It pays, when selling your home, to have a good handle on the local market you are operating in. What are the average house prices? What type of homes are selling best? How long are homes typically staying on the market?
Here, we take a closer look at what sellers can currently expect from the market in the popular Kent commuter town of Gravesend.
Prices on the rise
Overall sold prices in Gravesend over the last year were 11% up on the 2016 level of £260,352, and currently stand at an average of just over £288,000, according to Rightmove. Terraced properties are the most popular type of home, selling for an average price of around £268,167, while semi-detached are also popular with a higher average selling price of just over £330,000.
Flats are the most affordable option for buyers, at an average of just over £177,500, and are likely to prove most popular among first-time purchasers.
This time last year we looked at how property prices in Gravesend were on the up, and there have been no signs that prices or demand is slowing, despite the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
According to Zoopla, the average price currently paid is just under £320,000, with 67 sales in the last three months and 858 in the last year.
Meanwhile, the time flats and detached houses spent on the market in Gravesend has reduced by 2% and 9% respectively in the last year, according to Home.co.uk.
Demand is generally high for homes in Gravesend thanks to its strong transport links, good local schools and excellent local amenities, which include an Aldi and an Asda Superstore, an eclectic mix of local restaurants, a riverside leisure area and three major shopping centres – namely St George’s, Thamesgate and Imperial Retail Park.
The aforementioned transport links are perhaps the area’s greatest strength – it not only has great bus links, but also very strong rail links thanks to HS1, which arrived in 2009 and boosted the town significantly. Now, commuters can reach London St Pancras International – with connections to the rest of the capital and elsewhere – in just 24 minutes.
Gravesend’s popularity as a commuter town is also boosted by its relatively affordable house prices, which make it appealing to buyers looking to escape the hustle and bustle and higher costs at play in the capital.
It’s also appealing thanks to its Thameside location – and all the historical connections this has left behind – its numerous green spaces and the more relaxing pace of life it offers. Well-known landmarks include a life-size statue of Pocahontas, Gravesend Town Pier (the world’s oldest surviving cast-iron pier) and Windmill Hill, while there are regular reminders of its links with literary great Charles Dickens and Hollywood film director Paul Greengrass.
Good pubs, great places for fish & chips and restaurants serving cuisines from all over the world – not to mention bars, cafes and clubs – make it attractive to those keen on a thriving social scene.
Heritage Quarter redevelopment set to transform town
In December, planning permission was granted for the refurbishment and improvement of St George’s Shopping Centre, seen as an important first step in the delivery of the wider town centre regeneration proposals being driven by Reef Group, in partnership with Gravesham Council.
As a result, the shopping centre got the green light to be transformed, ensuring that it is more welcoming and attractive to shoppers and retailers alike, as well as increasing footfall and enhancing ‘the vitality and viability of St George’s and the wider town centre’.
The refurbishment, which is now nearly finished, forms one part of the wider Gravesend Heritage Quarter project, which aims to bring new life and activity to the historic centre of Gravesend.
The development - which will be spread between an Eastern Quarter around the Borough Market, a Western Quarter around St George’s Church and the revitalised St George’s Shopping Centre – has no set completion date and the project appears to still be waiting for full planning permission, but the plans propose new shops, leisure attractions and office space as well as a new hotel, a new boutique cinema, new homes and new restaurants.
The major new investment and revitalisation of the Heritage Quarter should help to make Gravesend more attractive to buyers than ever before.
The plans have been a long time in the pipeline, and have before now beset by opposition, delays and complications, but the joint partnership between Reef Group and Gravesham Council announced in June 2018 did seem to get the ball rolling more – and now that the first part of the £120 million regeneration has kicked off in earnest, there is a good chance the rest will follow.
Other recent projects have included the refurbishment of Gravesend Borough Market, with £1.8 million assistance from the government’s Coastal Communities Fund. The venue, first established as far back as 1268, now plays host to a street food section and a wide range of stalls selling everything from art and antiques to cosmetics, home décor and gifts on offer.
Pounce on increased buyer interest
Activity typically ramps up in September and October as the kids return to school and summer winds down. Interested buyers start to pursue their interest with more vigour as they seek to be in their new home before Christmas. As a result, it could make sense to list your home now to ensure you are ahead of your competition and generating plenty of interest ahead of any surge in activity.
While the ongoing Brexit uncertainty is undeniably having an impact on all aspects of life, and could increase further as we reach October 31 and a possible no-deal exit, there are no guarantees over what will happen and the property industry, more than most, is keen to take a business as usual approach even during the current political turmoil.
To ensure you get the best possible asking price for your home, and sell quickly in a town like Gravesend, it’s important that you partner with an experienced local estate agent who understands the national and local market and has a pool of eager buyers to target your property towards.
You can find out more about the work of Balgores Property Group in Gravesend here. To find out how much your home could be worth in the current marketplace, you can request a free and instant online valuation.