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Move over Brighton! Prices have gone through the roof in some hotspots

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After years of big house price rises, some locations are now borderline unaffordable. 

But fear not, there’s a glut of new locations close to old favourites that are coming into their own. 

Here are five of the best.

Up and coming: Demand for properties in coastal Exmouth, Devon, with its two-mile sandy beach (pictured), is growing

Up and coming: Demand for properties in coastal Exmouth, Devon, with its two-mile sandy beach (pictured), is growing

Worthing instead of Brighton

The average house price in Worthing is about £385,000, a cool 75 grand less than Brighton’s £460,000. It’s good for hybrid workers in the office a few days a week —it’s 90 minutes to London by train or 20 minutes to Brighton.

Karen Standing, a director at estate agency Hamptons, has moved home from Brighton to Worthing with no regrets. ‘Worthing’s no longer the retirement town it was, but a lively and vibrant seaside spot,’ she says.

‘It’s seen huge growth in independent restaurants, al fresco dining along the seafront and beachfront cafes.

A rarely on sale, five-storey Georgian townhouse on Worthing seafront will set you back up to £1.5 million, but inland you can get an Edwardian six-bedroom semi-detached family home for under £800,000 — a far cry from Brighton prices.

Banbury instead of Oxford

There’s a clear house price difference. Banbury averages just £357,000 against Oxford’s £554,000 — but there are other advantages. 

Oxford is introducing controversial new traffic restrictions for residents while Banbury has a quick rail link into London Marylebone of 65 minutes.

A new out-of-town retail park, Gateway Banbury, has opened just off the M40, while the existing in-town Castle Quay shopping centre has been upgraded and includes a popular arts centre. Waitrose has opened a Banbury superstore, too.

James Shaw, director of buying agency Prime Purchase, says: ‘Moving that bit further out gets you better value for money and a more affordable family home, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see upward pressure on prices as a result.’

Ely instead of Cambridge

With its spectacular medieval cathedral, cluster of parks, well regarded schools and a host of annual fairs and festivals, Ely, officially one of the UK’s smallest cities, can’t be described as being second best to Cambridge. 

But it certainly offers better value-for-money homes — an average of £321,000 compared to Cambridge’s £493,000.

‘Buyers often come from London or Cambridge, two of the most expensive cities in the UK,’ says Edward Russell of estate agency Jackson Stops.

Fast trains to the capital are around 70 minutes and there are new homes being built: the largest scheme is Orchards Green, a 200-acre site just north of the city which will have 1,200 homes.

Ely’s family-friendly image is cemented by the modern Ely Leisure Village.

Exmouth instead of Exeter

The university city of Exeter may have an academic and sporting pedigree, but the city lacks a beautiful coastline.

That’s why Exmouth, with its two-mile sandy beach with a 200-berth marina, is so popular as a family-friendly alternative just 35 minutes from Exeter by train.

Prices are similar to Exeter’s (Zoopla puts both locations as selling homes for an average £377,000 in the past year) but Exmouth has a fast-developing reputation as a water sports hotspot.

A semi-detached three-bed house in Exmouth starts at £280,000 while a two-bedroom apartment in the marina costs £325,000. 

Inland, a detached home with garden is up to £550,000 while exceptional properties with uninterrupted sea views will hit £1 million.

‘Demand has grown due to Exmouth’s strong appeal to a range of buyers, and because houses are cheaper than other popular locations nearby such as Budleigh Salterton and Sidmouth,’ says Nick Cunningham of Stacks Property Search.

Salford instead of Manchester

A decade ago you could buy a home in Salford for under £100,000, but then the area was put on the map when the BBC built its MediaCity behemoth and now that’s been joined by ITV and a string of other creative giants.

Little wonder that its average property price (£217,000, says Zoopla) isn’t far behind the all-Manchester norm of £241,000. 

There’s more to come in this new community dominated by modern apartments, many of them rented to professional tenants.

Investment specialists tip the location for future price growth thanks to the council’s local plan forecasting 40,000 new jobs and an 11 per cent boost in the local population by 2037.

On the market… new favourites 

West Sussex: There are three bedrooms in this grade II‑listed lodge. The property is in Worthing, West Sussex, and has a gym in the garage plus a lovely garden. Savills, 01798 345980. £950,000

West Sussex: There are three bedrooms in this grade II‑listed lodge. The property is in Worthing, West Sussex, and has a gym in the garage plus a lovely garden. Savills, 01798 345980. £950,000

Devon: This three storey modern house is in Exmouth. There are 1,450 square feet of space including four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a garage and off-street parking. Bradleys, 01395 222300. £650,000

Devon: This three storey modern house is in Exmouth. There are 1,450 square feet of space including four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a garage and off-street parking. Bradleys, 01395 222300. £650,000

Oxfordshire: This five-bed house in Banbury has open-plan living spaces, some with floor-to-ceiling windows. There's a garden featuring a raised deck and home office annexe. Strutt and Parker, 01295 641123. £650,000

Oxfordshire: This five-bed house in Banbury has open-plan living spaces, some with floor-to-ceiling windows. There’s a garden featuring a raised deck and home office annexe. Strutt and Parker, 01295 641123. £650,000

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‘Britain’s shortest house’ measuring just 6ft 5ins tall which ‘dates back to 1758’ goes to auction

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Room for a little one! ‘Britain’s shortest house’ measuring just 6ft 5ins tall which ‘dates back to 1758’ goes to auction with £70,000 guide price

  • ‘Britain’s shortest house’ is just 6ft 5ins tall and is on the market for only £70K
  • The unique property is found in the village of Newton Poppleford near Sidmouth

‘Britain’s shortest house’ standing at just 6ft 5ins tall has gone on sale – for the relatively small price of £70,000.

The unique property, with ceilings that may skim the tops of some heads, is found in the village of Newton Poppleford near Sidmouth, Devon.

As its name implies, Ye Olde Toll House is a former toll house, which is believed to date back to 1758.

Its yellow exterior is topped off with a thatched roof, covering walls which stand no higher than an average front door.

Despite its miniature size the interior houses an entrance porch, living room, small kitchen, a shower room and one bedroom.

The unique property, with ceilings that may skim the tops of some heads, is found in the village of Newton Poppleford near Sidmouth, Devon

The unique property, with ceilings that may skim the tops of some heads, is found in the village of Newton Poppleford near Sidmouth, Devon

The unique 6ft 5ins property, that may skim the tops of some heads, is found in the village of Newton Poppleford near Sidmouth, Devon

The unique 6ft 5ins property, that may skim the tops of some heads, is found in the village of Newton Poppleford near Sidmouth, Devon

On the listing, Clive Emson Land and Property Auctioneers described the property as: 'A charming detached thatched Toll House for updating'

On the listing, Clive Emson Land and Property Auctioneers described the property as: ‘A charming detached thatched Toll House for updating’

There’s also an outdoor space with a log store area and attic space for extra storage.

On the listing, Clive Emson Land and Property Auctioneers described the property as: ‘A charming detached thatched Toll House for updating.

‘This unique single storey property is believed to date back to 1758 and is situated in the popular East Devon village of Newton Poppleford, which is only four miles from the popular seaside town of Sidmouth.

‘The property is likely to be of interest to a home owner or those looking for a lock-up and leave bolt hole. It could also be of interest to investment purchasers.’

Bidding for the property currently sits at £70k.

You can join the auction here.

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That’s potty! Grade II Listed cottage on sale is mocked for having a toilet in a children’ bedroom

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A Grade II listed cottage on sale for £450,000 has been mocked for having a toilet in the middle of one of the bedrooms.

The detached historic home in Colne, near Burnley, Lancashire, boasts a wealth of original features including mullion windows, inglenook stone fireplace and stone stills. 

But home hunters have been scratching their heads at the design choice of a loo and sink in what appears to be a child’s bedroom. 

The toilet has also been adorned with a large sticker featuring Marvel Comic character, Hulk, matching a small novelty Marvel laundry bin to its side.

Bemused Marie Gardiner said: ‘My friend sent me this from Rightmove and it’s freaking me out.

The toilet has also been adorned with a large sticker featuring Marvel Comic character, Hulk, matching a small novelty Marvel laundry bin to its side

The toilet has also been adorned with a large sticker featuring Marvel Comic character, Hulk, matching a small novelty Marvel laundry bin to its side

‘Somehow the layout is wrong in every room. Kid’s bedroom is also a toilet.’

Lydia Jane said: ‘That’s an OCD nightmare. Who builds a shower cubicle in front of a bedroom window?’

Marie added: ‘I thought it was maybe a stand up tanning thing?!

To which Lydia replied: ‘Might be, but still.’

It is listed in the property description which reads: ‘One of the bedrooms is separate to the others which is accessed via the spiral staircase and has a WC and wash basin.’

The quaint home features a large modern, living room diner and kitchen with a range oven and has a homely feel.

Three of the bedrooms are located in the main building with the fourth in an annex.

Other interesting features include what appears to be a stand up tanning booth in one of the other bedrooms, and wooden animals in the garden.

Other interesting features include what appears to be a stand up tanning booth in one of the other bedrooms

Other interesting features include what appears to be a stand up tanning booth in one of the other bedrooms

The key features include it being in a ‘sought after location,’ having a ‘fully fitted modern kitchen,’ ‘three bedrooms’ and ‘large private gardens.’

It is on the market with Petty Real Estate Agents and being advertised on Rightmove.

The property listing reads: ‘Beautiful three bedroom semi detached Grade II Listed cottage situated in a highly sought after semi rural location near to the amenities offered by Colne town centre.

‘This historic building which formed part of the old Carry Bridge Hall has a wealth of original features throughout such as, mullion windows, inglenook stone fireplace and stone stills.

‘The property comprises an entrance hallway with storage cupboard, spacious lounge diner with original stone flagged floor, inglenook stone fireplace with multifuel stove, spiral staircase and patio doors leading to the garden.

‘Fully fitted kitchen which houses a range of modern matching wall, base and drawer units, contrasting granite work surfaces, range oven, dishwasher and stairs leading to the first floor.

‘To the first floor is a landing there are three double bedrooms.

The 'beautiful three bedroom semi detached Grade II Listed cottage' has three of the bedrooms located in the main building with the fourth in an annex

The ‘beautiful three bedroom semi detached Grade II Listed cottage’ has three of the bedrooms located in the main building with the fourth in an annex

Th property listing boasts of a 'spacious lounge diner with original stone flagged floor, inglenook stone fireplace' and a spiral staircase

Th property listing boasts of a ‘spacious lounge diner with original stone flagged floor, inglenook stone fireplace’ and a spiral staircase

The quaint home features a large modern, living room diner with a prial staircase which can be used to access some of the bedrooms

 The quaint home features a large modern, living room diner with a prial staircase which can be used to access some of the bedrooms

The three piece family bathroom has a 'contemporary suite which includes a bath with shower over, low level WC and wash basin and is fully tiled throughout'

The three piece family bathroom has a ‘contemporary suite which includes a bath with shower over, low level WC and wash basin and is fully tiled throughout’

Petty Real Estate Agents, with whom the property is up on the market,  described how the property's kitchen 'has a homely feel'

Petty Real Estate Agents, with whom the property is up on the market,  described how the property’s kitchen ‘has a homely feel’

Original features in this historic home near Burnley, Lancashire include mullion windows

Original features in this historic home near Burnley, Lancashire include mullion windows

The four-bedroom home in the 'sought after location' has patio doors leading to the garden

The four-bedroom home in the ‘sought after location’ has patio doors leading to the garden

The 'fully fitted kitchen' features a 'modern matching wall, base and drawer units, contrasting granite work surfaces, range oven, dishwasher and stairs leading to the first floor'

The ‘fully fitted kitchen’ features a ‘modern matching wall, base and drawer units, contrasting granite work surfaces, range oven, dishwasher and stairs leading to the first floor’

There is a large private garden area to the rear which is 'mainly laid to the lawn'

There is a large private garden area to the rear which is ‘mainly laid to the lawn’ 

‘One of the bedrooms is separate two the others which is accessed via the spiral staircase and has a WC and wash basin.

‘Three piece family bathroom has a contemporary suite which includes a bath with shower over, low level WC and wash basin and is fully tiled throughout.

‘Detached annex with lounge & fully fitted kitchen, three piece shower room and double bedroom.

‘Externally there is a driveway leading to a courtyard where there is parking for several vehicles and a detached garage which has power and lighting.

‘The owners have created a woodland activity area which is perfect for your young children. There is a large private garden area to the rear which is mainly laid to the lawn.’

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‘Time capsule’ country house which has been left untouched for decades on sale for £1.65million

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A ‘time capsule’ country house left untouched for decades has gone on the market for £1.65m with 25 acres of overgrown grounds included. 

Burnells Estate on Exmoor National Park is nearly a century old but has not been lived in for at least 20 years as the current owner, who lives abroad, bought it to use as a retirement home and never got round to it. 

Estate agents Webbers have cleared the terrace around the outdoor swimming pool to show buyers the potential it has.

The house also has hunting rights over a neighbouring 81 acres of woodland and stunning countryside views of surrounding Exmoor.

Burnells estate was first built in 1927 for Lord Christopher Thomson, a British Army officer and later Labour minister and peer. 

The overgrown Burnells Estate on Exmoor National Park is on sale for a cool £1.65m

The overgrown Burnells Estate on Exmoor National Park is on sale for a cool £1.65m

The house was first built in the 1927s for Lord Christopher Thomson, a British Army officer and later Labour minister and peer

The house was first built in the 1927s for Lord Christopher Thomson, a British Army officer and later Labour minister and peer

The house in its former glory is quite the sight
It hasn't been lived in for over 20 years

The house has been left to decay for 20 years and is now overgrown and in need of renovation

He served in the Second Boer War and the First World War before going into politics.

Thomson was Secretary of State for Air under Ramsey MacDonald, who made him Baron Thomson in 1924. 

He died in the R101 airship crash on its maiden flight from Britain to France in 1930.

The accident was partly down to Lord Thomson putting pressure on to make the maiden flight before safety checks were complete and adequate flight testing had been done.

It led to the deaths of 48 people and the cancellation of the British airship programme by Thomson’s successor.

The house has an incredible private setting in the countryside, down a country lane between the villages of Dunster and Wootton Courtenay in Somerset.

The house has over 4,000 sq ft of living space with a large entrance hall, kitchen, breakfast room, dining room and a large L-shaped sitting room on the ground floor and eight bedrooms and three bathrooms on the first floor.

It has plenty of original features including exposed ceiling beams, ornate plasterwork and original fireplaces. 

The kitchen has an oil-fired Aga and adjoining butler’s pantry with original full-height crockery and storage cupboards.

There is also a large garage with a studio above.

The kitchen is spacious, airy and comes equipped with an AGA for clean country living

The kitchen is spacious, airy and comes equipped with an AGA for clean country living 

The inside of the house could use some work but has enough period features to fall in love with

The inside of the house could use some work but has enough period features to fall in love with 

The entertainment room has a large authentic log fire - perfect for winter nights

The entertainment room has a large authentic log fire – perfect for winter nights 

Outside the property has a number of slate terraces that would have originally made up the formal gardens and there is a sunken swimming pool from the house’s heyday. 

The grounds include mixed woodland, heathland and paddocks.

Mark Curran, from Webbers, said: ‘The house has not been occupied for at least 20 years and is a time capsule from the era of art deco.

‘The woodland and foliage has grown up around the property and offers people the possibility of a virtual blank canvas for their own preference and ideas.

‘The interior of the house could be remodelled to suit more modern tastes or enlarged.’

The property, which is in a national park, has nearly 25 acres of grounds

The property, which is in a national park, has nearly 25 acres of grounds

The house has hunting rights over a neighbouring 81 acres of woodland and stunning countryside views of Exmoor National Park

The house has hunting rights over a neighbouring 81 acres of woodland and stunning countryside views of Exmoor National Park

The owner Robert Berg said: ‘I was over in the UK for business and staying in a hotel that I really disliked, so I asked my accountant to help me find a home for when I was here.

‘I purchased the property back in 1979 and lived there permanently until 1983. I’ve used it as my holiday home ever since, until personal circumstances changed for me in recent years.

‘Unfortunately, I have not been back as often as I would have liked, so I think the time is right for me to move on and let new owners breathe life back into it. It is in need of renovation but I know it will make a truly unique home.

‘This is not a normal house; it must have been a very expensive project when it was built and it was constructed in the most perfect manner set over five slate terraces.

‘There is a swimming pool on the second terrace that is a wonderful luxury. Surrounded by woodland and beautiful trees, it offers a most welcome escape from the stresses of day-to-day life.

‘Views from the house are far reaching over scenic countryside that changes with the passing seasons.

‘Access to the property is via a private road which is about 500m long and not many people know that it’s here unless they are coming to visit.

‘I have loved my time living here, it’s been a really wonderful house, and I wish the new owners all the very best.’

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