Anyone thinking of buying a home early this year may witness increasing competition in the months leading up to April, when the three percentage point stamp duty increase is introduced for buy-to-let investors. Experts say this could cause a flurry of housing market activity as investors rush to beat the deadline.
After April's mad dash to complete transactions, however, there is a possibility that the housing market may stall a little – potentially giving first time buyers a better chance thanks to less competition from buy-to-let landlords. This is particularly good news for buyers in regions such as the South West that are popular amongst property investors.
Home to the forward-thinking city of Bristol and several other major urban centres – including Bath, Swindon, Plymouth, Gloucester and Exeter – there are brand new developments distributed right across the South West.
Housing developers also face fierce competition from one another to acquire building plots in the most popular parts of the region, such as Bristol – but for buyers there are some great current and future developments to consider. These include:
Primrose Hill in Torquay, Devon (Cavanna Homes)
The first homes at Primrose Hill will be ready to move into this Spring, including some two-, three- and four-bedroom options – all of which have designated parking spaces, while many enjoy integrated garages.
Situated in the popular coastal town of Torquay, the development is ideal for families as it is close to well-regarded primary schools as well as Torquay Academy and Torquay Girls' and Boys' Grammar Schools. There are a wide range of other local amenities nearby, and lovely outdoor areas within easy striking distance such as the South Hams, Dartmoor and Torbay.
Made up of a total of 155 properties, the homes at Primrose Hill feature a contemporary design including a mix of materials such as render, weatherboard cladding and stone, while the overall development incorporates plenty of open spaces and greenery.
Prices: From £259,995
Find out more about Primrose Hill from Cavanna Homes
Folly Gardens in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (Kier Living)
This development of two-, three- and four-bedroom homes in Cheltenham has proved very popular, with homes selling quickly, and as a result there are only three-bedroom options now available.
Situated within walking distance of the centre of historic Cheltenham, Folly Gardens offers low-maintenance living in modern homes that combine great design with practicality.
Cheltenham offers some superb schooling options, fantastic boutique shopping, great restaurants and excellent transport links. Cheltenham Spa railway station, on the eastern side of the town, offers services to the surrounding towns as well as many destinations further afield such as Birmingham, Cardiff and London Paddington.
The town is also well-placed for accessing the national motorway network, with the M5 at junctions 10 and 11 within easy reach for journeys north to Worcester and Birmingham, or south to Bristol and the South West.
Prices: From £235,995
Find out more at www.kierliving.co.uk ; 07800 507980
Battlewell in Purton, Wiltshire (Hills Homes)
Ideal for house hunters in the Swindon area, this stylish development of high specification, four-bedroom detached homes is situated in the historic and sought-after village of Purton. There is now just one property remaining,’The Fox’, a substantial home with detached double garage.
Nestled in a lovely spot between the Cotswolds and the Marlborough Downs, Purton is just four miles from Swindon and three miles from junction 16 of the M4 motorway, making it very convenient for commuters.
The village offers a good range of amenities including two schools, several shops, a sub-post office, a library, a local museum, three pubs, a GP practice, a dentist, and a veterinary surgery, as well as a number of sports clubs. And for nature-lovers, Purton is home to four Wiltshire Wildlife Trust reserves.
Find out more at www.hills-homes.co.uk ; 01793 430588
The Harringtons in Exeter, Devon (Redrow Homes)
On the eastern fringes of Exeter, The Harringtons is within easy striking distance of both the city centre (less than four miles away) and a range of natural local attractions such as the beaches of the South Coast and Dartmoor National Park.
Only four-bedroom family properties are currently available at the development, although two- and three-bedroom options will be coming soon to suit couples and smaller families.
All of the homes will incorporate high specification features designed to offer comfortable modern family living, while the exteriors are designed to capture the essence of classic English style.
Pinhoe local railway station is nearby for commuters who want to catch the train into Exeter or London Waterloo, while the M5 is also within easy reach for those travelling north or south by road.
Prices: From £349,995
Find out more about The Harringtons from Redrow Homes
Cotswold Chase in Gloucester (Bellway Homes)
Just 10 minutes from Gloucester city centre, in the pretty village of Brockworth, Cotswold Chase is a development of well-proportioned contemporary homes in a superb location.
Brockworth overlooks the Cotswold escarpment, yet it is only two miles from junction 11a of the M5 motorway. London commutes by rail are also straightforward thanks to direct train services from Gloucester to Paddington in less than an hour.
A mile away at Coopers Edge there are a whole host of leisure and recreational facilities including bars, restaurants, cafés, pubs and shops. Three miles away the centre of Gloucester offers many further options, or Cheltenham offers a pleasant alternative, just 10 miles away.
Find out more at www.bellway.co.uk ; 01452 616850
Saint Joseph’s Garden in Portishead, Somerset (Acorn Bristol)
This development comprises contemporary two- and four-bedroom houses and one- and two-bedroom apartments, occupying the grounds of a former convent and school located on the fringes of the Portishead Conservation Area. The properties are surrounded by mature gardens and the new homes complement the listed Georgian mansion house at the heart of the scheme very well.
The specification includes Leicht kitchens with Siemens appliances, Duravit/Vado bathrooms and en suites and engineered timber flooring.
The shopping facilities of Portishead’s town centre are just half-a-mile to the east, whilst the restaurants and bars of Port Marine are less than a mile away. A good handful of pre-school, infant and junior schools fall within a mile radius of the development.
The centre of Bristol is easily commutable at less than 12 road miles away, Gloucester is 38 miles distant, and the cities of Newport and Cardiff are 28 and 40 miles away respectively. The M5 is just three miles from Portishead.
Prices: From £210,000
Find out more at www.acornbristol.co.uk ; 0117 244 0400
Borough View in Bodmin, Cornwall (Wainhomes)
Offering a wide range of properties, including one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom homes, Borough View is situated in the large market town of Bodmin in north Cornwall. The homes are built to a high specification in a contemporary style that is designed to suit a modern family lifestyle.
The location provides easy access to key commuter routes (the A30 and A38), while both Bodmin Parkway railway station and the recently-developed Beacon Technology Park are within close proximity to Borough View. There are a whole host of family attractions in the area to fill up residents' leisure time, too, including Bodmin Beacon local nature reserve.
Prices: From £115,000
Find out more at www.wainhomes.net ; 07736 336894