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Love thy neighbour: Forget Location, buyers are looking for community

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The mantra for house movers before the pandemic was Location, Location, Location. But now, as people seek more comfort and security in their everyday lives, there’s a new call: Community, Community, Community.

Government figures show that after coronavirus hit the UK last spring, 64 per cent of adults said they supported their community by doing additional voluntary work; 63 per cent had checked on those living nearby and 37 per cent had done shopping or other tasks for older neighbours; all big increases on levels before the crisis. 

‘A real sense of community has climbed the list of priorities for housebuyers and for many is now a must-have rather than a would-like,’ says Rachel Johnston, of Stacks Property Search, a buying agency. ‘Buyers are doing surgical research into what a community offers.’

One for all: Cafes and the market in Shropshire’s Ludlow - a town with a long-standing foodie tradition and a community group

One for all: Cafes and the market in Shropshire’s Ludlow – a town with a long-standing foodie tradition and a community group

As well as more space both indoors, for an office, and outdoors in the fresh air, today’s buyers want something extra – the security of an active neighbourhood.

Here are some of the best examples of communities in action…

Tip-top Topsham

The historic estuary town of Topsham, near Exeter in Devon, where house prices average £545,000, is a flurry of sailing and activity groups and has a strong community vibe, too. 

The Love Topsham volunteer group, funded by residents’ and shops’ donations, has installed waterside benches to help cafes and restaurants unable to allow customers inside.

The group also operates a website publicising ad-hoc menus and deals from local businesses, set up the Christmas lights and ran a programme of street musicians to entertain socially distanced shoppers waiting in line.

Hampshire hub

Estate agents say the county of Hampshire is a new hotspot for Londoners quitting the capital and seeking a thriving community spirit.

‘The village of Abbotts Ann near Andover has a village shop run by the community providing a hub where villagers interact safely,’ says Ben Home of Middleton Advisors, a buying agency.

Emma Seaton, of Prime Purchase, adds: ‘There’s been a surge in WhatsApp groups in our village. People we didn’t even know lived there were suddenly in need of a prescription or milk, which neighbours were more than happy to assist with.’

Yorkshire cheer

Todmorden may look familiar to viewers of the Happy Valley TV series, but the village is a hive of community groups in its own right.

One of the best known is Incredible Edible, which was set up a decade ago to promote veg-growing on open spaces and has Prince Charles as an early supporter. Now dozens of other Incredible Edible groups operate across the country.

‘The community buzz created by this and other groups has attracted people to this part of Yorkshire,’ says Gavin Keen, a property consultant based in Manchester, 25 miles south of the town.

Byfield spirit

A Good Neighbour Scheme was set up in Byfield before the pandemic, but now it’s become a Covid-safe help network. Requests from those needing assistance come in via WhatsApp and are then distributed to a community of more than 40 ‘hunter-gatherers’.

One of those already going out for, say, family shopping then agrees to get additional items for those making the request. Then each afternoon there’s a delivery run to drop off the medicines or foodstuffs.

The combination of community spirit and keen house prices, Zoopla says the Byfield average is £360,000, makes this village in strong demand say local estate agents.

Full of flavour

Ludlow in Shropshire is a town with a long-standing foodie tradition and a community group, Local To Ludlow, which featured on the BBC’s The Farmers’ Country Showdown. 

The group runs a cafe and shop, a produce market that’s been open through lockdown, plus a farmers’ market majoring on food and drink from within a 30-mile radius.

Local To Ludlow also operates Easy Peasy cookery, a project that delivers educational sessions at schools and local events.

House prices are relatively low, an average of £310,000, but expect that to change as community becomes more key.

Northern light

The housing market in Huddersfield saw a 3 per cent price rise in 2020 – perhaps due to the town’s amazing camaraderie.

The Community Mutual Aid Support Group started off last spring with more than 700 volunteers willing to help with shopping, befriending and posting mail for those shielding in this part of Yorkshire.

Recently, it’s been collecting used laptops for children who are being home-schooled.

On the market… in a friendly spot 

Devon: A stroll away from the Exe estuary in Topsham, this Grade II-listed house has three bedrooms. There is a garden and a double garage. East of Exe, 01392 877 240. £850,000

Devon: A stroll away from the Exe estuary in Topsham, this Grade II-listed house has three bedrooms. There is a garden and a double garage. East of Exe, 01392 877 240. £850,000

Northamptonshire: The thatched roof is just one of many character features in this four-bedroom cottage in Byfield, with a large garden and an outhouse. Fine and Country, 01295 987 064. £550,000

Northamptonshire: The thatched roof is just one of many character features in this four-bedroom cottage in Byfield, with a large garden and an outhouse. Fine and Country, 01295 987 064. £550,000

Shropshire: In the centre of Ludlow, near a daily market, this house has three bedrooms, several ornate fireplaces and beamed ceilings. Strutt and Parker, 01584 544 004. £525,000

Shropshire: In the centre of Ludlow, near a daily market, this house has three bedrooms, several ornate fireplaces and beamed ceilings. Strutt and Parker, 01584 544 004. £525,000

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Tungsten and BC Partners launch €296m industrial JV (GB)

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Tungsten Properties have signed a transformative €296m (£250m) JV funding agreement with BC Partners. The newly formed joint venture company will target single and multi-let industrial opportunities across the UK, which will range from last-mile to big box logistics warehouses with a GDV of greater than €29.6m (£25m). Tungsten Properties will act as asset and development manager for the joint venture. With a strong conviction in the underlying occupational fundamentals of the industrial warehousing sector, the joint venture has already identified a strong pipeline to initially seed the partnership.

 

Jeff Penman, managing director, Tungsten Properties said:“This is a significant step in Tungsten’s expansion strategy to continue to deliver industrial and warehouse space to create growth, jobs and investor returns. This transformational JV agreement with BC Partners will provide reliable capital to continue delivering strategically located, environmentally friendly buildings across the UK. While there is volatility in the capital markets, both Tungsten and BC Partners believe that the industrial market’s long-term fundamentals remain strong. With a fighting fund behind us, we look forward to securing further opportunities.”

 

Laurian Douin, partner, BC Partners said: “The UK industrial and warehouse sector has strong secular fundamentals. Given Tungsten’s strong track record and like-minded approach to development, we are thrilled to partner with them to jointly invest in this asset class. The joint venture intends to deliver well-located, exceptional schemes to meet occupier demand, with a particular focus on schemes’ environmental credentials in-line with BC Partners Real Estate’s commitment to ESG.”

 

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Four homes for sale with swimming pools: With price tags from £1.1m to £190k

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Owning a property with a swimming pool might seem like one of life’s luxuries that is reserved for millionaires.

But, as our pick of homes for sale with swimming pools proves, you don’t have to have a multi-million pound property to have one.

That said, you may still need deep pockets for their upkeep, which can be costly, particularly if you want to keep your swimming pool heated to a comfortable temperature.

While water shortages and hosepipe bans are hitting the headlines, a pool that is already filled with water will not draw on resources but may be forbidden from being topped up by hosepipe in the case of a ban.

Our pick of four properties for sale with swimming pools are for various budgets, ranging from £1.1million to £190,000 (scroll down for more information about the house pictured)

Our pick of four properties for sale with swimming pools are for various budgets, ranging from £1.1million to £190,000 (scroll down for more information about the house pictured)

Here, we take a look at four swimming pools at properties for those with a range of different budgets.

At the top end is a six-bedroom house in Ramsgate, Kent. with an acre of land that includes an outdoor swimming pool. It has a price tag of £1.1million.

At the other end is three-bedroom property in Ashington, Northumberland, with an empty indoor swimming pool and an asking price of only £190,000.

Daniel Copley, of Zoopla, said: ‘With Britain currently experiencing a heatwave, it’s no surprise that homes with swimming pools are proving to be increasingly popular.

‘Whether your budget is more in the deep or shallow end, some homes with pools may be more affordable than you think.

‘While the rise in energy bills will have a very real impact on those wanting to heat a pool, at this time of year a refreshing dip may be just what’s needed.’

Four properties with swimming pools… 

1. Six-bed house, Ramsgate, £1.1m

The most expensive house in our list of properties with swimming pools is this £1.1million home in Ramsgate, Kent, which is being sold by Miles & Barr estate agents

The most expensive house in our list of properties with swimming pools is this £1.1million home in Ramsgate, Kent, which is being sold by Miles & Barr estate agents

The property is called Pond Cottage and it boasts a large outdoor swimming pool that has a curved slide at the side

The property is called Pond Cottage and it boasts a large outdoor swimming pool that has a curved slide at the side

Inside the property, the entertainment facilities continue - with a cinema room that has black chairs and a red carpet

Inside the property, the entertainment facilities continue – with a cinema room that has black chairs and a red carpet

The most expensive house in our list of properties with swimming pools is this £1.1million home in Ramsgate, Kent.

It boasts more than an acre of land that includes a large outdoor swimming pool, a patio and a pool area.

The property is called Pond Cottage and it is being sold by Miles & Barr estate agents.

2. Five-bed semi-detached house, Welling, £625k

This semi-detached property in Welling, Kent, may not look like it can house a swimming pool from the front aspect

This semi-detached property in Welling, Kent, may not look like it can house a swimming pool from the front aspect

A slimline swimming pool has been added to the rear of the house and it has been covered to protect it from the elements

A slimline swimming pool has been added to the rear of the house and it has been covered to protect it from the elements

The Kent property is on the market with a price tag of £625,000 and the sale is being handled by estate agents MS Estates

The Kent property is on the market with a price tag of £625,000 and the sale is being handled by estate agents MS Estates

This semi-detached property in Welling, Kent, may not look like it can house a swimming pool from the front.

But a slimline swimming pool has been added to the rear of the house. It is on the market for £625,000 via MS Estates.

3. Five-bed house, Ripon, £450k

This three-bedroom house in Ripon, North Yorkshire, was once a barn and has been converted into a family home with a swimming pool

This three-bedroom house in Ripon, North Yorkshire, was once a barn and has been converted into a family home with a swimming pool

The curved shaped indoor swimming pool sits below wooden beams and has a separate bar area for entertaining

The curved shaped indoor swimming pool sits below wooden beams and has a separate bar area for entertaining

The barn conversion has a colourful interior and is on the market for £450,000 via Solo Property Management estate agents

The barn conversion has a colourful interior and is on the market for £450,000 via Solo Property Management estate agents

This three-bedroom barn conversion in Ripon, North Yorkshire, boasts an indoor swimming pool and bar area.

It is on the market with a price tag of £450,000 and the sale is being handled by Solo Property Management.

4. Three-bed house, Ashington, £190k

This three-bedroom house in Ashington, Northumberland, is the cheapest in our list of properties for sale with swimming pools

This three-bedroom house in Ashington, Northumberland, is the cheapest in our list of properties for sale with swimming pools

The 1930s detached property has an indoor swimming pool that isn¿t currently being used because it has been left empty

The 1930s detached property has an indoor swimming pool that isn’t currently being used because it has been left empty

The three-bedroom property is currently for sale for £190,000 and is being sold via Rook Matthews Sayer estate agents

The three-bedroom property is currently for sale for £190,000 and is being sold via Rook Matthews Sayer estate agents

This three-bedroom house in Ashington, Northumberland, is the cheapest in our list of properties for sale with swimming pools.

It is a 1930s detached property with an indoor swimming pool that isn’t currently being used as it is empty.

The property is for sale for a relatively cheap £190,000 and is being sold via Rook Matthews Sayer estate agents.

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Barwood Homes invests in Woodville resi scheme (GB)

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Harworth Group plc has completed the sale of an eight-acre land parcel at Woodville, Derbyshire to Barwood Homes for the delivery of 73 new houses. This represents Harworth’s first transaction with the Northampton-based housebuilder. The land parcel forms part of a 53-acre regeneration site which is owned by Beepart Ltd, part of Dyson Group, the Sheffield-based former manufacturer of industrial materials. Harworth is promoting the site on its behalf through a Planning Promotion Agreement. In April 2022, South Derbyshire District Council granted outline consent for the creation of up to 300 homes on the site, in addition to a c.30,000ft² local center with convenience retail and leisure amenities and over 150,000ft² of employment space for a range of uses.

 

The wider site has been unlocked by the delivery of Derbyshire County Council’s Woodville to Swadlincote Regeneration Route, which opened to traffic in December 2021, providing better access to Swadlincote and traffic relief in Woodville, as well as improved connectivity across the site. Preparation works will commence shortly for the next phases of residential and employment land sales at the development.

 

Ed Catchpole, Regional Director for Yorkshire & Central at Harworth, commented: “This sale is a fantastic start to the development at Woodville and we are pleased to welcome Barwood Homes to the site, who will deliver high-quality new housing for the local community. Our focus is now on bringing forward the rest of the development, utilising our extensive experience in the remediation of complex sites, including earthworks and infrastructure, to ready the remaining residential and employment land.”

 

Luke Simmons, Managing Director of Barwood Homes, added: “We are delighted to be working alongside Harworth on this exciting development. The team is looking forward to engaging with the local community as we gear up to deliver a scheme of excellent quality in design, build and service.”

 

Gavin Rosson, Managing Director of Dyson Group, added: “This first sale of a residential portion of the site is an important step in unlocking the full development potential of the whole, something we have been trying to achieve for many years. Such development will help regenerate Woodville and the surrounding area, somewhere we have had a presence since 1967 and are delighted to participate in.”

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