Property commentator reveals what makes a town posh in 2022 - and what the future hold for your area
Property commentator Jonathan Rolande revealed the key attributes associated with affluent areas - including residents driving sports cars and artisan bakers.
Oxford city centre (Getty Images)
It can be tempting to disregard the area a property is located and focus on affordability, due to housing prices being at a record high.
However, homes in affluent areas benefit from perks such as local specialist shops, celebrity endorsed eateries and scenic spots for family days out, according to one property commentator.
Jonathan Rolande claims while Gerrards Cross, Oxford and Windsor are known to be sought after places to live, there are a host of other towns and cities which could become desirable to live and considered posh within the next 10 years.
He explained that it’s just as important to look at property prices over the last 12 months as it is to visit the area, when trying to buy a home in an area that has the potential to be affluent.
Here’s everything you need to know when deciding where to buy a property.
What makes a town or city posh?
Jonathan claims you can “sense” the difference between an affluent area as soon as you enter.
“There’s a different look and feel. That’s because there will usually be less well known shops and chains as on the conventional high street. One-brand stores, specialist clothing outlets, artisan bakers, bespoke tailors and high-end coffee shops are the norm. But you will always find Waitrose and M&S as well,” Jonathan said.
“The cars being driven are different too. You’ll likely see more 4x4’s, large estates, sports cars and electric vehicles too. Affluent areas will have more vehicle charging points too because the demand will be higher.
“Wine bars, Michelin starred restaurants and celebrity endorsed eateries tend to also gravitate towards more affluent areas.
“Expect to see day-trippers and tourists too. Many coach tours offering a whistle-stop tour of the UK will now include drop-offs at rich spots like Henley on Thames or Harrogate. For many, the chance of a photo or selfie at a posh landmark is a must. Many might visit Chelsea or Cheshire in the hope of bumping into a star of one of the area’s associated TV shows.”
Which towns/cities are considered posh around the UK?
“Obviously many parts of south and west London are considered incredibly “posh” and home to the rich and famous. But more and more people are finding that they can enjoy a luxurious life beyond the capital,” Jonathan said.
“Gerrards Cross is highly sought after, as is Amberley. Windsor remains a dream location for many - as does Oxford and Cambridge. The desire to live in these cities is often fuelled by the prestige each one brings via its universities, which have pushed up property prices for decades.
“Further north, parts of Alderley Edge in Cheshire are now known as the Golden Triangle. This is because they are home to footballers and their WAG partners - a shift in style which has transformed the look and feel of the area. Harrogate, Henley, Bath and Edinburgh boast some of the most sought-after postcodes in the UK.
“York is increasingly popular too as are parts of the Lake District. Many weekend holiday locations attract wealthy visitors either from overseas or other parts of the UK - who later decide to set up home in the area for good. Bringing their wealth with them.”
Where will be considered affluent in the next 10 years?
Jonathan claims people will choose to live in areas they may have otherwise snubbed, if it’s located near the proposed site of the HS2 line.
The high speed line will connect cities in Scotland with locations such as London and Manchester.
Jonathan continued: “Gower in south Wales is attracting more and more wealth. Countless spots in Cornwall will become more affluent too. Driven by the tourist trade, coastal spots are fast emerging as the must-have locations for the rich who want to get away from the stresses and strains of city life.
“Remote working has also shown many people how they can work outside the office making far flung locations more realistic.
“Liverpool in particular is home to a growing number of big property projects which will transform the city and bring in investment. Bradford, fresh from its Capital of Culture award, can also expect to see a knock on impact on its level of affluence within the city.
How can you spot the potential of an area?
Jonathan said: “Do your homework. Read the local newspaper and check back through the last 12 months to see what’s happened to property prices. Visit the area and see for yourself.
“Look for good architecture even if currently neglected – Georgian, Victorian and Industrial are good, not many modern locations become popular. Look out for schools with a good Ofsted grade, check the quality of vehicles in the supermarket car parks.
“Aim to find out if marketing and design companies are moving into run-down areas, check to see if any long-term vacant buildings have just been put back in use and what is the local arts scene like. Good travel infrastructure is vital.
“Also find out about any proposed major planning projects. Local councils have officials whose job it is to keep a record and you will be able to find applications which have either been approved or are waiting for the green light.”
Is now a good time to buy a house?
Jonathan explained that there are price variations in the housing market everywhere, saying: These variations are most pronounced in London, Manchester, Liverpool and Cornwall. Cornwall, in particular, due to its explosion in popularity as a seaside resort over the past 20 years, has become an area which is incredibly difficult to buy in.
“When houses do come up they are often snapped up quickly and can often be transformed into holiday homes and Air BnBs. There has been a lot of talk lately about a house price and house market crash. This is highly unlikely.
“Prices will definitely level over the next month but in many regions they are still up to 15% higher than they were before the pandemic. This is making it particularly hard for young people to enter the market.
“The only solution is to build more property and to therefore increase the supply. This in turn will eventually get price variation under a bit more control. But it won’t happen overnight.”