Regeneration developments in Rochester and Strood promise big things for Medway landlords and investors

Hello readers. It has been a busy few weeks and January has just flown by!

We had a great session of The Property Vault Medway last week, where we heard from three speakers including Georgina Burnett. At the event we were really pleased to be able to hand over a cheque for £1,097.40 to the local Samaritans – a very worthy cause indeed. All the money raised from the networking event, minus admin fees, goes to charity.

In other news, in my blog post published on January 15th I wrote about how Medway Council’s development plans could impact the Medway Property market. In relation to this, a document has been published that opens a public exhibition on the vision for the future of Rochester Riverside.

Countryside Properties and the Hyde Group have been appointed by Medway Council and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to deliver the regeneration of the area. The site comprises 21 hectares of brownfield development land, stretching from Rochester Bridge to the north and Doust Way to the south. It has 2.5km of near-continuous frontage to the River Medway as well as views up and downstream and inland towards the cathedral and castle.

Medway Council says that this development has so far focused on the ‘Southern Gateway’, located at the southern end of the site. In 2013, 73 new homes were delivered in partnership with Hyde Housing.

These new plans look at the transformation of the area over the next 12 years, building around 1,300 new homes, of which 25 per cent will be affordable housing.

They will also provide a new school, nursery, hotels, restaurants, gym, healthcare facilities, office space and a number of retail units on the site, which Medway Council says is one of Medway’s most exciting regeneration hotspots, with an anticipated final development value of over £400 million.

In other news, Medway Council has issued draft plans for improvements to Strood town centre after successfully securing money from the government’s Local Growth Fund in 2015. The draft action plan “sets out proposals aimed at improving traffic flow, movement throughout the area, the public realm and selected buildings to create a sense of place within Strood”.

The objectives are to:

  • improve journey times and reduce congestion
  • deliver a safe and attractive environment for those that walk, cycle or use public transport
  • renew and refresh the public spaces and the shopping environment
  • create a feeling of place and pride

Clearly, both the new proposed Rochester development and the changes for Strood will have a massive impact on the area – not only improving it, but helping landlords build solid returns on their investments. This is because house prices should respond positively as Medway will be a more desirable place to live and work.

To add to these developments, UK estate agent Savills has recently announced some new research. It says that latest analysis of Land Registry data shows commuters could save an average of £3,342 on their house price for every minute of travel away from London.

The further buyers move from the capital, and therefore the longer their journey time each day, the more affordable house prices are. That sounds a clear statement to make, but the figures are somewhat staggering when laid out like that, I think you would agree!

They produced a table to illustrate this and it shows that for commuters willing to travel for more than 100 minutes every morning and evening, second-hand homes cost on average £196,289 – less than half the average price of homes in the shortest travel time band (19-39 minutes).

And why am I sharing this? According to the Daily Mail, which reported on this research, the biggest winner is Chatham. The town comes out as the cheapest place to live within a 19 to 39 minute commute of London (that being the High Speed 1 travel time) with the average price of a house coming out at £194,229.

Once again, this is good news for investors as it means you will get more bang for your buck in Chatham. It also means that you will have plenty of potential tenants who still can’t quite afford their first house and want to travel and work in London.

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If you need help sourcing a new property as an investment then please don’t hesitate in contacting me (details below). Please also join the Property Investors in Medway Facebook Group, which is the place for landlords of Medway to swap tips and strategies with each other, as well as sharing networking opportunities.

If you have a property that you are not sure is a good investment, feel free to ping me an email to hasan@bullfinchproperties.co.uk with the Rightmove, Zoopla or similar link and I would be happy to give advice. As I am a lettings-only specialist I will give you the advice you need. Alternatively you can call me on 07944 726676.

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