UK housing market: What makes a town posh in 2022?

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Property commentator Jonathan Rolande revealed the key attributes associated with affluent neighborhoods – including residents who drive sports cars and artisanal bakers.



<p>Oxford city center (Getty Images)</p><div data-ad-id=
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Oxford city center (Getty Images)

It can be tempting to put aside the area a property is in and focus on affordability with property prices at record highs.

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However, homes in affluent areas benefit from perks like local specialty shops, celebrity-approved restaurants and scenic spots for family outings, according to a property commentator.

Jonathan Rolande claims that while Gerrards Cross, Oxford and Windsor are known to be desirable places to live, there are a host of other cities that could be considered desirable and chic in the next 10 years.

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He explained that looking at house prices over the past 12 months is just as important as visiting the area when trying to buy a home in an area that has the potential to be affluent.

Here’s everything you need to know when deciding where to buy a property.

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What makes a city chic?

Jonathan claims that you can “feel” the difference between an affluent neighborhood as soon as you enter it.

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“There is a different look and feel. That’s because there are usually less well-known shops and chains than on the traditional high street. Brand stores, specialty clothing stores, artisan bakers, bespoke tailors and high-end cafes are the norm. But you will always find Waitrose and M&S as well,” said Jonathan.

“The cars that are driven are also different. You’ll also likely see more SUVs, full-size station wagons, sports cars, and electric vehicles. There will also be more vehicle charging points in affluent areas as demand will be higher.

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Noble cities usually have an M&S (Getty Images)

“Wine bars, Michelin-starred restaurants and celebrity-recommended restaurants also tend to be in more affluent areas.

“Expect day trippers and tourists too. Many coach tours offering a whistle-stop tour of Britain now include drop-offs at wealthy locations such as Henley on Thames or Harrogate. For many, the chance for a photo or selfie at a posh landmark is a must. Many visit Chelsea or Cheshire hoping to meet a star on one of the area’s dedicated TV shows.”

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Which cities are considered posh in Britain?

“Obviously, many parts of south and west London are considered incredibly ‘posh’ and home to the rich and famous. But more and more people are finding that they can enjoy a luxurious life outside of the capital,” Jonathan said.

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“Gerrard’s Cross is very popular, as is Amberley. Windsor remains a dream location for many – as do Oxford and Cambridge. The desire to live in these cities is often fueled by the prestige each city brings via its universities, which have pushed real estate prices sky-high for decades.

“Further north, parts of Alderley Edge in Cheshire are now known as the Golden Triangle. This is because they are home to footballers and their WAG partners – a style shift that has changed the face of the area. Harrogate, Henley, Bath and Edinburgh have some of the most sought after postcodes in the UK.

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“York is becoming increasingly popular, as are parts of the Lake District. Many weekend holiday spots attract wealthy visitors from overseas or from other parts of the UK who later decide to settle in the area permanently. They bring their wealth with them.”

Where will you be considered wealthy in the next 10 years?

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Jonathan claims people would choose to live in areas that might otherwise have snubbed them by being close to the planned HS2 line location.

The high-speed line will connect cities in Scotland with places like London and Manchester.

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Jonathan continued: “Gower in South Wales is attracting more and more fortune. Countless places in Cornwall will also become more prosperous. Fueled by tourism, coastal towns are fast becoming must-have spots for the wealthy looking to escape the stress and strains of city life.

“Remote working has also shown many people how to work away from the office, making distant locations more realistic.

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“Liverpool in particular is seeing a growing number of large property projects that will transform the city and attract investment. Bradford, fresh from being named Capital of Culture, can also expect to have an impact on the city’s level of prosperity.

Liverpool is among the cities that could be considered prosperous in the future (Getty Images)

How do you recognize the potential of an area?

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Jonathan said, “Do your homework. Read the local newspaper and look at the past 12 months to see what has happened to house prices. Visit the area and see for yourself.

“Look for good architecture, even if it’s currently neglected – Georgian, Victorian and Industrial are good, not many modern locations are becoming popular. Look out for schools with good Ofsted marks, check the quality of vehicles in supermarket car parks.

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“Try to find out if marketing and design companies are moving to run-down areas, see if long-vacant buildings have just been revived, and what the local art scene is like. Good travel infrastructure is crucial.

“Inform yourself about planned larger planning projects. Local councils have officers whose job it is to keep records and you can find applications that have either been approved or are awaiting the green light.”

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Is Now a Good Time to Buy a Home?

Explaining that there are price fluctuations everywhere in the housing market, Jonathan said: These fluctuations are most pronounced in London, Manchester, Liverpool and Cornwall. Cornwall in particular has become an incredibly difficult area to buy due to its explosive popularity as a seaside resort over the last 20 years.

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“When houses are built, they often sell out quickly and can often be converted into holiday homes and Air BnBs. There has been a lot of talk lately about a home price and housing market crash. This is highly unlikely.

“Prices will definitely stabilize over the next month, but in many regions they are still up to 15% higher than before the pandemic. This makes it difficult for young people in particular to enter the market.

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“The only solution is to build more properties and thus increase supply. This, in turn, will eventually bring price fluctuations a little more under control. But it won’t happen overnight.”

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