What makes a property spot hot?

By Joanna Norris, partner at Ratio Law

Recently, Lloyds released research which revealed the UK’s new property hotspots. Daventry, Corby, Margate and Slough all made the top ten list, which was compiled by comparing the percentage increase in property sales between January and October 2014.

The league of locations has attracted a lot of media attention, with journalists describing them as “unlikely property hotspots” and warning people who have visited the towns to “prepare for a shock”.

But regardless of how desirable the public view these places, what actually helps a property spot become hot and how can people look out for the next up and coming area?

  • Well connected: A good transport network is important, not only to help people get around their local area but also to connect them to other major towns and cities. Look out for locations where transport improvements are planned, as properties in these areas often benefit as a result. Manchester, for example, has invested considerably in improving and expanding the Metrolink network. The new lines have helped to boost property prices, with reports suggesting that living near a Metrolink station could add as much as £8,000 to a property.
  • A job lot: If there are plans to open a new business park, hospital, factory or other establishment that will create a number of jobs, this could be an indication that an area is going to grow in popularity. Not only will the job prospects attract more people to the area, but an increase in residents will naturally lead to an increase in amenities.
  • Food for thought: According to some property experts, areas with a growing number of independent restaurants, coffee shops and delicatessens are often up and coming. Successful retail and leisure businesses like these suggest that residents have a good level of disposable income.
  • Go further afield: Online estate agent Rightmove points out that people who are priced out of property spots which have become too hot often want to stay as near to these areas as possible. This results in a ‘ripple effect’, so it can often be a good idea to look at houses and flats on the outskirts of popular locations.

Be warned though, while some areas show the perfect signs of becoming a property hotspot, house and flat prices can fall as well as rise. Are you an estate agent or property developer? What factors do you look out for when identifying new up and coming areas?

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