Southampton Property Market

by : Paul Serellis

Southampton is located on the South coast of England, 80 miles South West of London. Historically Southampton has been a port city and today the port still plays a large part in Southampton's economy. However there is now quite a clear separation between the port and the City.

The City is in quite an envious location. The south coast benefits from a mild climate and the area has one of the highest levels of sunshine in the UK. Southampton has very good transport links with the M27/M3 motorway linking Southampton to London. Train service operates between Southampton and London Waterloo. The City also has its own airport with flight to many regional and international destinations. Southampton has good shopping and leisure facilities.

All this makes Southampton a desirable place to live and as such house prices have increased by slightly more than the national average. The average house price in 1995 was £60,000 and this has increased to just over £200,000 today. Prices are lower than some areas of the South East and good deals are still available for house buyers.

There are a total of around 96,000 houses in Southampton one third of which are flats, one third terraced homes and the balance are semi's or detached houses. This split favours young families as there is a good supply of houses. The rental market in Southampton is relatively buoyant and with a student population of 22,000 there is opportunity for the buy-to-let investor. In fact many of the flats in Southampton are held as buy-to-let properties. Areas to consider for student buy-to-let investments would be The Polygon, Shirley, Portswood, Basset and Swathling.

The area of Totton is a favourite for young families. It has a good number of houses which are relatively good value. Although technically Totton falls under the New Forest many of its residents work and shop in Southampton.

The suburb of Chilworth has mostly large detached homes and is a desirable area to live. A number of properties in this area are valued at well over £1 million.

Southampton's coastal position has been taken advantage of by the Ocean Village development. This is a new and trendy sea front development with some great views to sea or over its own marina. There are still a number of properties being sold in this development.

Like the rest of the South East there has been, and still is, an aggressive house building program taking place. The availability of new houses are not predicated to affect house prices in Southampton in the short term. Demand is expected to remain high. The City is attracting a large number of people moving from London, as well as a good number of European immigrants. This increase in population should keep house prices buoyant.

In all I believe Southampton offers the home buyer good value for money, a property which should hold its value and above all a great place to live. If it's a buy-to-let investment Southampton offers many opportunities be it student accommodation or an executive flat.