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Social Infrastructure, A Fundamental Aspect
Social infrastructure is a fundamental aspect to analyse before diving into a property purchase because quality amenities within a considerable distance will influence the value of a property. To help illustrate the importance of social infrastructure, let us dissect two scenarios: first and foremost, if you choose to purchase a property in an area decked with vacant stores, dilapidated streets and away from public transport, it is unlikely that the property will increase in value, unless a large-scale project is underway to uplift the area: on the other hand, if you purchase a home close to a run-down zone, with plans to be transformed by the council, there may be hope, as set schemes, funded by a significant amount of private and public investment could revitalise the area.
There are multiple reasons why a property’s value will improve. These factors may correlate directly to the property: the number of bedrooms or bathrooms; an additional lounge; garage; driveway; or garden to the front or back of the property. In addition, alterations such as loft conversions or property extensions will add significant value to a property.
Enhancements to social infrastructure will inevitably cause the value of a property to increase, but what exactly does social infrastructure cover? The social structure includes facilities ranging from schools, doctor surgeries or hospitals, gyms, transportation and more. Selecting the perfect location comes down to personal requirements.
The type of network hub close by can also influence the price of a property. For instance, if a house sits close to a runway, the noise pollution will detract from the desirability of the location, so the property may not increase in value.
Nevertheless, being close to transport hubs has proven to be beneficial. Properties near tube stops, bus stops and train stations anticipate considerable growth in value over time. It is all about striking the right balance, the need to live close to major road networks but not exactly next door. It all comes down to the ease of accessibility – can you easily walk to the train station or conveniently drive to the motorway? On the other hand, if the property is too close to a transport hub, you will risk facing heavier traffic.
Nevertheless, when the transport hubs are improved throughout the years, property prices will inflate. Schemes are always in place to develop transport networks, improve accessibility and enhance services. A solid example is the North, with an exponential investment strategy planned, the region could benefit from a £97Bn increase in GVA by upgrading transport networks. Improving services will provide better connectivity to major cities, playing an integral role in economic growth. This will boost the livability in the North, boosting the capital growth potential and solidifying the region as a prime investment location.
It is all about convenience. For example, if you need to pop to your local store to grab a gallon of milk, you do not want to travel miles upon miles. Larger supermarkets also tend to close much later than independent stores. Therefore, unsurprisingly, homebuyers are willing to pay the price for convenience.
Similarly, an interesting statistic published by Lloyds a few years ago showed that properties close to Waitrose rose by £38,666 on average (although there are other factors surrounding this increase). Waitrose strategically places its stores close to homes at higher price points. Similarly, stores such as Asda and Aldi will also add value to your property, albeit not as much.
Data shows that properties within walking distance of schools, colleges, or universities, can expect prices to boost. Figures from the Department of Education show that properties close to excellent-rated primary schools are 8% higher in price on average and 6.8% higher near outstanding secondary schools.
These properties tend to hold the value over prolonged periods because school admissions are dependent on catchment areas. Therefore, many parents are willing to move to a better location to ensure their child can access a good school. According to Confused.com, the average price of a house near top-performing schools sits at £331,605. Interestingly, this is nearly £100,000 higher than postcodes with schools with an inadequate rating.
Throughout the pandemic and as people spent more time at home, they started to reconsider and re-analyse what they require from a space. As a result, people began to race for additional space. Research also shows that more buyers are looking for homes with access to walking trails and open fields.
Properties close to parks tend to experience higher growth in price, particularly those less than half a mile away. Studies show that homes close to a park have the potential to increase by 8-20%. Properties within a 500m radius of a park in Greater Manchester had the potential to grow in value by £2,158, according to data by USwitch. Similarly, properties within the same distance in London experienced growth of £1,586 on average due to the increasing demand for green areas in London.
Homes close to parks come with the perks of having beautiful scenery right on the doorstep. Imagine a property near a noisy industrial estate. Now envision one near a blossoming green space. What would you prefer to see outside your window? Likewise, neighbourhoods near parks are well-lit for the comfort of strollers. In addition, the council will ensure the district is clean, sidewalks are maintained, and any pedestrianised routes are improved when necessary.
Whether you are out for a jog, want to take a leisurely walk, wish to socialise in the open community spaces, or take the children to explore the playground – there is something for everyone. Subsequently, this will improve the quality of life of residents. Heading out into nature reduces stress, thus positively affecting mental health. Therefore, enhancing desirability in the area and boosting competition and housing demand. All these factors contribute to strong capital growth.
Parks, supermarkets and schools, make up part of the list. A strategic social infrastructure brings with it copious benefits. Especially when stores, hairdressers, gyms, and places of worship blend seamlessly. As a result, it saves residents valuable time as they will not need to travel far to reach amenities. Moreover, it can mitigate loneliness as more community facilities are present to bring people together.
Furthermore, services will be updated and renovated over time. So once certain facilities are improved or expanded, it will cause property prices within the area to rise. Besides, zones with a good structure will also experience a quicker bounce back from any monetary crisis.
The younger population will seek opportunities further afield if the neighbourhood is disenchanting, with derelict buildings and abandoned businesses. Certain areas strategically place facilities to attract professional individuals who will take advantage of the job opportunities. All the aspects discussed, contribute to a strong capital growth potential.
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