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How house prices have changed in Bournemouth over the last two years 

Eddison Wells is privileged to have an office in Bournemouth. As as a Bournemouth Mortgage Broker we value the opportunity to pop down to the Pier after a day in work to soak up the sun. 

Bournemouth's increasing popularity as a student town has had a major impact on its housing market over the last few years. No longer, are homes being built or renovated specifically with the family and OAP market in mind. Homes are increasingly designed for occupation by multiple students simultaneously. In this article, we'll take a look at the impact this market shift has had on house prices in Bournemouth and gaze into our crystal ball to see what might happen to prices in the coming years.

Who is buying property in Bournemouth?

Bournemouth's location and services mean that housing in the town appeals to a diverse group of people. The town is close enough for London to make commuting an option, particularly for people who only have to go into the capital two or three times a week. Its seaside location has long made it popular with retirees who want to bring a little bit of sea air and a relaxed atmosphere into their old age. Then there are the aforementioned students at the town's further and higher education institutions.

All these groups are competing for a relatively constrained number of properties and the consequences of this have been predictable. According to a popular online property portal, house prices in Bournemouth have risen by 2.5% in the last year and 28% over the last five years. That's a faster rate than has been seen in other popular UK cities such as Birmingham and Edinburgh and shows the popularity of the Bournemouth housing market.

The commuter factor is very important. Bournemouth is around two hours from central London on the very fastest trains. In the past, this would have been considered too far for a reasonable commute. However, as property prices in London have become more unaffordable, people have started to look further and further afield for a suitable family home. Bournemouth's seaside location and relaxed and friendly atmosphere have led many to choose the town as a London commuter based, despite the relatively long travel time. As the internet and other technological innovations make it ever easier to work from home, this trend is likely to continue. 

The Green Belt factor

When you hear discussion of the green belt, you generally think of properties being built on the outskirts of London. However, Bournemouth also has its own green belt which restricts development of new properties and other buildings in the local area.

This helps to keep house prices in the area higher than they otherwise would be, as it is not possible to build enough houses to meet local demand. In recent years, the government has suggested that it may consider changes to planning regulations that will make it easier to build new properties on green belt land in and around the UK's major cities and towns. However, the recent election result and the government's natural preoccupation with the Brexit negotiations mean that there's unlikely to be any immediate change to policy on the green belt. Any changes would be extremely unpopular with certain local groups and would almost certainly be subject to several rounds of protest and time consuming appeals. While it is possible that the government's approach to planning regulations and the green belt will eventually change, this is unlikely to happen soon.

Other factors to consider

South Western Railway, the new operator of trains between Bournemouth and London Waterloo has promised a number of changes in the coming years which are designed to make commuting between Bournemouth and London easier, less crowded and, most crucially, faster. If these changes are delivered successfully then it is likely that more London commuters will see Bournemouth as an option when they're looking for somewhere to live. This is likely to push property prices in the area even higher in the next decade or so.

It's also worth taking a moment to consider the impact that Brexit or any unexpected economic shocks or government decisions could have. The property market in the UK is complex and there'a a huge number of external factors that can shape prices and demand. If the Brexit negotiations go badly and this has a major impact on London economy, it is likely that house prices in the city will fall and this could reduce demand in Bournemouth as London commuters are once again ale to afford homes a little closer to the city where they work. On the other hand, if Brexit kicks off the economic boom that some commentators have promised, then London property could become even more difficult to afford for the people who actually work in the city. This would push up demand for properties in outlying commuter areas like Bournemouth.

Looking further ahead, it's possible that commuting could become a thing of the past for most people. Improvements in computer technology mean that more and more people work a few days a week from home and go into the office less than they used to. If this trend becomes more common then it's found to have an impact on where people live, how people commute and how much they're willing to pay for a property in a particular area.

In summary, there are a huge number of factors that have impacted the prices of houses in Bournemouth over the last two years. Looking further ahead, there are even more issues in the mix. Any one of them could have a gift impact on what we're paying for a house in bournemouth or anywhere else in the UK in the future. The next decade or so will certainly be an interesting time to be a part of the UK's property market.