Property experts have revealed ten locations in the UK where property prices are likely to boom in the next decade – with Rotherham, Leicester, and even parts of Surrey making the cut.
The locations – a mixture of cities and commuter towns – are all in England, and have a huge variation in house prices – from terraced homes going for less than £90,000 to plush detached properties in excess of half a million.
But the common thread, according to online estate agents HouseSimple, is that those prices are due to increase substantially in years to come.
The predictions for the so-called hot spots were made on the back of key indicators, including trendy eateries, good transport links, a young population – and the occasional celeb.
While some – such as Manchester and Hove, the East Sussex town next to Brighton – have had an aura of cool for some time, others are more of a surprise.
Rotherham in South Yorkshire features on the list, with an average house price of £136,880, as does Ipswich, long regarded as the least desirable corner of otherwise posh Suffolk.
HouseSimple complied the list by asking its own ‘property experts’ for their opinions on property hotspots.
A spokesman said: ‘With property prices in London reaching an extortionate high, investors are beginning to look to other areas of the country to dip into.
‘With the average UK home now valued at £204,674, and with house prices rising, buyers could potentially buy cheap in these up-and-coming areas and watch the value of their property grow quickly over time.’
However, those considering diving into the property market should remember that house prices do not only go up – they can also fall – and that property prices across the UK are near record levels when compared to salaries.
There is also no guarantee that HouseSimple’s unnamed experts got their picks right, with no methodology revealed behind the top ten other than they all feature the tell-tale signs.
Buy-to-let landlords – who could stand to make the most out of a ‘hot spot’ buy, could also face hidden risks, including a tougher tax regime. The Bank of England has also mentioned the buy-to-let market as a cause for concern.
Where will the boom strike next?
1. Manchester centre
Despite being a huge city with many of the attractions of London, Manchester has managed to stay cheap – the average home £155,000, with the average flat going for slightly less.
The new BBC Media City, a huge expansion to the MetroLink tram system and the hip Northern Quarter provide yet more draws to the northern metropolis.
The coal mining town comes in cheapest of the ten hotspots, and is undergoing a reinvention.
Half a billion pounds of investment has poured into Rotherham in recent years, and its links to the outside world have also been revamped with the coming of a new railway station.
Terraced houses sell there at an average £84,580, while detached homes will set you back just £215,261.
3. Harborne, Birmingham
The student area of Birmingham will eventually benefit from the HS2 rail link and a £6million investment.
According to HouseSimple, this southwestern district is still ripe with potential.
The East Midlands city may have been most famous of late for holding the bones of Richard III under a car park – but experts believe it has plenty more to offer than that.
Investment in transport links and more leisure facilities mean HouseSimple expect the average price to shoot beyond £164,000 before long.
5. Hythe, Kent
The town sits on the English Channel, barely a stone’s throw from France and Belgium.
Despite this, with the help of the HS1 rail link London is little more than an hour away. Picturesque golf courses surround the town, which also benefits from the proximity of the Channel Tunnel.
Average house price is £287,077 rising to £431,334 for a detached property.
Despite unshakeable associations with Alan Patridge, Norwich’s marriage of history and modernity has put it on the upward path.
Medieval churches, a castle, and a maze of historic streets meet glass-and-steel new developments. The city is also due to benefit from better rail links to London when the local rail franchise is renewed.
This could mean price rises for property which currently sees flats average just £142,802 and average house prices of just £196,472.
The seaside town is nicknamed ‘Hove, actually’ because it is so often mistaken for nearby Brighton. But unlike its more expensive neighbour, the town still apparently has potential for big leaps in house prices.
Beach front properties average just £199,000, mostly flats, but the average house is currently much more at £370,622.
Often imagines as a post-industrial eyesore, Ipswich is nonetheless due a major injection of investment.
Government programmes are pushing high-tech industry towards the town, which also has strong links with nearby Felixstowe, an international shipping centre. A growing student population and projected 15,000 new homes will also help.
Currently a semi averages just £176,946, a terrace ins only £147,368 and even a detached property is only £286,082.
9. Ilkley, Bradford
Already a tourist destination but good transport links and improved shopping facilities plus a Bettys tearoom makes property an investment with flats selling for an average £204,581 and average house prices £346,546.
10. Woking, Surrey
Even parts of Surrey are ‘up and coming’. Average flat prices are already £231,039, terraced homes £301,875 and detached houses £713,597 but with a £50 million regeneration project underway and being 25 miles from central London, there is plenty of potential for growth.