If one of your New Year resolutions is to buy a new home, you may already be getting started on the hunt for your dream property.
NHBC chief executive Mike Quinton says the UK is still building way below the volumes of new homes that it desperately needs, which means there can be high demand for those new builds that are on the market. In some parts of East Anglia, particularly areas that are commutable from London, there is tough competition for properties – with average house prices often reaching almost 11 times the average annual salary in the region.
In other areas homes are more affordable, however, and buyers can also look at the purchase assistance schemes available to see if they are eligible. The government-backed Help to Buy scheme, for example, provides an equity loan covering 20% of the property value, and demands a deposit of just 5% from the buyer – which means the mortgage only needs to cover 75% of the value.
Here we have put together a range of new build developments right across East Anglia that will suit a wide range of budgets...
Earl’s Garden in Sible Hedingham, Essex (Bloor Homes)
House-hunters seeking a village location will be delighted with this development of one- and two-bedroom apartments alongside houses with two to five bedrooms – truly a mix to suit almost everyone.
Sible Hedingham is one of the largest villages in Essex, well-serviced with shops and amenities, including a primary and secondary school, a public library and post office. Just across the River Colne lies Castle Hedingham, which hosts additional amenities including restaurants, tea rooms and the landmark of Hedingham Castle. Further afield, the attractive market towns of Sudbury, Halstead and Braintree provide a more comprehensive range of retail and leisure facilities.
Both Witham and Braintree’s mainline train stations provide a regular service to London’s Liverpool Street with an average journey time of 45 minutes and one hour respectively. The nearby A120 provides access to Stansted International Airport, the A12 and the M11.
Prices: From £262,995
Find out more about Earl’s Garden from Bloor Homes
Kingfisher Place in Leiston, Suffolk (Hopkins Homes)
There is currently a range of three- and four-bedroom houses for sale at this development, which sits in the Suffolk countryside between Aldeburgh and Southwold, just a mile from the beach.
This rural town is also a haven for walkers and cyclists, close to the coast and the RSPB's Minsmere nature reserve, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Leiston has its own leisure centre with swimming and gym facilities, a large Co-Op supermarket, post office, library, pubs and a range of smaller stores to meet everyday needs. The town also has its own primary school and high schools and is home to Summerhill, one of the most famous free schools in the world.
Saxmundham is five miles away, from where rail services run to Ipswich, just 39 minutes away, while London Liverpool St is just under two hours away. The A12 at Saxmundham leads towards London and Great Yarmouth, and links to the A14 at Ipswich.
Prices: From £169,995
Find out more about Kingfisher Place from Hopkins Homes
Trumpington Meadows in Cambridge (Barratt Homes)
Two-, three- and four-bedroom homes are available at this multi award-winning development, set within a beautiful 148-acre country park in Trumpington, where 83% of the current phase has now been sold.
Situated just three miles from the centre of Cambridge, Trumpington Meadows represents one of the UK's first 'Built for Life' developments – an achievement of excellence and a commendation for well-designed homes from the current WhatHouse? Sustainable Developer of the Year.
The homes are approached via welcoming tree-lined streets and private cul-de-sacs, and each property offers carefully planned, flowing interior layouts. For families with children, there is a new primary school located within the development, while commuters can enjoy quick and easy access to the M11.
Prices: From £429,995
Find out more about Trumpington Meadows from Barratt Homes
Earlsmead in Framingham Earl, Norfolk (Charles Church Developments)
Situated in the small, pretty village of Framingham Earl, seven miles south of Norwich, Earlsmead offers a collection of three-, four- and five-bedroom homes alongside two-bedroom bungalows, suiting a wide range of buyers.
The tranquil location combines peace and quiet with the convenience of being so close to the historic 'capital city' of Norfolk, with its many attractions, leisure facilities and shops. The village also has excellent schools, including the specialist sports college of Framingham Earl High School just half a mile away from the development.
Some of the region's major roads are easily accessible from the village, including the A146 to Norwich, the A140, A47 and A11, all heading towards large urban centres across the East of England.
Prices: From £247,950
Find out more at www.charleschurch.com ; 01508 219195
The Edge 3 in Hempsted, Peterborough (Persimmon Homes)
This brand new phase further expands Persimmon's development in Hempsted, on the southern fringes of the cathedral city of Peterborough, incorporating a wide variety of new homes to suit both first-time buyers and families.
Peterborough's railway station is only two miles away, offering trains to London Kings Cross in under 55 minutes, and the location also offers easy access to junction 17 of the A1(M) for commuters. The area is home to a good selection of schools for all ages, acres of green, open space, and some excellent shopping facilities -- including the brand new Serpentine Green Shopping Centre in Hampton, just over a mile away.
The A47 runs east to Wisbech and west to Leicester, while both Stansted and Luton airports are only about an hour away for trips further afield.
Prices: From £159,995
Find out more at www.persimmonhomes.com ; 0843 487 0847
Swan's Nest in Swaffham, Norfolk (Abel Homes)
Made up of two-, three- and four-bedroom energy-efficient, contemporary bungalows and houses, this development is situated in the market town of Swaffham, about 12 miles east of King's Lynn and 31 miles west of Norwich.
The homes offer a whole host of attractive features such as triple glazed windows; high performance 100mm cavity wall construction; efficient central heating; floor coverings throughout; a bespoke solar PV system; fast BT Fibre to every premises; A-rating SAP energy performance for lower household energy bills; and a high electrical specification, including a generous number of convenient sockets, intruder alarm system, low-energy LED light fittings, and lots more.
In terms of location, the A1065 Mildenhall to Fakenham road passes through the town centre on its north-south route, intersecting with the A47 just north of the town, offering handy commuter connections.
Prices: From £165,000
Find out more at www.abelhomes.co.uk ; 01953 884486