As rising house prices force many people to move away from the most popular cities, many smaller surrounding towns have been revolutionised and are now extremely sought-after in their own right.
Property specialist Leaders has compiled a guide to the top five ‘Cinderella towns’; those locations that have emerged from the shadows to rival a larger and more illustrious neighbour in popularity and prestige.
Allison Thompson, managing director at Leaders, says: “The property market is changing rapidly and some of the most up-and-coming towns will come as a surprise to some. There has been a clear trend across the country of people moving out of major cities and into surrounding towns where they can get more for their money.
“As this trend has accelerated in recent years, these areas have benefited from more investment, new facilities and a high standard of living. In true Cinderella style, they have forged a new reputation for their own unique charm and offer plenty of potential to those currently looking to buy a home.”
Allison has named her top five ‘Cinderella towns’ as:
5) High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
“Located between London and Oxford, High Wycombe can be easy to overlook when searching for a home in the south-east. But it has become a hugely popular option in recent years, with its stunning Georgian architecture and market town status undeniably attractive. Average house prices are £75,000 lower than in Oxford and the town is closer to London, making it perfect for commuters. For history, character and value it cannot be beaten.”
4) Stroud, Gloucestershire
“The market town of Stroud may not be as widely known or highly regarded as nearby Cheltenham, but it shares much of the history, beauty and charm that make the Cotswolds such a popular destination. With easy access to the M5, it is also perfect for those who work anywhere from Bristol to Worcester and wish to set up home in a relaxed, rural setting.”
3) Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
“Huntingdon’s beauty has never been in doubt; earlier this year the area was named as one of the rural regions with the highest quality of life anywhere in the UK. But in recent years this relaxed market town has emerged as a viable - and even preferable - alternative to living in Cambridge. With average property prices a staggering £140,000 less than in Cambridge, it is not hard to see why.”
2) Worthing, West Sussex
“Once considered to be second best to nearby Brighton, Worthing is fighting back and its property market is now one of the fastest-growing on the south coast. Thousands of people are moving from Brighton and London each year, attracted to the town’s vast beach, clean and modern surroundings and increasingly vibrant social scene. Most importantly, a classic Edwardian or Victorian semi-detached home can be snapped up for around £300,000.”
1) Southend-on-Sea, Essex
“Perhaps the prime destination for those priced out of London is Southend-on-Sea. The town offers a fabulous beach and the longest pier in the world, but more importantly it is remarkably affordable for the south-east. Quality properties in desirable areas are available and as Southend continues its period of regeneration I expect its popularity to boom and prices to rise.”
For more information on selling, buying, letting or renting, please contact your local Leaders branch.