It’s no secret that affordable housing is in short supply. For many years, policy makers have spoken about addressing the UK’s housing crisis. And, although the construction industry is constantly optimising efficiency and improving quality of output, Britain is still failing to meet demand.
The Government aims to build 300,000 new homes each year although the number achieved in 2019 was lower than 250,000 and figures for 2020 (albeit, drastically effected by the pandemic) a mere 123,000.
The issue is particularly acute in southeast England, as evidenced by the phenomenal interest in one particular Essex home.
Typically, it is multimillion pound houses which attract the most interest on the property site Zoopla. But bucking that trend is a modest one-bed flat in the small Thurrock town of Purfleet on Thames. Amazingly, this ground floor apartment has become England’s most-viewed property on the real estate platform.
The flat on Coniston Avenue is described by Zoopla as being “ideally suited for first time buyers”. With a modern interior, a plush bathroom and an open plan kitchen and living space, there is nothing especially noteworthy about the flat.
Why then, has there been so much interest?
Somewhat counterintuitively, the explanation might lie in the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to a surge in first time buyers and caused the property market to flourish.
Government policies, such as the stamp duty holiday, have helped to keep the market incredibly buoyant. Additionally, lockdown has helped renters save money for deposits, while a move towards blended home and office-based working has contributed to an exodus from nearby London.
Thanks to a major regeneration project, Purfleet on Thames is likely to become an even more attractive proposition in the years to come. Should plans come to fruition, the town will be transformed by a huge £1bn investment.
The regeneration scheme is being led by Purfleet Centre Regeneration Limited (a joint venture between developer Urban Catalyst and Swan Housing) and aims to make Purfleet a ‘creative hub’ with state-of-the-art film and TV studios included in the plans.
The TP Group looks forward to seeing how the plans unfold in our home county over the next decade.
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