According to Knight Frank, these places offer the right balance between affordability, amenities and accessibility
The top five areas across the UK which are prime for major development have been revealed by global property consultancy Knight Frank.
Using geospatial mapping data that ranks every local authority in the UK against a variety of economic and housing measures – including pricing, liveability, accessibility, housing supply and housing demand – the company has identified five key hotspots for future growth.
These five key areas are Surrey Heath, Tameside, East Hertfordshire, Fareham and Chesterfield – places that offer the right balance between affordability, amenities and accessibility, according to the firm.
These places also have access to ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ schools on a per capita basis, while basic services such as doctors’ surgeries, bus routes and a good retail offering are comprehensively and evenly distributed here. Internet download speeds, an increasing priority for many people, are also exceptional. Finally, these are the areas where housebuilding has fallen behind government projections for housing need in the past three years, Knight Frank revealed.
Knight Frank said Covid-19 has prompted a shift towards people moving to the country, and finding the right balance between home and office working is set to become more important even after the pandemic.
As a result, the firm believes it is perhaps no coincidence that the areas it identified offer a balance between rurality and connectivity, being places ‘where local communities can thrive, whilst also being close enough to access nearby cities’.
This takes to the new balance between town and country, and the rise of walkable mixed-use communities – whether that be an urban or a rural village, Knight Frank adds. `
Charlie Dugdale, a partner in the land agency and consultancy team at Knight Frank, said: Essentially, Surrey Heath, Tameside, East Hertfordshire, Fareham and Chesterfield are five areas where people will get the best bang for their buck; where quality of life is maximised for a given value. These are likely to be attractive areas for future development.
He added: A recent report by the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission recommended a new framework that ensures we’re building the right development in the right place. What this new research shows is how we might start to use geospatial technology to identify the most sustainable locations for future development.
Oliver Knight, head of residential development research at Knight Frank, said: The government’s target of delivering 300,000 homes per annum looks increasingly challenging. As demand for new housing continues to grow, identifying those areas which already deliver on a number of key criteria – including infrastructure, schools, and amenities – means housing delivery should be more efficient and more sustainable.
Dugdale added: This method we are using to identify areas for new housing is focused on an ambition to stimulate sustainable developments. Walkable mixed-use neighbourhoods remains the Holy Grail – developments that support livelihoods as well as living – particularly in a world where living trends have been permanently affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said, we believe we have identified the locations that account for this change in preference and lifestyle.
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