Mike Bidwell, Director at Fine & Country Cambridge, explains why properties on the southern side of Cambridge are flying off the shelves.
Here in Cambridge, we have been particularly busy this last month. Last year’s sales figures are already up by over 25% year to date, partly reflecting the broader UK trend.
However, demand is increasingly outweighing supply as future vendors wait to place their properties on the market with the hope of achieving a higher price., Considering the recent climb in house values; between August 2012 and August 2013 of 6.5% in Cambridge against 3.8% nationwide, this is understandable to a degree but only if you are downsizing or moving out of the area, otherwise the increase works against you as the gap between your sale and purchase price widens.
Furthermore, the recent Help to Buy initiative has seen house prices increase by 1.6%*** since the last quarter. This is a particularly steep increase in such a short time period.
Post-war suburban homes on the south side of the city are the most popular as buyers seek to find a home close to some of the best private schools in the UK. The Perse, as well as The Leys, St Marys and St Andrews are attracting family buyers to the area around Trumpington Road, Hills Road and Madingley Road, with the promise of a first class independent education. The Perse, which is known for its academic excellence and extra curricular achievement boasts very impressive GCSE results; in 2013 89.82%**** of GCSE pupils achieved all grades A-A*.
These areas also offer excellent road and rail links, outstanding employment opportunities and a rich cultural lifestyle, making properties in the area in increasingly high demand. Furthermore, transport links into London are set to improve as a proposal for a high speed rail link between Cambridge and the capital city has now been put forward. If this goes ahead, travel time could reduce by half.*****
As for the future, the momentum in the growth of Cambridge house prices is likely to remain unabated, as is the positive economic outlook of the area; numerous new businesses are relocating to the area and existing businesses are continually expanding. As well as its economic prosperity, like many other significant regional centres, Cambridge has historically been seen as a most attractive place to live and this is not going to change.
*Office of National Statistics (http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/hpi/house-price-index/august-2013/stb-august-2013.html)
***** Cambridge News (http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Home/20-minutes-to-London.htm)