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CB23 postcode in Cambridgeshire now most desirable suburb in UK

Views of Madingley. Picture: Keith Heppell
Views of Madingley. Picture: Keith Heppell

A new report into property prices has concluded that the CB23 postcode in Cambridgeshire is now the top performing suburb in the country.

House buyers leaving the increasingly unaffordable city of Cambridge, where prices have risen in the city by 56 per cent over five years to an average of £439,530 in October, have been moving out to places like Madingley, Cambourne and Hardwick – so much so that prices there have gone up by 19 per cent in the past year to an average of £373,090.

Analysts from Hamptons International compared price growth in the suburbs and satelite villages close to cities in England, Scotland and Wales, excluding London, to put together a list of the best performers.

The CB23 postcode came out on top thanks to more affordable housing available in the new-build village of Cambourne, developed over the past two decades. About four miles east of Cambourne is Hardwick, a hamlet – originally a farming community – which, in contrast, is hundreds of years old.

Luke Edwards, landlord and co-owner of The Blue Lion pub in Hardwick, commentented on what the picturesque village has to offer: “I believe it’s got a good sense of community, there’s lots of clubs. All the local events are always very well-attended – a lot of it seems to stem from the school.

“It obviously has a thriving pub and it also has a social club in the village as well – both are well-used. It has lots of sports clubs and there’s always families attending the games. I can see that Hardwick is good because of where it’s placed, just outside of Cambridge.

“It’s great commuting distance from Cambridge and it’s just far enough out to feel like you’re in the country, but close enough that you don’t feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere.”

Mr Edwards was not surprised at Hardwick’s top-of-the-table position. “It’s a thriving, growing community which seems to be full of young families and they all seem to be pushing for a busy, bustling community out here,” he said. “A lot of effort has been put in to making Hardwick a community so it doesn’t surprise me at all.

“I think the school does very well in league tables and Hardwick is in the catchment area for Comberton Village College, which also does very well, so I think that probably helps push up house prices. It makes it expensive to live here but it’s definitely a draw for young families.”

As well as CB23, properties in the CB3 postcode, which circles the west of the city centre from Girton to Grantchester, have also benefitted from this ripple effect, as prices there rose by more than 16 per cent in the past year to an average of £808,173. This is 75 per cent higher than in 2007, making it the best performer over a long period, according to Hampton’s research.

Andrew Brown of Cambridge estate agency Pocock & Shaw stressed that Cambridgeshire as a whole is performing well and said of Cambourne: “It’s a relatively new village with a lot of facilities, whereas Hardwick has got one shop. But I guess they’re both villages where, relatively speaking, prices are somewhat less than they are in Cambridge so if one can’t afford to buy in Cambridge, then yes it’s an area where people will look.

“They both fall within the catchment area of Comberton Village College and the academy at Cambourne and I suppose both those villages are cheaper than some of the others in the area.”

Mr Brown added: “The CB23 postcode covers a fairly large group of attractive and popular villages to the west of Cambridge, including Papworth, Cambourne, Elsworth, Comberton and Haslingfield. This western sector is very well placed for road links and there are well regarded schools within the area so it is not a surprise that it is out-performing other postcodes.”

Of Girton’s inclusion on the list, Mr Brown said: “Girton is relatively close to the centre of town with good road links. Could be easier if it had its own exit on to the A14 but it’s a pretty easy place to get to.

“All these are areas where there has been new developments in recent years so the stock of property has increased.”


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