The average worker in East Anglia would need to more than double their existing salary in order to afford a mortgage for their first home in the region, according to media reports this week.
As house prices continue to escalate despite stagnating salaries, research by the National Housing Federation (NHF) has highlighted the tough challenge facing potential buyers who are struggling to secure their first home.
In Essex and Suffolk, for example, average house values are nearly 11 times more than annual salaries. The government's Help to Buy equity loan scheme, which makes it possible to get a mortgage for a new or existing home with a deposit of just 5%, is available on newly built homes priced up to £600,000 – for first-time buyers as well as home owners looking to move.
Here is a selection of brand new homes currently for sale in East Anglia within this price range, with Help to Buy options available on many of them.
Mayflower Green in Saxmundham, Suffolk (David Wilson Homes)
This collection of three- and four-bedroom homes in the busy market town of Saxmundham is situated within easy reach of Suffolk's Heritage Coast and the A12, which provides access to Norwich, Ipswich, London and Lowestoft. Selected homes there are currently being offered with an enhanced interior package, and one final plot is available on the shared equity scheme through Saffron Housing (where the buyer pays just 75% of the market value).
There are a range of shops and other amenities on the development's doorstep, and the local train station offers access to key commuter routes – including hourly commuter trains to London. For leisure time, the area is home to scenic walks at locations such as Rendlesham forest and Walberswick beach; historic sites such as Framlingham Castle; and boutique shopping in towns such as Aldeburgh and Woodbridge.
Prices: From £129,995
Find out more on WhatHouse? ; 01702 416709
Highbanks in Southend-on-Sea, Essex (Weston Homes)
The entire tenth floor of six apartments at this office-to-resi conversion has been completed, with one of them interior designed by Max Whitlock, the Olympic and World champion gymnast, and Blocc Interiors. The development will provide 97 spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, each with underfloor heating to key rooms, with commanding views over the coastal town and the Thames Estuary.
The homes have Oakwood kitchens featuring integrated Zanussi appliances, a choice of quartz stone worktops and the Weston Homes signature Fascino instant boiling-water tap. Bathrooms are fitted with Laufen and Roca sanitaryware with RAK ceramic tiling. Each apartment in the development will also be entitled to a parking space.
The town has two commuter routes to London, with Southend Victoria just 10 minutes’ walk from Highbanks.
Prices: From £159,995
Find out more on WhatHouse? ; 01279 873300
Whittlesey Green in Whittlesey, Peterborough (Larkfleet Homes)
Most of the homes on this development in a village just six miles east of Peterborough have been reserved, but there are a few opportunities to buy one of this collection of two-, three- four- and five-bedroom properties, each of which have solar panels fitted as standard.
The local schools, shops, services, and the amenities of Peterborough and March, are easily accessible from this development, which also has the advantage of being directly opposite a planned larger superstore. Whittlesey itself has its own weekly market and holds the unique local festival of the ‘Straw Bear’, or ‘Strawbower’, each January, which takes over much of the town.
The town benefits from its own rail station which links directly with Ely and Peterborough and provides easy access to Cambridge, London and Stansted Airport. Road users are within easy reach of both the A47 and A1.
Prices: From £160,995
Find out more on WhatHouse? ; 0330 017 2394
The Oaks in Attleborough, Norfolk (Bloor Homes)
The first phase of brand new three- and four-bedroom houses has now been released at this development in a traditional market town in the heart of Norfolk. A show home is now open for viewing by prospective buyers.
The town's infant, junior and high schools are all within walking distance of the development, alongside a good selection of local shops, supermarkets, cafes and restaurants. Attleborough also has a Sainsbury’s superstore and its own sports hall with a range of leisure facilities.
Situated just off the A11 on the Norwich to London road, with the A14 and M11 motorway within easy reach, Attleborough offers excellent transport links for commuters, yet retains a traditional market town feel. It also has its own railway station, with regular services to Norwich (journey time of around 25 minutes) and Cambridge (less than an hour).
Prices: From £279,995
Find out more on WhatHouse? ; 07442 530588
Duchess Park in Cambourne, Cambridgeshire (Taylor Wimpey)
In Cambridgeshire, Duchess Park is a brand new collection of contemporary two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom houses from Taylor Wimpey. Situated within the new community of Cambourne, and surrounded by attractive Cambridgeshire countryside, the development is less than ten miles from the centre of Cambridge itself and is also neighbours with St Neots and Bedford.
There are several primary schools in the local area, and great transport links. There are regular buses to Cambridge, while by car the A1 is close by, linking the town with London to the south and Peterborough to the north, while the A14 offers access to the Midlands and other parts of East Anglia.
Prices: From £257,995
Find out more at www.taylorwimpey.co.uk ; 01954 770233
Summers Park in Lawford, Essex (Rose Builders)
The housebuilder is inviting you to register your interst in this range og two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom homes overlooking Dedham Vale, set within tree-lined boulevards, classic garden squares and newly created parkland. Inside, each home is promised to be “as impressive as they are on the outside, designed to maximise space and light”.
The countryside surrounding Summers Park is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and was made famous by artists including Constable, Gainsborough and Munnings. The historic market town of Manningtree, overlooking the River Stour, is within easy walking distance, with its attractive high street featuring some excellent restaurants.
The rail commute from Manningtree to London Liverpool Street has frequent services, the fastest of which take under an hour to reach The City.
Find out more at summers-park.co.uk
Wheatlands in Barningham, Suffolk (Hopkins & Moore)
There is just one plot remaining at this popular development in the rural village of Barningham, surrounded by Suffolk countryside, ‘The Bardwell’, a three-bedroom property with a garage and parking.
Close by, the village store and post office cater for many day-to-day essentials while the public house serves lunches and evening meals. There is also a primary school and a church in the village. The market town of Thetford is only eight miles away, and historic Bury St Edmunds is 11 miles away, offering a wider choice of independent and high street shops, restaurants and cafés as well as the award-winning twice weekly market.
Barningham is also situated almost equidistant between the county town of Ipswich (28 miles) and the vibrant city of Norwich (31 miles), and has excellent transport links -- including good access from nearby Thetford railway station to Norwich (36 minutes), Cambridge (46 minutes) and London Liverpool Street (1 hour 32 minutes) via the mainline rail network.
Find out more at www.hopkinshomes.co.uk ; 01359 245245 (David Burr)