A view from the field: Hampshire
Mark Gilbert, Sales Director at Pearsons Estate Agency in Fareham, gives a whistle stop tour of Hampshire’s property scene.
Hampshire is the largest county in south east England and the fifth most populated county in England as a whole. With its central south coast location and excellent transport links by road, rail, sea and air, Hampshire is the natural home of the British Army (in Andover) and the Royal Navy (in Portsmouth).
The area is a popular choice for many major employers, including NATS (National Air Traffic Control ) at Swanwick, the Ministry of Defence offices on Portsdown Hill and the Esso refinery at Fawley. There are also three prominent universities in the area – the University of Southampton, Solent University and the University of Portsmouth, which all play a huge role in attracting students, lecturers and researchers from around the world.
So what does all this mean for Hampshire’s property market?
With so many people coming into Hampshire to work or study, there is a relatively consistent demand for a wide range of properties both to buy and rent. Pearsons has a network of 12 branch offices covering the southern Hampshire region and at any given time our combined portfolio will include waterside homes with mooring facilities, historic and listed buildings, city centre town houses, detached and semi-detached houses and apartments ranging from basic studios to luxurious penthouses.
At the lower end of the market, the need for student accommodation is high because universities are accepting more students than ever before. Student flats and HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupancy) are in great demand and we have seen many parents investing in properties for their student children, as well as buy-to-let landlords looking for larger properties in easy reach of the main university sites that can be converted into HMOs.
The cost of property in Hampshire is steadily rising. In July 2015, the average price of a property was up 8.6% on the previous year, with the average price of property in each group standing at £401,744 for a detached home, £231,680 for a semi, £190,234 for a terraced and £144,209 for an apartment (visit the Land Registry index here for more information).
For comparison, at a national level, UK house prices increased by 5.7% in the year to June 2015, which included a rise of 7.7% across the South East region (please visit the ONS House Price Index here for further information and to search sold prices in Hampshire at OnTheMarket.com, click here)
The launch of the Government’s Help to Buy Scheme has really helped to raise confidence in Hampshire’s property market. There are many more new developments in progress or planned across the county by both small, independent companies and large national corporations, signalling that developers believe the demand is there.
The Hampshire property market is buoyant and looks as if it will remain so for the foreseeable future. At Pearsons we are finding it hard to keep up with the demand and new instructions are often sold within the week to people who have already registered their interest with us. If you are looking to buy or rent a property in Hampshire, please contact one of our conveniently located offices (including high street branches in Southampton, Southsea, Romsey, Winchester, Fareham).