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During 2014 property price growth in Cambridge was headline grabbing, with the city named ’fastest-selling location’, ‘top university property market’ and ‘biggest riser’. The market was steady in 2015 with an overall rise of around 5%. Our forecasts indicate that less new homes stock will be available during 2016, which will undoubtedly put further pressure on pricing.
The change on stamp duty for second homeowners announced in the Budget will certainly create a flurry of activity through the investment market before the April 2016 deadline, which could further limit the number of new build investment properties available for the remainder of the year. With shortage of stock a key theme for 2016, we could see a higher growth rate than 2015, but the market is unlikely to experience the double-digit levels of 2014.
Cambridge has so many pull factors that are helping create this demand. It offers some of the UK’s best job prospects and comparatively high salaries, as well as a good quality of life. The population is rising sharply in part due to widescale investment coming particularly from the expanding high-tech and research industries with huge corporations such as Astra Zeneca relocating here and creating new jobs, in turn putting pressure on housing. This confidence in Cambridge’s business prospects means it also has one of the most stable and thriving rental markets in the UK offering investors that ideal combination of high yields and strong capital growth.
There have been some queries over whether as a small city, Cambridge’s infrastructure can cope with this kind of growth, but a great deal of thought and investment is going into the transport systems, such as the new Cambridge North station, as well as protecting the historical core of the city.
Cambridge is always going to struggle to keep pace with the ever growing demand for homes, which is why new developments such as Great Kneighton are so significant in terms of delivering new housing stock. Offering some 2,500 new homes, it represents a sizeable proportion of the area’s housing pipeline. It also benefits from its strategic location to the south of the city centre, close to the employment hubs and station, ticking all the boxes for those looking for a sound investment property. Further down the line, the North West Cambridge development will also bring a significant number of new homes.
Countryside has established a reputation in Cambridge as a company that thinks outside the box, coming up with exciting new approaches and designs. It set the bar high with the Stirling Prize winning Accordia development and that is continuing with Abobe and Aura, which form part of the Great Kneighton community. A new range of three and four bedroom townhouses is now available at Aura and the second phase of Abode will launch this month, offering a wide selection of contemporary apartments, duplexes and houses.
David Bentley, Head of New Homes, Bidwells
Here you’ll find property related blog articles from the team at Countryside as well as independent experts. Expect regular tips and advice on topics such as buying a new home, interior and landscape design, setting up home, mortgages and finance, plus articles on architecture, the property market, regeneration and more.