House prices recover in Tonbridge & Malling
Detached houses are leading the way in Tonbridge & Malling, in West Kent, with price increases covering the period from July to September showing a three per cent rise over the previous quarter, as recorded by the Land Registry. Prices for detached houses are now back to early 2008 levels. The rise comes as the number of sales in Tonbridge & Malling is recorded as rising by 56 per cent. Tonbridge & Malling includes Kings Hill, a desirable location that includes many of the highest priced roads in the borough and that recently came out top in an assessment of the art of placemaking in non-urban new villages in a survey by property experts, CB Richard Ellis.
These latest figures are supported by a housing market analysis from Kent County Council, working from Land Registry data, that shows that Kent house prices have been on an upward trend since the bottom of the market in the summer of 2009. The monthly house price index has increased for the tenth consecutive month, by 6.6 per cent. In the first quarter of 2010 the average house price was £238,719, an increase of 18.65 per cent on the £201,199 recorded in the same period in 2009. The price rise follows an overall 20 per cent increase in sales. Tonbridge & Malling has seen increases above the Kent county average and these figures exceed the South East average of 16.22 per cent.
These figures from Kent County Council are supported by figures in Savills’ recent Residential Property Focus which stated that in the South East prices have only dropped 11 per cent from the peak of the market. Savills’ report also states that the South East is only marginally behind what many people consider the peak market of London, with predicted price increases totalling a 25.5 per cent increase for the five years ending 2015. This figure only slightly lags the predicted increase of 29.1 per cent predicted for the London market.
Agents Savills and Knight Frank have also highlighted the shortage of new homes in the coming years. Taken together these figures show that now is an excellent time to invest in newly built homes in the borough of Tonbridge & Malling, with the housing market in West Kent showing remarkable resilience despite the latest pronouncements by some of the national building societies, whose figures are inevitably influenced by the lack of mortgage availability.
The home developers operating at Kings Hill are Antler Homes, Bellway Homes, Environ Communities and Hillreed Homes. They are aware of the difficulties experienced by potential purchasers with obtaining mortgages and are doing what they can to assist with part-exchange deals on some homes to help make the whole process of buying and selling easier. Part-exchange simply takes away most of the worry to allow buyers to get on with planning their new homes. Once buyers have been qualified it involves independent valuations so that everybody knows where they stand and then exchange of contracts can often happen in about a month. Essentially part-exchange means no chain and no estate agency fees. You also get to stay in your property until your new home is ready.
The lifestyle at Kings Hill is attractive too. The 18-hole golf course is designed to PGA championship standard and offers an enjoyable challenge to all golfers. There is also a David Lloyd Leisure racquets, health and fitness club. A new cricket ground has been constructed with a new cricket pavilion. Additional facilities for sport and recreation at the adjacent 140 acre country park will include sports pitches, equestrian routes and jogging trails.
Near to the historic town of West Malling, the village is conveniently located for the M20 and M25, Gatwick airport, the channel ports and a mainline station for London and Ashford International – all can be reached in under an hour. There are frequent bus services including a shuttle bus to the station. The ‘West Malling for Kings Hill’ mainline station offers direct rail services to London Victoria and Blackfriars in approx 55 minutes, while in the opposite direction, around 35 minutes away, is Ashford International.
There is good road access to junction 4 of the M20 about two miles away, via the dual carriageway A228, and onward connections to the M25 for shopping at Bluewater, Europe’s largest retail and leisure complex. The centres of Maidstone, Royal Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks also offer full shopping facilities.