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Big disparity in house price growth but is Weston set for regeneration boom?


House price map of North Somerset.

House price map of North Somerset.


Rural areas of North Somerset have enjoyed stronger growth in house prices than parts of Weston-super-Mare over the past 20 years, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Since 1995, the average price of a semi-detached house in the Bournville area has tripled from around £44,000 to £136,000.

But this falls well short of the growth enjoyed in more rural areas of North Somerset such as Winscombe and Sandford.

Homeowners there have enjoyed a 400 per cent boom in prices for their semi-detached home over the 20-year period – with prices swelling from £60,000 to £291,000.

Residents in the Oldmixon area have also seen less growth, with the average price growing 200 per cent to £171,000.

Property experts in Weston believe higher demand from families and higher school standards have caused the disparity in growth.

Brandon Hewlett, of Haart Estate Agents, said: “I think with Winscombe you’ve got an area where it is all still houses and there are lots of families there. There’s good schools there as well so I think it’s a lot more family-orientated.

“When you look at house prices, I think there’s a lot more demand for families in areas like Winscombe rather than in Weston.”

Neil Urch, of Mayfair Town and Country estate agents believes people look for ‘reputation, schools and amenities’ when buying a home.

He said: “When people move into the area, the first things they look at are Ofsted reports.

“For example, Priory School has gone through a real transitional period in the past four or five years, so people do say I need to be in the Priory catchment area.

“If you’ve got children, you’ll look at schools. If you don’t drive, you’ll look at amenities. But I think normally reputation dictates where people buy.”

Mr Hewlett says it is not all doom and gloom for homeowners in Weston’s estates.

He added: “The Bournville has got a much better name for itself now.

“The house prices obviously aren’t as high but there are a lot of people buying there now. Prices are never going to be like they are elsewhere, but I think they will increase.”

Mr Urch believes town centre regeneration projects are making Weston more appealing place to live.

He added: “Weston as a whole is improving massively, with the new restaurants and the seafront development over the past 20 years.

“I think Weston is becoming a much better place to live. We’ve seen house prices rise rapidly in Bristol, Portishead and Clevedon, and we are finding a lot of people now come this way because you get an awful lot more for your money.”

Mr Hewlett, too, believes development in the town centre is increasing demand.

He said: “I think you can get a flat really cheap in the centre, it is probably the cheapest area in Weston to buy a flat, but I think when Dolphin Square and the new flats at the police station are done they will command a higher price.

“I think there is a lot of traffic coming from Exeter and Bristol to live here, and that’s going to bump prices in Weston.

“People move here because it is 30 minutes to Bristol or an hour to Exeter, and it is two thirds of the price, so it makes sense.

“We’re hoping Weston’s property market is going to continue growing like it has been in the past couple of years.”

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