Affordable housing in Bath? On Sunday 2nd Sept, the Guardian published an article containing research from Hamptons International suggesting 42% of all homes in Bath and north-east Somerset sold in the first half of 2018 were bought by Londoners (who paid an average of £550,000).
Whilst I’d question how its possible Hamptons know the origin of all BANES buyers given their agency sells only a fraction of the property in the city, I don’t doubt the “down from London” crowd make up a significant proportion of the buying public at the moment. After all, if you can sell a one bed flat in Fulham for £450,000, why wouldn’t you consider trading that for a three bed house in a gorgeous West Country hotspot?
The more worrying question raised by the article was whether local buyers are being priced out by this influx. According to the National Housing Federation, average house prices are now 14 times the average earnings in Bath and north-east Somerset – a figure that has nearly trebled since 1999 – and things are no better on the lettings side with the average rent in the city now at £1190pcm.
You might think the affordable housing scheme is the answer to locals prayers but only 166 affordable homes were completed in BANES in the last year (2016-17). With some ongoing Bath developments only offering shared ownership flats as their “affordable” component and others (Bath Quays as the most notorious) somehow managing to get away with zero affordable housing, it seems new home developments won’t solve local families housing needs any time soon.
However, talk of averages and percentages never gives the whole picture so I thought it might be worth searching out some current examples of Bath homes available for less than half the average paid by the Londoners. Is there still affordable housing left in Bath? Have a look at the examples we’ve found below and see what you think;
Starting off our search with houses with at least two bedrooms (the most popular request from first time buyers), £250,000 could buy you a two bedroom house in Blackmore Drive – halfway up the southwestern slope of the city and easily accessible to local shops or Oldfield station, these 55sqm two bedroom terraces are in a quiet little cul de sac and have gardens and even a garage. Currently available via Bath Stone Property at £244,950 (https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-54497067.html).
High on the southern ridge but with Sainsburys and Wellsway bus routes just along the road, another choice for first time buyers could be Corston View. These ex local authority homes offer over 82sqm of accommodation in a cul de sac off Bloomfield Drive, as well as stunning skyline walks nearby down to Kingsway and Englishcombe Lane. Currently available via Fidelis at £240,000 (https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-55963935.html)
Lastly when it comes to houses, you could spend as little as £200,000 and get a 85sqm ex local authority terrace in Sheridan Road, Twerton with gardens and off street parking. This one needs a bit of updating but has loads of space and is close to Poolemead Rd bus routes or Priston Valley fields. Currently available via Bath Stone Property (https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-55230729.html)
Moving onto apartments, there is a little bit more choice around. Sticking with two bedroom property, £250,000 could buy you a two bedroom Victorian 69sqm upper maisonette in the heart of Oldfield Park. Right next to Moorland Road shops and only a short walk into the city centre, this large flat even has its own front door. Currently available via Madison Oakley (https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-55178898.html)
Grade II listed grandeur is within reach in Combe Down for £250,000 – Andrews have a first floor two bedroom apartment in a detached early 1800s former hotel. With 57sqm of accommodation and communal gardens, this high ceilinged beauty is only 500yds from village amenities (including one of our favourite Bath delis). Andrews Bear Flat office for more details or https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-52312512.html
Moving out to Batheaston gets you a two bedroom garden flat for £210,000 on Elmhurst Estate. Travelling out to this delightful suburb village means your own private garden and views over to Solsbury Hill plus an adjacent bus route and easy access north to the M4. Currently available via Zest (https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-56346429.html)
Lastly, you could choose to live in the middle of Weston village – Justin Hunter has a Belton Court two bedroom ground floor flat for sale at £185,000 OIEO. For that, you get 57sqm, a parking space, no chain and a balcony. Details via Justin or https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-52791663.html
If you don’t mind only one bedroom, there are over 60 properties currently listed for sale on Rightmove in the city under £250,000. The cheapest is a £145,000 Moorfields one bed flat.