'Cheapest house will be £370,000'

By Farnham Herald in Local People

A DEVELOPER has released prices showing that the cheapest house in its new development in Hartley Wintney will go on the market for £370,000.

The homes at Hartley Row Park, built under the guidance of Bewley Homes, will be ready to sell later this year. At the top end, prices will range up to nearly £1m.

The larger, four-bedroom properties, with a double garage, range upwards from £600,000. And the asking price for a large, five-bed, detached house with a double garage will be £995,000.

The figures were met with a groan from the community group We Heart Hart. “We have argued for some time that these types of new developments such as Hartley Row Park, Edenbrook, the proposed new town at Winchfield and the newly proposed urban extension at Pale Lane deliver the wrong type of housing to meet the needs of local people.

“We need smaller, more affordable properties, and more specialist accommodation for the elderly.

“Development of brownfield sites for the remainder of our local plan period are much more likely to deliver cheaper properties that will give our young people more chance of getting on the housing ladder.”

Bewley Homes’ price list puts a three-bed house, semi-detached at £465,000, or £500,000 for fully detached house of roughly the same size.

The lowest price of £370,000 will be for a two-bedroom house. That spells bad news for those who fall into the area’s average income bracket.

Based on figures set out in Hart’s Surrey Heath Strategic Housing Market Assessment, the average income for a family in Hart is in the range of £40,200–£52,900.

That means the cheapest property at Hartley Row Park will cost over nine times the median income in the district. A bottom of the range three-bed house will be more than 11 times the local median income.

That will put the cheapest new properties well out of reach for middle-income families in the area.

According to the property website Zoopla, the average house price paid in Hartley Wintney is £504,991. Price inflation is running at 4.59 per cent, according to the website. That equates to a hike of over £25,000 every year.

The new Hartley Row Park prices are above average for the area, compared with the figures on Zoopla.

Nationally young families are being priced out of buying homes, as the property market continues to soar, and the first step on the housing ladder gets ever higher.

‘Generation rent’ is the label now being tagged to today’s young families. Research shows almost 60 precent of 20-39 year-olds in England will rent their homes by 2025.

Only 26 per cent of this age group are expected to own their own home by 2025. That is down from 38 per cent in 2013.

When asked for a comment on the questions raised by its house prices Bewley Homes sales and marketing director Neil Simpson said: “The homes at Hartley Row Park have been created because we recognised the need for new homes in the area.

“We have listened to local young professionals, who want to stay in Hampshire, but are struggling to find the smaller units they need at a price they can afford.”

He added: “With our two–bed offering we are catering to younger buyers as well as mid to large-size families with our four and five-bedroom homes.

“Forty per cent of the development is affordable, with housing provider Sentinal Housing Association and we have Help to Buy on 40 per cent of our units – allowing locals to get on the property ladder with a minimal deposit.”

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