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Maidstone’s popularity has shot up in the last year (Picture: Metro.co.uk)
Kent’s largest town is on a roll.
Late last year Public Health England revealed that residents of Detling, a rural village on the outskirts, enjoy Great Britain’s highest life expectancy, and according to Halifax, house prices rose by nearly 15% in 2021, the second biggest jump in the south-east after Braintree.
However, the area’s still affordable, particularly for buyers quitting London, and offers grammar schools, lots of green space, a decent commute from its two mainline stations and a fast run to the Channel Tunnel via the M20.
The River Medway is one of the town’s main attractions (Picture: Alamy Stock Photo)
There’s something for everyone, including Victorian conversions and terraces, Edwardian semis, substantial country houses and new executive homes.
‘Lots of flats are currently for sale but freehold houses are jumping out the door. A two-bed Victorian terrace that would have cost £200,000 — £220,000 last year now goes for £250,000 — £260,000,’ says Stephen Cunningham, manager of estate agency Bairstow Eves’ Maidstone branch.
‘We’ve seen an influx of people from London who are now working from home most of the week and want more room. The entry point is £150,000 — £160,000 for a one-bed flat and £200,000 for a two-bed with outside space.’
What’s new in the area?
Weston Homes is revitalising derelict land at Springfield Park on the banks of the River Medway.
The 502 one, two and three-bed apartments include high-spec kitchens with integrated appliances, soap dispensers and instant boiling water taps, and vanity storage and demister mirrors in the bathrooms.
From £199,000, with Help to Buy and Weston’s First-time SecureBuy initiative, which lets buyers reserve off-plan for £500 then apply for a mortgage six months before completion.
The Mill at Springfield offers modern apartments with a lovely view of the river (Picture: Redrow)
Redrow has just launched the first phase at The Mill at Springfield, consisting of 140 one and two-bed apartments adjacent to the river. Each has a good-sized, open-plan kitchen/living/dining room and allocated parking, and Help to Buys on offer, from £219,995.
15 two-bed apartments remain at Redrow’s Monchelsea Park, a new community on the south-east side of town. They start from £249,995 with Help to Buy.
Rosewood has modern three and four-bed homes (Picture: Arthouse Photography Ltd)
Countryside at Rosewood, is round the corner from Mote Park and comprises a mix of three and four-bed houses with state-of-the-art appliances, open-plan living spaces and generous gardens.
They’re from £390,000 with Help to Buy on selected plots.
Spacious three, four and five-bedroom houses are for sale at Forstal Mead, a joint development by Optimo and Westerhill Homes in Coxheath, a village south-west of Maidstone, which hosts the World Custard Pie Championship in June.
If you love to bake, their kitchens are equipped with top-end AEG ovens and hobs. From £390,000.
Four-bedroom homes in the popular village of Bearstead (Picture: Dandara)
The Sycamores, by Dandara, is a range of three, four and five-bed houses on the edge of the sought-after village of Bearsted.
Designed to reflect the traditional local architecture, they have landscaped front and back gardens, off-street parking and fully-fitted eat-in kitchens. From £650,000 for a four-bed.
Whether you’re starting out, climbing the property ladder or downsizing, look out for Bellway’s Parsonage Place in Otham, a ten-minute drive from Maidstone town centre, which is due to launch next month.
Pricing for the one and two-bed apartments and two, three and four-bed houses hasn’t yet been confirmed.
Everything potential buyers need to know about Maidstone
Average house price: £375,405
Average rent: £963 pcm
Council tax (Band D): £2,048.04
Commuting time to Zone 1: From 51 mins from Maidstone West to St Pancras International; from 52 mins from Maidstone East to Victoria
Annual Travelcard: £5,808
Amenities: ★★★★☆ Several supermarkets; chains in The Mall and Fremlin Walk shopping centres; independents in Royal Star Arcade; Odeon cinema, gym, pool, bowling, trampoline park, food hall and twice-weekly market in Lockmeadow Entertainment Centre; Hazlitt Theatre; classes, workshops and craft fairs at Maidstone Art Centre; Maidstone Museum; River Medway cruises; Leeds Castle is nearby
Open space: ★★★★☆ Mote Park; Cobtree Manor Park; Whatman Park; Clare Park; new River Park nature trail along the Medway towpath; Pilgrims’ Way
Schools: ★★★★☆ GCSE results close to average; intense competition for places at the four grammar schools
Crime: Well below average
Who lives there? First-time buyers and families with their eye on secondary school places
Famous faces: Actors Mackenzie Crook and Tamsin Greig and former footballer Andy Townsend were born in the town
What can I afford on the property ladder?
First rung: Spacious flat in a period building
A recently converted second-floor flat with off-street parking. Comprises a double bedroom, an open-plan kitchen/living room and a shower room.
Step up: Large family home with original features and a good-sized garden
In walking distance of Maidstone East and West stations, this four-bed, four-storey Victorian house includes original fireplaces and ornate plasterwork.
Top rung: Gorgeous Victorian property with plenty of character
High ceilings, sash windows and a half-acre garden are among the highlights of this vast, Grade II-listed Victorian house that has been elegantly updated.
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