuters, the A303 and M3 are about 11 miles away offering access to business hubs along the M25, and to the West Country. Then there's Salisbury railway station, which offers regular services to Bristol Temple Meads in just over an hour, and to London Waterloo in about an hour and a half.
Salisbury is surrounded by some gorgeous countryside, offering plenty of outdoor activities such as cycling in the New Forest and canoeing on the River Avon, or days on the beaches of the South Coast.
Prices: From £275,000.
Find out more by calling Woolley & Wallis on 01722 424524
Electricity House in Bristol (Crest Nicholson)
Situated right in the heart of Bristol, within the College Green conservation area, this development from Crest Nicholson offers luxurious, contemporary apartments over two floors within an iconic art deco city centre building designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott.
The properties available include apartments as well as penthouses that offer generous living space spread across two storeys. The central location will mean buyers are close to some of the city's best shops and restaurants, as well as much of Bristol's richest heritage, while only being a quarter of a mile from the M32, linking to the M4 and M5 for trips elsewhere.
Prices: From £239,960
Find out more at www.crestnicholson.com ; 0117 2444047
Potters Pond in Wotton under Edge, Gloucestershire (Crest Nicholson)
This relatively small development is made up of 46 high-specification, two-bedroom apartments and two-, three- and four-bedroom houses with traditional designs, situated in the country town of Wotton under Edge.
At the southern edge of the Cotswolds, Wotton under Edge is in a convenient spot, equidistant from Gloucester and Bristol, Cheltenham, Cirencester and Bath. The charming High Street is only about five minutes' walk from Potters Pond, and the town is also home to good primary and secondary schools, several pubs, and a good range of supporting facilities such as doctors' surgeries and dentists.
Prices: From £279,995
Find out more at www.crestnicholson.com ; 01453 706955
Holburne Park in Bath, Somerset (Hardrock Developments)
Leading classical architect Robert Adam, who designed the Duchy of Cornwall’s acclaimed Poundbury in Dorset, is now working on a new development in Bath on a former Ministry of Defence site.
The 200+ homes will be arranged to create an intimate village atmosphere, and the new neighbourhood aims to offer buyers the rare opportunity to own contemporary new homes close to central Bath, with far-reaching views of the city's unique skyline and the open countryside beyond.
Nestled in a secluded setting bordering the Kennet and Avon Canal, Holburne Park is surrounded by green spaces yet is only a short walk from the lively city centre. The development will offer a mix of two- to six-bedroom homes including apartments, terraced homes and villas set in landscaped grounds.
"We are really looking forward to transforming this site into a new community-focused neighbourhood for Bath, drawing on the history of the city to create homes that are modern classics," says Francis Firmstone, director of Hardrock Developments.
“There are many people who like the idea of living in a classical period property but don’t want the burden of the associated upkeep of a listed or heritage building. Holburne Park will offer the character of classical architecture but with all the advantages of modern fittings and contemporary design.”
The first phase of the development will consist of 64 homes, including affordable housing, and the first of these are expected to be ready for occupation early to mid-2017.
Find out more www.savills.co.uk ; 01225 474591