Despite the current economic uncertainty following the Brexit vote, some experts argue that now may be a good climate for first-time buyers – if they can secure the necessary deposit.
Many prospective house buyers are, however, becoming increasingly cautious about committing to a property purchase – as the outlook for jobs, wages and house prices becomes more uncertain. This is part of a wider crash in consumer confidence following the EU referendum.
On the other hand, a drop in mortgage rates over the past few months has meant that the average mortgage interest payment made by first-time buyers over two years has fallen by more than £1,300. Research by AmTrust International reveals that the average payment fell from £11,327 in the first three months of 2015 to £10,019 in the same period in 2016. Their research also shows that the cost of one year’s rent has risen by £300 (3%) from an average of £9,188 in the first quarter of 2015 to an average of £9,488 a year later – which makes getting on the property ladder an even more attractive prospect.
So, record low interest rates mean that those who are lucky enough to be able to buy their own property are benefiting from lower payments, while tenants in rental properties continue to see costs rise – penalising those who are struggling to save up for their deposit.
In the South West of England there continues to be a great choice of brand new homes at developments throughout the region for housebuyers thinking of taking the plunge into homeownership, as well as those wishing to upsize or downsize. Our latest selection includes options in the city of Bristol as well as in Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire and Devon.
Hele Park in Newton Abbot, Devon (Taylor Wimpey)
Spacious, flexible and practical three-storey family townhouses are now available here, situated on the western fringes of the attractive market town of Newton Abbot. Schools in the local area cater for children of all ages, including Canada Hill Primary School, which is rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, and Bradley Barton Primary and Newton Abbot College, both of which are rated as ‘good’.
Each property incorporates double doors off the lounge/dining room to help the family to make the most of their garden, while the kitchen/breakfast room has plenty of space for a table, making it ideal for enjoying mealtimes together.
“Three-storey living is the way to go for those who need or want more space but haven’t got a big additional budget to fund it – however sometimes people need to visualise how they’ll use a property before they go ahead with a house purchase," says Clare Brimble, regional sales and marketing director for Taylor Wimpey. Prospective buyers can take a tour of a three-storey show home at the development to get a good feel for its spacious layout and thoughtful design. “However, with demand already running high, I’d urge people not to leave it too late before they find out more,” Brimble adds.
For commuters, Newton Abbot railway station offers direct services to Plymouth, Exeter and London Paddington, while the A38 is about three miles away for speedy links to Plymouth, Exeter and the M5.
Prices: From £185,000
Find out more about Hele Park from Taylor Wimpey
Phoenix in Bridgwater, Somerset (Barratt Homes)
Just a short walk from the market town of Bridgwater, at the edge of the Somerset Levels, this development offers two-, three- and four-bedroom homes designed for modern living, offering a generous amount of living and storage space.
Commuting is straightforward, with Bridgwater railway station and the M5 motorway both a short drive away, and for families with children Phoenix is within the catchment area of good schools, and also has pleasant parks and playing fields nearby. Bridgwater town centre is less than a mile away, while Somerset's country town of Taunton is about a 20-minute drive away.
Help to Buy is available on properties here for buyers with a 5% deposit to offer.
Prices: From £185,995
Find out more about Phoenix from Barratt Homes
St George’s Mews, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (Elan Homes)
St George’s Mews, an Elan Homes development situated close to Cheltenham's prestigious town centre, is proving popular with countryside-based families who want to buy a second property near the town’s well-respected educational establishments.
“Cheltenham has always held appeal with parents, who are drawn to relocate to the town centre to be close to its abundance of schools and colleges, which includes Cheltenham Ladies College, Cheltenham College and Pate’s Grammar School, to name a few," explains Andrea Nippe, sales director for Elan Homes in the South. “However, what’s interesting to us is the surge in enquiries from parents seeking a second property here – a weekday bolt-hole close to the town centre that offers the convenience of being near their child’s school and is commutable to work Monday to Friday - before they return to their primary family home in the country at the weekend."
Of the 12 three- and four-bedroom homes at this exclusive development, almost half are already reserved.
Prices: From £300,000
Find out more at www.elan-homes.co.uk ; 07795 172151
Lawrence Green in Bristol (Redrow Homes)
This new development from Redrow promises to deliver homes to suit a wide range of buyers: from stylish apartments to two-, three- and four-bedroom houses, all situated close to Redrow’s innovative Cheswick Urban Village and its wide range of facilities.
Cheswick Urban Village boasts its own brand new primary school, Wallscourt Farm Academy, alongside local alternatives such as Stoke Park or Shield Road. Older children can choose between a number of good quality local schools, including Fairfield High School, Abbeywood Community School and Upper Horfield Community School.
Offering the ultimate in convenience, the location offers good local amenities combined with excellent transport connections via motorways and mainline rail, with Bristol city centre only four miles away. This means commuters from Lawrence Green will be able to enjoy easy access to Bristol and beyond, and then in their leisure time can indulge in activities such as golfing; visiting Bristol’s historic harbourside, zoo and many other attractions; and spending time in the Mendip Hills.
Find out more about all current Redrow Homes developments
Tadpole Gate at Tadpole Garden Village in Swindon, Wiltshire (Crest Nicholson)
This is just one part of the huge Tadpole Garden Village scheme that will see a distinct new community of nearly 1,700 homes set within a 179 hectare rural location on the northern outskirts of Swindon. The new homes will be set on tree-lined avenues, with large front and rear gardens and generous on-plot parking;
The development will also boast a local centre for its community, retail and convenience facilities, a new primary school, play areas including a cricket pitch, pedestrian and cycle networks, ponds and resident-only private allotments.
The government-backed Help to Buy scheme is available on homes priced up to £600,000.
Prices: From £319,000
Find out more about Tadpole Gate at Tadpole Garden Village from Crest Nicholson
Mudeford Place in Mudeford, Dorset (Antler Homes)
This development comprises just three townhouses in a fishing village on the north side of Christchurch Harbour. Buyers can choose between one three-bedroom and two four-bedroom homes, all with private parking and generous living accommodation.
Sales director for Antler Homes, Denise Stewart, said: “Mudeford Place offers a high standard of living in a sought-after location, and we’re very pleased to be releasing these individually designed homes to the market. With this development situated in the heart of the Mudeford Quay conservation area, our design team has worked hard to ensure these homes are sympathetic to the existing character of the local area, and we are sure that they will become a great addition to the existing community.
Prices: From £825,000
Find out more at www.antlerhomes.co.uk ; 01202 676333 (Connells)