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Which? reveals 2016’s property investment hotspots

Find out which are the next up-and-coming areas

New Which? research has revealed the top 10 up-and-coming areas throughout England and Wales.

People buying property, either to live in or as a buy-to-let investment, are often keen to buy in up-and-coming areas in the hope that the property’s value will rise before they come to sell it on.

We analysed Land Registry data to find areas where property prices have risen sharply but are still below the national average of £200,000, in order to identify areas that are both affordable and on the up.

The L1 postcode district in Liverpool came out top, with prices up by 41% in the last year compared to the previous three years but the average home still costing only £120,000. Conwy’s LL27 area was a close second, with average prices now at £185,000, compared to £135,000 in 2011-2014 – an increase of 37%.

Despite London generally being more expensive than the rest of the country, one postcode district in the capital made it into the top 10: DA18 in the southeastern borough of Bexley saw a rise of 32% last year, with the average price now £191,500.

Click on the map to go to our interactive tool and see how prices have changed where you live.

Affordable areas map

Top 10 affordable areas on the up

The table below shows the postcode districts in England and Wales where prices have increased the most in the last year compared to the previous three years. We’ve only included areas where the average selling price is still below the national average of £200,000.

Table: top 10 affordable areas on the up
Local authority area Postcode district Increase in average property price in the last year compared to the previous three years Average property price Dec 2014 – Nov 2015 Average property price Dec 2011 – Nov 2014
Liverpool L1 41% £120,000 £85,000
Conwy LL27 41% £185,000 £135,000
Bradford BD1 36% £57,000 £42,000
Salford M5 34% £127,890 £95,500
Manchester M12 32% £98,000 £74,000
Bexley DA18 32% £191,500 £145,000
Gwynedd LL23 29% £155,000 £120,000
Coventry CV1 28% £128,000 £100,000
Leeds LS3 28% £125,000 £98,000
Birmingham B3 27% £159,000 £124,950

Table notes: results based on Land Registry prices paid data for England and Wales. Averages based on medians. Sufficient data was not available for Scotland or Northern Ireland.

How to find an affordable area on the up

While it’s not always easy to predict whether property prices will increase significantly in your desired postcode, there are some tell-tale signs that an area might be on the up:

  • The area is next to a particularly thriving town that people are being priced out of
  • Trendy shops, restaurants and cafes are starting to appear
  • Plans are afoot to improve transport links
  • The local authority is planning to regenerate the town centre
  • There are lots of skips and scaffolding, showing people are investing in their homes
  • New schools are being built or current ones are climbing the Ofsted rankings
  • There are several new-build developments appearing in quick succession
  • New estate agents’ offices are being opened

David Blake of Which Mortgage Advisers says: ‘For a first-time buyer or buy-to-let investor, up-and-coming areas can provide an affordable alternative to buying in an already-established area. You could see property grow in value quickly, but it’s important to remember that property markets can change, and there is never a cast-iron guarantee that values will continue to rise.’

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