With house prices set to grow faster in the regions than in London, we reveal Britain's new property hotspots
Move over, London. Next year, and for a few years to come, the property market’s hottest spots will be in the regions. Two new studies – one by Savills estate agents, the other by property website Rightmove in association with quantitative analysts Oxford Economics – identify the South East and the East of England as the strongest markets both next year and in the next five years, when they’ll see an overall increase of 26.4% and 25.2%, according to Savills, or even 37.3% and 35.3% according to Rightmove/Oxford Economics. Growth in these regions will be driven by priced-out London buyers who move to the countryside in search of better value for money, according to Savills analyst Lucian Cook. But which are the cities and towns that are likely to see the greatest price rises in the near future?
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Cafes, restaurants, shops, excellent schools and a lively community ensure Guildford is a magnet for buyers migrating out of London. The Surrey market town saw prices rise by 11.5% in the year to July 2014, according to figures by property website Zoopla, and the future looks just as rosy. If money no object, Guildford-bound buyers could do worse than look at Southways, a magnificent seven-bedroom mansion for sale through Strutt & Parker: set close to the town centre, it nonetheless enjoys long, gorgeous country views (pictured).
The beach, good transport links, a vibrant culture scene and fabulous shops all conspire to make Brighton one of the rising stars of Britain's property market. According to property website Rightmove and quantitative analysts Oxford Economics, the Sussex town is one of the three British locations that will see the greatest increase in property prices by 2019 - a whopping 40.6%.
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The oldest university on Britain, the river, verdant parks and stunning architecture: what's not to like about Oxford? The city of dreaming spires saw a phenomenal growth in the year to September 2014, with prices rising by 11.7% in the city and 5.7% in the neighbouring countryside, according to Savills, and looks poised to do just as well in the new year.
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Britain's new technology capital has outperformed London in recent months.
According to agents Strutt & Parker, property values in the city are 32.5% higher than their previous 2007 peak - against London's 29%. The trend is expected to continue in the coming years, especially after pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca announced they will their global headquarters in Cambridge. New developments are also progressing apace, including the RIBA Housing Design award-winning Aura scheme by Countryside Properties, which features a collection of four- and five-bedroom contemporary houses (pictured).
Golden stone, serene Georgian architecture, fabulous restaurants, excellent shops, historic spas and atmospheric Roman ruins ensure Bath is very firmly on buyers' radars. In the year to September 2014, prices in the city rose by a substantial 7.8% according to research by Savills. Next year's forecast shows a modest growth of 1% for the region, although Bath may well overshoot this.
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Affluent commuter hotspots like Sevenoaks, which combines good shops and schools with excellent links into London, are likely to benefit from the capital's economic performance, according to Sophie Chick of Savills, who names the Kent town as one of the locations to watch in 2015. Her colleague, Will Peppitt, believes that the whole county, as well as neighbouring Sussex, looks like a safe bet for 2015. He is asking £4.5 million for Glen House, a magnificent Grade II-listed mansion in Tonbridge, close to Sevenoaks (pictured).
Well-connected to London, St Albans looks poised to draw priced-out buyers looking to make a regional move. Nearby Luton is expected to do even better in coming years. It's one of the UK's top three growth hotspots, according to Rightmove and Oxford Economics, with a price rise forecast of 41% by 2019.
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Popular with Chelsea footballers, City traders and entrepreneurs, this
leafy London suburb has seen a strong price growth in recent years -
prime property rose by 30.6% in the five years to the end of September
2014, according to Savills. Prospects for the future are also good, according to another estate agent, Knight Frank. The latter is asking £1.795 million for a 16th-century farmhouse with mill pond and five acres (pictured).