The year has started where it left off for our housing market, with house prices continuing to rise at their fastest pace in 15 years fuelled by a lack of supply of homes available. Rightmove’s latest data compounds this further, revealing buyer enquiry levels are up 15% compared to this time last year. This has meant new launches are getting snapped up. Berkeley’s latest collection at Woodhurst Park – The Oaks – has seen a burst of activity with the first release of homes reserved in just eight weeks, with the next release of homes in this collection due to be available soon.
Benjamin Ivey, Director of Sales and Marketing at Berkeley Homes (Oxford & Chiltern), says: “It has been the perfect blend of country living, great commuter links, the desire to buy a new-build, as well as the overall lack of supply in the area, that has culminated in especially buoyant sales for Woodhurst Park.”
The latest release of new properties at the end of November led to over 70 appointments to view the first release of the 35 homes in The Oaks. The remaining homes in this collection range from three-, four- and five-bedroom family homes.
The gulf between supply and demand will continue to characterise housing activity in the coming months, particularly as buyers look to ‘lock in’ a mortgage deal before interest rates rise. Tim Foreman, the selling agent for Woodhurst Park and Managing Director of Land and New Homes at Romans Group, says: “We are seeing multiple offers on almost every new home that is being launched. We had expected business might quieten down after the Stamp Duty holiday ended, but people want to get a fixed rate before interest rates go up again, putting a ticking clock on their move. I haven’t seen a market like this in 20 years.”
Benjamin says: “The homes at The Oaks which have sold most quickly have been four and five-bedroom detached. There is a particular shortage of this type of family home in the area, so Berkeley has responded by including more large, high-quality properties in this development and they are proving extremely popular.”
Woodhurst Park boasts excellent transport connections; Bracknell Railway Station is less than two miles away with services reaching Waterloo in around an hour, whilst nearby Maidenhead Station, just a 15 minute drive away, has the new Crossrail line which reaches London Paddington in 16 minutes. Parents will appreciate the good selection of nearby schools, with a number of Outstanding rated primary and secondary schools within easy reach – including popular Warfield Primary which sits in the heart of the development.
The 65-acre parkland on which the development sits on has been the ultimate draw for many buyers, however. Benjamin says: “The beautiful surroundings are tempting buyers from London, who are discovering that flexible working means they can move further into the country and enjoy the benefits of rural life while still being able to get to the office quickly when they need to, as well as families looking for safer, greener communities to bring up children.”
The whole development has been designed to have nature at its heart, with a landscaped Greenway running through the centre, providing a safe walking route to the new primary school, along with a wealth of landscaped areas, nature walks and play areas, as well as a village green and a pond. The Oaks is close to tranquil and beautiful walks along the natural watercourse at The Riverside Cut.
In the local area, attractions including the Lookout Discovery Centre with its miles of walking and cycling paths and Go Ape high ropes course, the John Nike Ski Centre and the Royal Berkshire Health and Racquets Club, while excellent shopping and eating out is available at The Lexicon in Bracknell, just two miles away.
Tim Foreman is expecting a busy spring as pressure on the availability of homes increases. “We are valuing and taking on half as many houses as normal for this time of year, but there are just as many able purchasers – so buyers are fighting over fewer properties, and we are back to the days of having multiple offers on one home. House prices are increasing on all new developments, but buyers are not being deterred, and there is simply nowhere near enough stock to satisfy demand.”
Currently available at Woodhurst Park is a number of three, four and five-bedroom homes, with prices starting from £635,000 for a three-bedroom home.