For those who love city life but not London property prices there is an answer — become a city-to-city commuter.
And if you move to coastal Brighton and Hove, you not only get cheaper homes with an exciting city vibe but seaside, too.
Homes are considerably more affordable — an average of just under £229,000 compared with almost £376,000 in the capital, according to recent Land Registry data.
Yet even this lower average can be out of reach for many young Londoners without huge savings. A 20 per cent deposit would mean that an average buyer in Brighton has to have £45,000 saved.
New homs at The Barrows
A new development from Hyde New Homes may be a cost-effective answer. It has 60 shared-ownership one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments available (hydenewhomes.co.uk) at its new scheme, The Barrows.
Prices start at £55,500 for a 30 per cent share of a one-bedroom flat, £72,000 for a 30 per cent share of a two-bedroom flat, and £117,250 for 45 per cent of a three-bedroom flat.
Brighton's Open Market gets £18 million facelift
Critics often complain about the soullessness of many new-build schemes, but the unique selling point of The Barrows is that the site also includes the city’s Open Market, which dates from about 1926 when traders first set up their barrows in the area — hence this new development’s name.
The market, which has been in decline for decades, has now been given an £18 million facelift with permanent stalls, studios for local craftspeople, a partly covered central piazza with cafés, and space for one-off events such as farmers’ markets and exhibitions. It is due to open this summer, while the flats above it will be move-in ready in late September.
“It is a brilliant location,” said Asha Agarwal, sales manager at Hyde New Homes. “People love the quirky, urban feel to it. It is in walking distance of the pier and the beach, and very close to the station. But people love the idea of being right by the market. It is going to be a really nice, vibrant place with fresh food stalls and cafés. There will be all this buzz — right on your doorstep.”
The Barrows is in Francis Street, about 10 minutes’ walk from Brighton station. Trains to London Victoria take from 51 minutes and you can be at London Bridge in 56 minutes. An annual season ticket costs £3,532.
Second scheme launched
Interest in The Barrows is strong and early next year Hyde will launch a second shared-ownership scheme in Brighton, at New England Square, directly opposite the station.
It will have 53 homes for shared ownership as well as 94 for private sale. The shared-ownership homes are due to go on sale early next year.
Prices have not yet been announced, but information will be updated on the Hyde New Homes website — it is one to watch out for.
Enthusiasm for both schemes is likely to be strong because Brighton hardly needs selling as a location. Admittedly its pebbly beach isn’t fantastic (better to head to Climping or West Wittering on sunny weekends) but there is brilliant shopping, particularly the independent shops around The Lanes and in Kemp Town — plus a full complement of chains in and around Churchill Square — and loads of bars, clubs and restaurants.
The South Downs National Park is on the doorstep and the city has the huge advantage of walkability. It also has a theatre, an annual arts festival and a fun, bohemian atmosphere.