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The value of your Hampshire home - local papers

The mood music around house prices in the South of England is somewhat downbeat right now, and with some justification. The cost of residential property in the region is rising at a relatively subdued pace when compared to its stellar performance during the past few years. This is, of course, a generalisation. House price growth varies dramatically from community to community within the South of England and the picture is much more nuanced than the headlines would suggest. With this in mind, how is the Hampshire housing sector really faring?

Crunching the numbers

There are several house price indices but, for present purposes, we are using the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures, which relate to July 2017. The key finding for England was that house prices rose by 5.4 per cent in the year to July, meaning that a home now costs an average of £243,220.

In general terms, the South East of England is dragging down the national average rate of growth. According to the ONS study, for instance, house prices in the region grew by just 3.8 per cent on an annualised basis. To put this into some sort of context, the East Midlands recorded price inflation of 7.5 per cent during the same period.

The Hampshire exception

Hampshire, however, is bucking the regional trend. In the year to July, the cost of a house or flat in the country rose by a healthy 6.7 per cent, so, if you're house-hunting here, you will need to find some £312,002.

Within Hampshire itself, there are also some striking differences in the rate at which prices are rising. Winchester, which routinely finds itself being nominated as one of the best places in Britain to live and raise a family, has recorded a 10 per cent uptick in the cost of housing during the past year. Southampton, on the other hand, has seen growth limited to just 5 per cent. Powering along in the middle is Portsmouth, a lovely old city on the south coast, which racked up 8 per cent growth in the year to July.

Cost versus value

There's a reason for the ongoing buoyancy of the housing market in Hampshire, and that is that the county has so much to offer its residents, so prospective buyers know they are getting great value for money. Going back to Winchester, for example, it is prosperous, attractive and vibrant in its own right, while superb transport links to London mean that commuters can easily take advantage of that city’s attractions and opportunities. It has a low crime rate, so families can feel safe and secure. Talking of families, Winchester has some of the best schools, both state and private, in Britain.

It's not all about Hampshire's urban areas. The county is home to a spectacular coastline and boasts part of the New Forest, which is one of this country's most cherished national parks. There is a price premium to live in this corner of Hampshire, though. According to a recent Nationwide study, a house within the New Forest national park costs a staggering £115,000 more than a similar property outside the park's boundaries. The fortunate residents of the area will tell you, though, that the price of real estate is more than offset by the quality of life they experience in this setting.

Source: 09.10.17

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