House prices in the East of England are expected to increase by 18.7% over the next 5 years, which is more than in any other region. But why is the East of England becoming such a desirable place to live?
Some of the locations showing the greatest property price rises are perhaps not those we might typically associate with the ‘good life’, while prices in areas that have long been some of the UK’s most desirable are falling.
Nowhere is this pattern better illustrated than in Stevenage or Bedford, where house prices rose by an average of 16% in the last year alone. If we compare that to Hammersmith and Fulham in affluent West London, or the picturesque English village of Helmsley on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors, where house prices fell over the last year, we see what is happening in the East of England is at odds with the rest of the country.
The Rise of the East of England
Over the next year, property price growth is expected to slow as Brexit uncertainty continues to grip the market. According to research by the estate agent Savills, average house prices will flatline this year with 0% growth in many areas. Even London, which has seen double-digit rises in recent years, is expected to stagnate. However, the biggest price rise in 2017 will still be in the East of England, with albeit modest growth of 2.5 percent.
This is due, in part, to the fact that buyers who have been priced out of London initially, then look to more costly commuter towns like Oxford, Cambridge, Winchester and St Albans. However, subsequent price growth in those areas has pushed buyers further east in search of the property types they want in lower-value commuter towns, which are still just a short train journey away from London.
What is Driving Prices Up?
As well as being a commutable distance from London and boasting an affordable range of properties, towns in the East of England also regularly feature in lists of the UK’s most desirable places to live.
North and North West Norwich, and Ipswich in Suffolk, recently came second and seventh respectively in a study of the postcodes that enjoy the ‘best quality of life’ in Britain. This was based on a range of factors that includes the quality of schools, access to green spaces, employment prospects, working hours, affordable housing and average commuting times.
This convergence of factors will continue to make the East of England an incredibly attractive place to live and help to turn property purchases into attractive investments for years to come.
To discuss affordable housing and mortgage options with the team at the Mortgage Centres, get in touch with our expert advisers today.