How much should you be prepared to pay for your ideal home?
NO- ONE wants to pay over the odds for their home, but strong demand to be near a good school or a yearning to live in the country could mean higher house prices. If you fancy living in one of Britain’s 15 National Parks, where you can make the most of the great outdoors on your doorstep, it doesn’t come cheap. Nationwide says it will attract a 22% premium or around £46,000 more than the average UK house for an otherwise identical home. And from the Cairngorms in Scotland to Dartmoor in Devon you can expect to pay 5% more for properties within 5km of a National Park compared to those just outside.
Knight Frank has also looked at the cost of properties in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), countryside that has been designated for conservation due to its significant natural beauty. The Surrey Hills was the most expensive AONB with detached properties costing an average of £900,000. Being within easy reach of London and major towns such as Guildford and Epsom, this is a popular location with strong demand.
“More restrictive planning regimes are in place, which means supply can often fall short of demand and along with the nature of existing stock, which tends towards older, larger homes with land, this has underpinned pricing,” adds Oliver Knight, from Knight Frank’s Residential Research team.
Schools are an emotive issue, not least for parents planning to move into the catchment of a top secondary school, who will find they have to pay more for the pleasure. Homes close to one of the country’s top 30 performing state schools have an average price of £415,844 – that’s a huge 45% higher than in England as a whole according to research by Lloyds Bank. In the past five years, the average price in the areas with a top performing school has grown by 39%. The Reading School in Berkshire has seen property prices in its catchment rise by 51% or £97,407, while around Aylesbury High School in Buckinghamshire prices are 48% or £93,521 higher. “All parents want to ensure their children get a good education and homes in areas close to the top performing schools typically command a significant premium,” comments Andrew Mason from Lloyds Bank.
While many of us increasingly rely on a home delivery service from our favourite grocer, homes close to a national supermarket ring up a price premium of
‘If you fancy living in one of Britain’s 15 National Parks where you can make the most of the great outdoors it doesn’t come cheap’
£22,000 compared to nearby areas. Lloyds Banks says the “Waitrose effect” will mean paying an extra £36,480, while a Marks & Spencer food store commands an extra £29,992. However, it’s areas with budget stores such as Aldi, Lidl, Morrisons or Asda that have seen the most rapid house price growth. In 2014, house prices in areas with a Lidl were on average £4,700 lower than in neighbouring areas – today they are £6,400 higher.
Of course house prices can also be adversely affected by a host of factors. The NAEA Propertymark says homeowners are sometimes surprised to hear that solar panels, rooms darkened by foliage and large trees and expensive to maintain swimming pools have devalued their home, rather than made it more desirable. The infamous Japanese Knotweed can also knock thousands off the price if the property is at risk of subsidence as a result.
While the sound of church bells and cocks crowing would not encourage potential buyers to ask for a discount on the price, cheering and roaring from a nearby sports stadium on match days would make 52% of home buyers seek a financial incentive before sealing the deal. The survey of house hunters by Jackson-Stops also revealed that next door neighbours making a racket with loud music, late night parties, drilling and similar activities is the greatest irritant to potential buyers and for many people will be an absolute barrier to buying that home whatever the price.
Left: Ridouts Farmhouse, Blandford Forum
Above: Seaton, Devon
Below: Church Court, Kent