by Mark Johnston
‘New Towns’ are the most affordable places to live.
Recent research has revealed that anyone wanting an affordable property at the moment has to consider either squeezing in to a town centre flat or buying a small terraced house in the burbs, but it seems that now these are not the only options as Britain’s ‘New Towns’ are currently at their most affordable.
The term ‘New Town’ often refers to planned towns built after World War 2. These ‘New Town’ were originally created to disperse the population beyond the green belt aroundLondon, but ‘New Towns’ were also built further north in the 1960’s.
A number of acts of parliament were brought in to allow building on a massive scale in certain under populated areas and these ‘New Towns’ have grown and flourished over time.
Affordability in ‘New Towns’ is favourable compared to the rest of England and Wales, largely due to the fact that house prices there are, on average, 21% lower than the national average.
Figures have shown that 7 out of 8 of the most affordable cities are inNorthern Irelandand the north ofEngland.
According to Lloyds TSB, homes in ‘New Towns’ are more affordable than at any time since the financial crisis began in 2007. Across the country as a whole the average house prices in ‘New Towns’ is £182,354 which is cheaper than the national average price of £230,325, elsewhere.
Kevin Morgan, managing director of Hertfordshire based Consilium Financial Planning, said “if you look at prices inStevenage, which is a New Town and compare these with Hitchin, an old market town that is only a few miles away, house prices will typically be 30 or 40% cheaper in the former”.
Suren Thiru, housing economist at Lloyds TSB, stated that “the improvement in housing affordability within many of our major urban conurbations has been significant during the past few years and reflects the decline in house prices over the period”.
Some experts believe that as populations in many ‘New Towns’ have increased since 2007 this is likely to have added to the housing demand.
It seems that the improvement in affordability over the past 5 years has not however come from falling house prices but an increase in average earnings in ‘New Towns’.
Data has recently shown that across ‘New Towns’ inEnglandandWalesaverage earnings have risen by approximately 9%.
A combination of strong earnings growth and lower priced property, together with good accessibility to the capital has helped to support prices in many ‘New Towns’.
Many New Towns are with in easy commuting distance of major commercial centres, where housing is typically more expensive.
Therefore lower prices, increasing affordability and price resilience all make a move to a ‘New Town’ well worth considering.
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