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Location is perhaps the most important consideration when buying a home. Countryside researches some of the best places to live, taking into consideration local amenities, commuter distance and travel connections. For example, Parkside Place in Wembley offers public open spaces, easy connections into central London and is just a bus ride away from a number of major retail shopping centres.
A good Ofsted rating for a local school boosts house prices according to a report from the University of Sussex which looked at the ratings of 8,000 primary schools in England and found that when a school moved up an Ofsted level, house prices in the surrounding neighbourhood rose an average of 0.5%. A recent survey by Censuswide also found that 72% of parents put a good local school in the top three considerations when finding a house.
Countryside also considers this a high priority and not only develops new homes near existing high performing schools but also includes new schools within the masterplan at key strategic sites, including Azure at St Mary’s Island where the Outstanding St Mary’s Church of England Primary School is within easy walking distance, and Great Kneighton in Cambridge where Trumpington Community College has already opened and a new primary school is due to be opened this September.
Full cavity wall insulation, energy efficient glazing and insulated flooring are all some of the environmentally efficiency features that could increase the value of a property. Richard Hower, author of a thinktank Policy Exchange announced that improving home energy efficiency can save households money, as well as substantially reducing their carbon emissions. At Countryside’s award-winning development Abode at Great Kneighton, homes are not only of a superior design but offer a variety of energy efficient features, including high efficiency boilers and ‘A’ rated appliances.
The Waitrose effect
Being within close proximity to local shops and amenities not only helps make everyday life much easier and more convenient, but can help increase the value of your home. Research conducted by Lloyds Bank in 2016 found that living close to a Waitrose, can add an average of £40,000 to the value of a home. Homes that share the same postcode with the one of the popular supermarket’s stores include Countryside’s The Mount development in Mill Hill, where Waitrose is less than a mile away.
According to government statistics, electricity is three to four times more expensive, per KWh than other forms of energy. Natural light can reduce energy costs as less electricity is needed for lighting as well as offer a variety of health benefits. Countryside designs homes to make use of natural light and St Luke’s Park in Runwell is a prime example with national light pouring in from French doors and bay windows into the spacious open plan living area.
Chief economist at Nationwide, Robert Gardner, announced that home buyers were prepared to pay more for extra usable space, as this was often associated with better quality accommodation. More storage and additional space is available at St Paul’s Square, where apartments come equipped with a fitted wardrobe and a private balcony. These homes have been designed with modern living in mind, where extra space is a big consideration for home buyers.
Green open space
A semi-rural lifestyle is overtaking the desire for city living according to recent research by Strutt & Parker and the desire for green open spaces is an important consideration for home buyers. Homes at Beaulieu are surrounded by parkland and have well maintained landscape for everyone to enjoy. St Mary’s Island is another Countryside development with green in mind, with 20 acres of open space linked by footpaths and cycle paths.
Associate Director of Sales and Marketing
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.