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Property: Herts' hot market

PUBLISHED: 15:02 07 September 2015 | UPDATED: 15:10 07 September 2015

There are 15 per cent fewer houses on the market than three years ago

There are 15 per cent fewer houses on the market than three years ago

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Toby Ridge of property finders Garrington looks at the factors driving up the value of the county's bricks and mortar

It is not difficult to spot that something unusual is going on in Hertfordshire’s housing market. According to figures on property website Rightmove there are 15 per cent fewer properties on the market than three years ago in the county while the number of searches for homes in Herts has risen by 75 per cent – from 116,963 to 203,713 a month.

Such an imbalance between supply and demand is the key reason for Hertfordshire making headlines this year. St Albans was recently highlighted for its fast-rising house prices which, the Nationwide said, were climbing quicker than in London.

And property portal Zoopla named Harpenden and Radlett as the biggest property boom towns outside the capital, while the Daily Mail has tipped Watford as the place to watch as millions of pounds are spent on a town centre facelift, new shopping mall and improved roads.

Alongside these well-known locations, highly-regarded Berkhamsted is seeing a continued demand for property due to its picturesque and high quality homes, and Hitchin is seeing an increasing demand for property due to its excellent transport links.

But it doesn’t stop there – Hertfordshire has been experiencing the fastest growth in house prices of any of the Home Counties for over a year now. Prices are currently rising at a rate of 11.6 per cent, higher than Surrey (10.3 per cent) and Buckinghamshire (9.6 per cent).

What is driving this high demand for property in Hertfordshire? Three major factors are the county’s relative affordability to London, excellent schools and the quick commute into the capital.

The county also benefits from the ‘spoke’ effect. If you consider London to be a wheel and the main train lines out of it as spokes, then three of these run through Hertfordshire – the lines from Kings Cross, Blackfriars and Liverpool Street.

All this is good news for anyone selling a home in Hertfordshire, as property here is fast gathering value. But it is less wonderful news for buyers, because there just aren’t enough properties for sale in the county. It’s a problem that the whole of the UK faces, but the challenge of finding your ideal home in Herts is particularly high and it means buyers need to get in quick with a good offer - in a ‘tight’ market such as this timing and offers are crucial.

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Garrington works on behalf of clients who want to buy, rent or invest in property throughout the UK. They also provide a negotiation only and overseeing of sales service. See garringon.co.uk

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