With its stunning Regency buildings, bustling town centre and easy access to the gorgeous Gloucestershire countryside, Cheltenham is a popular place for house hunters.
SoGlos spoke to Gloucestershire-based estate agents, Naylor Powell, to get its advice on the best places to buy a property in the town.
About the expert – Robert Wade from Naylor Powell
Robert Wade is a director at Naylor Powell’s Cheltenham branch in Warden Hill, helping house hunters find their dream property in the Regency town.
Naylor Powell has five branches across Gloucestershire offering sales, lettings and property management services, with an expert team on hand at each one.
Is now a good time to invest in property?
Demand has outstripped supply in Cheltenham for many years and there is no sign of this slowing. Across the south west, property prices increased by just under 4 per cent and it is expected they will continue to increase for the first part of this year and then ease during the rest of 2021.
How is the pandemic affecting the housing market?
The pandemic has affected the housing market in many ways. There are a great deal of people who have shelved their plans for the time being, but there has also been a significant number of buyers taking advantage of the current stamp duty holiday. This is saving buyers up to £15,000 and making it possible for some buyers to make their next move sooner than they had planned.
There has been a noticeable decrease in properties coming to the market – with a 12 per cent reduction against this time last year. I feel this is due to buyers and sellers now seeing a potential return to some normality and deciding to wait until then.
With more people working from home and looking to move out of cities into rural areas, are you seeing more demand for properties in places like Cheltenham?
Cheltenham has always been a popular choice for house buyers and we are seeing an influx of people moving into the town and surrounding areas. The mixture of rural charm, excellent amenities and easy access to London, Birmingham and Bristol are a clear attraction for many.
Where are the most desirable places to live in Cheltenham at the moment?
Leckhampton, Charlton Kings, Tivoli, Up Hatherley and Warden Hill are all areas that we get significant enquiries for. The excellent schools and variety of housing stock add to the appeal.
Which areas of Cheltenham have the best value properties?
Benhall, Shurdington and St Marks offer good value for money compared to other parts of Cheltenham.
Which Cheltenham properties are more likely to increase in value – heritage buildings or modern new builds?
Cheltenham is considered the most complete Regency Town in Britain. The association with Cheltenham and its Regency past makes the heritage properties much more popular with buyers and therefore they tend to hold a premium over new builds.
Where are the best places in Cheltenham for buy-to-let investment properties?
Areas around the University of Gloucestershire campuses, such as St Pauls and town centre properties, are popular with students and professionals alike. We do strongly recommend that every buy-to-let investor aim to buy a property that they would live in themselves. Buying something just because it is better value for money or potentially offers a better return is not always the best investment.
What advice would you give anyone looking to buy in Cheltenham now?
Cheltenham has always and will always be an attractive place to own a property and to live. The choice is slightly limited at the moment, but there are some beautiful properties coming to the market all the time.
Rather than just relying on property portals, we recommend you speak to the local agents and let them know what you are looking for. The best agents know their buyers well and can match them to a property before they even know about it.