Two Greater Manchester towns have been named among the best places in the UK to buy your first home in 2023, according to The Times.
There’s no doubt the property market in our region has been booming over the last decade or so, with average house prices seeming to rise year-on-year, and more and more areas becoming viewed as the places to live.
It was only back in June that a new national ranking by Savills singled-out two of our region’s neighbourhoods as being some of the “most desirable” Britain has to offer.
And now, The Times has compiled a list of what it believes are the top 12 best areas in the UK for first time buyers looking to get their foot on the property ladder in 2023 – and another two of our local gems have made the cut.
This time, it’s Prestwich and Stockport’s time to shine.
According to the publication, Prestwich – which is nestled between Bury and Manchester – and the southern Greater Manchester borough town of Stockport offer some “vitality and value for money” for those keen to buy their first home before this year is out.
Attractive to buyers with a wide range of needs, both areas have been recommended for their attractive house prices, as well as recent reinvention projects, and future investment plans.
“Once just another mill town, famous mostly for its hat museum and massive brick viaduct, it has reinvented itself as a funky alternative to Manchester’s hippest quarters,” The Times wrote, adding that the town’s mix of red-brick terraces and the “occasional flat in a converted mill” prove to be ideal picks for first time buyers.
While Prestwich, on the other hand, has been called “the new Didsbury” by the publication – which it says is “with good reason”.
“This urban village on Manchester’s northern fringe has a lot more to offer than the supposedly more desirable suburb to the south – and for a lot less money.”
Some of the other areas joining Prestwich and Stockport on the top 12 list include Heaton in Newcastle, Stirchley in Birmingham, Bedminster in Bristol, Barking in London, Tottenham Hale in London, and Reading in Berkshire.
After the team at home security experts ADT decided to do some research into the best places in the country for those looking to raise a family, Trafford has made it into the top 10.
The Greater Manchester borough has earned seventh place on the list after a number of factors were analysed for the research – including the quality of the local schools, the general safety of the area, and the number of parks within walking distance.
The top 10 most family-friendly areas in the UK
Crime Rate Per 1,000 People, Year ending March 2023
Burglary Rate Per 1,000 People, Year ending March 2023
Average number of Parks, Public Gardens, or Playing Fields within a 1,000 m radius
Percentage of Oustanding and Good Rated Schools and Colleges
Median House Price, Year Ending Dec 2022
Cost of a single bus fare, adult
Family Safety Score /10
Waltham Forest in London takes the top spot for the most family-friendly area in the UK, according to the research, as it ranked within the top 15 for both the lowest crime and burglary rates, and also ranked seventh for schools – with 82.8% having a “good” or higher rating from OFSTED.
Kirkless in West Yorkshire took second place, followed by Havering, Bexley, and Bromley all rounding out the top five.
As well as Kirklees placing second and Trafford being in the seventh spot, the Wirral and Newcastle-upon-Tyne are also fellow northern representatives within the top 10.
Sadly, on the other end of the spectrum, the least family-friendly area in the UK was found to be Birmingham, according to ADT’s research, as despite the average house price being £221,000, with a crime rate of 141 per 1,000 people, and a family safety score of just 2.5/10, the Midlands city takes the bottom spot.
On a more positive note though, when it comes the postcode area with the lowest crime rate in the UK, the North West is representing once again, as this has come out as CW12 3 in Cheshire East.
For the year ending June 2023, the crime rate for this postcode area was just 4.7 per 1,000 people.
Featured Image – Alexandra Park
Bold £11m plans to ‘reinvigorate’ Ashton’s Market Square given green light
Bold plans to “reinvigorate” the market square area in Ashton have been given the green light by local planning authorities.
Aiming to provide a “high-quality, flexible, and modern” market square in the Tameside town, the newly-approved £11 million plans are designed to lend themselves to range of different functions, according to Tameside Council – with food, drink, culture, and entertainment among the main uses.
One of the stand-out features of the greenlit plans is an impressive new canopy, which will provide a designated undercover area for markets to include “flexible and durable” market stalls and kiosks with seating, and will also open up the space for events and activities.
Designed to “deter anti-social behaviour” with improved lighting and the installation of CCTV, the canopy and kiosks will have views over the town’s listed Town Hall and Market Hall buildings.
It will also look to improve walking routes through to the square in all directions.
The revamped social hub is also hoping to be “more inviting” to the local community and visitors.
A range of public realm improvements on Fletcher Square, Bow Street, Warrington Street, Market Street, Market Avenue, and Wellington Road are also set to improve the surrounding areas.
The plans also include additional green spaces, trees, and planting too, as well as new street furniture and informal play spaces.
The green light this week comes after Tameside Council and project team have been engaging with residents, market traders, and businesses in the town for more than a year now through a number of engagement workshops and events in order to “shape the plans”.
Their feedback throughout the process was said to have highlighted the priorities of many residents and visitors.
“The plans for the Market Square will help unlock the potential regeneration of the town centre and work will start on the square early next year,” commented Councillor Vimal Choksi, who is the Executive Member for Towns and Communities at Tameside Council.
“We have listened and responded to residents and businesses feedback and will continue to engage with local traders and businesses as we move forward with the exciting plans and bringing in high quality public realm will create a better space for events and help to bring in more visitors to the town centre.”
The £11m revamp is being funded by Levelling Up money awarded by the Government in October 2019.