Villages join the rich club with million pound homes

Nusrat Ghani
SPRAWLING: This £1.3million home in Speldhurst

Estate agent Knight Frank’s latest data shows that 19 locations in England and Wales now have at least a fifth of their sales fetching more than seven figures, meaning they join some of the most expensive neighbourhoods in the UK for buying a home.

Traditionally, town centre homes in Tunbridge Wells have attracted the largest values, with the cost of an average three-bedroom home in the area having tipped over the £500,000 mark earlier this year. Detached four-bedroom homes often go for more than £1million.

Now, in its analysis of property prices since March 2020, Knight Frank has found that more than 20 per cent of properties in the TN3 postcode area are going for more than £1million.

The area includes the villages of Lamberhurst, Goudhurst, Speldhurst, Bidborough and Rusthall, as well as Southborough and High Brooms, where the average property price is more than £822,000 but has more than a fifth of homes fetching a million or more.

Earlier this year, recent house price figures suggested there are now 563,240 homes worth more than £1million in Britain — the first time the number has grown since 2015.

Also making Knight Frank’s list are postcodes in the London boroughs of Hackney (E8), Ealing (W5) and Vauxhall (SW8), as well as a number of locations outside the capital, including Whetstone (N20) and Farnham (GU10), followed by Kingston Upon Thames (KT2), Hartfield (TN7) and Reading (RG8).

“The pandemic has left its mark on the UK property market by magnifying existing trends rather than rewriting the rulebook,” said Tom Bill, Head of UK Residential Research at Knight Frank.

“Things won’t pick up from where they left off in March 2020, but the wider trajectory will feel familiar.”

He said a common thread in the list is the distance from London, highlighting the game of catch-up the rest of the country is playing with the capital in terms of house prices.

However, this process was underway before the pandemic due to growing affordability pressures in London.

The average house price in England and Wales was 47 per cent of the London equivalent in March 2016, the lowest ratio since Land Registry records began in 1995. It has been rising since and stood at 54 per cent in June this year due to stronger demand outside of the capital.

The news comes after rival estate agent Savills predicted last month that the average home in Tunbridge Wells is set to increase by 20 per cent over the next five years.

As reported last month, the house seller upgraded its 2021 UK house price forecasts to reflect the extended stamp duty holiday and the impact of repeated lockdowns on what homebuyers want from their homes.

Its analysis forecasts that house prices in Tunbridge Wells are set to increase by 19.10 per cent, with values increasing by £64,500.



the TN3 postcode area includes dozens of properties that have recently come on the market for more than £1million.

• These include a 1905 period property in the heart of the village of Speldhurst, complete with seven bedrooms and nearly an acre of garden, which is on the market for £1.3million.



• In Bidborough, a four-bedroomed detached house will set you back a cool £1.2million, although you do get a swimming pool for that price.

• A five-bedroom converted barn on Speldhurst Hill, which includes a matching detached annexe and 4.5 acres of garden, recently went up for sale at £1.27million.

Langton Green

• However, if you want to live in one of the many converted Oast Houses that litter Kent, you can snap one up in Langton Green for around £1.1million. It features five bedrooms, three bathrooms and three reception rooms, or another has just gone on the market in Langton Green for a mere £1.8million.

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