Upminster has been revealed to be one of London’s top locations for second-steppers, with buyers searching for more space flocking to this popular commuter hub thanks to its relatively affordable house prices, strong transport links and family-friendly credentials.
Second steppers – in other words first-time owners looking to trade up the property ladder by buying their second home – are typically professional couples and young families who are moving from their starter home (usually a flat) to find a bigger property with more space and preferably a garden. They might already have a family, be about to start a family or have plans to do so at some point in the future – but either way, they have outgrown their first home and are searching for somewhere more spacious.
This is where the suburbs come into their own, offering larger houses with gardens, a slower pace of life, a more family-friendly feel, extra green space and an abundance of local schools.
Recent research revealed that Upminster is the capital’s second most popular location for second-time buyers, with 46% of sales to second steppers at an average price of £412,034. This is £47,034 more than the cost of an average first-time buyer home.
A suburb with great connectivity
Perhaps best known for being the last stop on the eastern section of the District Line, Upminster straddles the borders of East London and Essex and benefits hugely from being a very well-connected transport hub. As well as Upminster station, which is the eastern terminus of the District Line and also offers Overground and National Rail services, the town is also home to Upminster Bridge station (District Line) and a number of excellent local bus routes.
London is about an hour’s drive away, while reaching Fenchurch Street via Overground services takes just 23 minutes. The tube also provides reasonably fast links to Blackfriars, Embankment, Westminster, Victoria, South Kensington and Earl’s Court.
When Crossrail (or the Elizabeth Line) is fully operational – now set to be the autumn of 2019 after a delay to its opening was recently announced – Upminster locals will be able to access the service from nearby Romford or Chadwell Heath.
While excellent transport links are perhaps its main draw, Upminster also provides excellent value for second steppers. Granted, an average value of more than £412,000 for a second-stepper home isn’t cheap, but compared to other parts of London it’s much more affordable. What’s more, buyers get more bang for their buck in the suburbs, where homes aren’t so crammed together or restricted by narrow roads.
Upminster also offers the best of both worlds in terms of lifestyle – it’s close enough to London to ensure people don’t feel cut off, but it also sits right on the edge of the green belt, which means an abundance of wonderful countryside and country parks right on the doorstep. The coast, too, is that little bit closer for those days when an escape to the beach (and some fresh sea air) is required.
It’s also home to a number of good local schools, a high street with all the usual favourites and some excellent independent stores, and a pleasing range of local parks, leisure venues and playing fields. The Queen’s Theatre, in nearby Hornchurch, is ideal for culture vultures, while keen foodies and restaurant-goers will be well served by LEFKE (modern Turkish and Cypriot dining), Sorrento (traditional Italian) and The Old White Horse (homely pub grub). The Jobber’s Rest – a pub/brasserie – is another excellent option.
How can sellers take advantage?
If you’re selling a home in Upminster, one of your target demographics is likely to be second steppers, given the number of sales to this particular group. So, whether you are trading up or downsizing, you should have an eager pool of potential buyers to push your home towards.
It will probably be wise to point out the extra space at play, the good local amenities and the excellent local transport links on offer. At the viewings, you can also work with your agent to put across the best attributes of your home and the local area.
As ever, a clean, decluttered, inviting and well-maintained home will have the broadest appeal. For more information about selling in Upminster, you can get in touch with the Balgores Property Group team in Upminster on 01708 259539.
Our experienced staff can help you to get your home sold for the best possible price, offering a ‘unique, transparent service’ to help you move home with ease.
To find out how much your home could be worth in the current marketplace, you can also request a free instant online valuation.