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What's It Like In Northampton?

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I can't ever afford to buy on my salary in where I work, Aylesbury.

But someone recently told me that I shoud look at commuting (by car) from Northamtponshire as there were a lot of affordable properties in the area.

I earn 22k - so x number of multiples offer by Northern Rock = somewhere to buy in Northants.

However, I went around today in the car - got out of it of course - and bought the local papers - put my head through a few agents' windows and even walked in ...

But I still can't find anything that is reasonable for 5 X my salary as a minimal multiple.

Is everyone in Northants rolling in money - or is Northamptonshire attracting the London commuter set?

And there seemed to be so much building in the area - massives amount - commesurate with Milton Keynes and Aylebury.

Went into a show-room for flats - still to be finished by a long way - not far from Dearngate - and they were obsecene prices for very little - but they were offering me more than priced on the boards in terms of discount (i.e. 5k).

I would have to work out travelling cost etc into the budget - but I liked the area - but the house prices were still so obscene - I would have to look outside of that area by far to even afford to buy a 1 bed studio.

Any thoughts from those who are there?

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From the figures I've seen I think that wages in the Northampton area are on average lower than the surrounding counties, you certainly don't see a lot of high skilled, well paid jobs in the local papers although I guess much of this recruitment could take place through other channels. Looking at local employers there's the usual local public sector jobs, for the private sector there's Cosworth in St James but they shed workers over the last few years, there's Barclays out at Brackmills but again I think they've shed workers over the last few years. A lot of the employment growth over the last 10/15 years has been in retail and in distribution neither of which is particularly well paid - a quick drive round the ring road shows how many distribution warehouses that have gone up.

You're not the only one wondering what people are doing to afford these properties.

A good case in point is the new developments at Upton, next to Sixfields, 1 bed flats were going for £120-140k, 2 beds for £200k, 3 bed houses for £300k. Prices at the St Crispins development aren't far off that either.

You right, there is a lot of new development taking place - the town in earmarked for massive expansion under the governments MKSM development programme. There's the existing work going on at Upton, there's expansion of St Crispins development to take it down towards Upton, there's plans for building on near Kingsheath/Dallington Heath. More apartments going up in the town centre. A number of brownfield sites around Far Cotton have been developed, mainly into flats/apartments.

What baffles me is where the well paid jobs necessary to service the mortgages on all of these new properties are going to come from - building houses is easy, actually getting well paid jobs into the area will be far tougher.

Edited by Jonesy

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yep - concur with all the above. the jobs pages in the local rag are wafer thin these days and in sharp contrast to the property supplement which can easily go over 150 pages now...

it's a miracle economy i tell you!

there is also the building work which will be going on in the near future on the old british timken site. so even more supply.

has the OP considered buying in north/east northants? i've heard Corby is lovely this time of year... :P

more seriously i think full time male average earnings in east northants are something like £17K p.a. how the hell do people live (apart from taking on eye-watering levels of debt)? :blink:

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Thanks guys for the replies.

Looking back on my visit - I was staggered by the amount of building going on in the area.

I didn't visit the station - but I wonder if they are trying to market Northants like Aylesbury - i.e. the station has big signs out saying - only 1 hour to London.

They've been building like mad over the last few years hear and are set to build still more as like Northants - it's a govt chosen area to develop - according the newspapers - over 9,000 homes over the next x years.

One early development in the town centre - which is very small - has advertisements saying "Joint and single incomes of 40k guarantees you one of the the last remaining properties".

The place is called "Opus" (notice how they have trendy names for these sites - same as I found in Northants) and the cost of a 1 bed is over £180k.

Average earnings here are probably similar to Northampton - and some of my work mates on a bit more - still don't want to travel to London because they'd need to be earning easily 5k+ more just to break even.

Despite protests about there not being enough jobs - houses/flats are being built - and particularly 1/2 bedroom "Apartments".

And obscenely - the Housing Associations are stepping in and we're now getting shared ownership schemes all over the place - is that happening to Northampton?

Having done the sums - shared ownership is another Gordon Brown scam which is bordering on obscene!

Will be interested in any monitoring results you have to offer over next 6 months or so of what's happening there - only beccause if I went mad and threw caution to the wind - I might just stretch to it.

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And obscenely - the Housing Associations are stepping in and we're now getting shared ownership schemes all over the place - is that happening to Northampton?

Yes you do see a lot of shared ownership newbuild properties appearing on Rightmove, a lot of them seem to be peppered within 'private' developments but I think that's to do with the planning regs - eg. x% of properties have to be 'affordable'.

There are a few HA developments - main ones I can think of are Derngate and one in St James/Spencer on the old Pilkington Glass site.

Most of the shared ownership properties on Rightmove appear over-priced; whole apartments from private sellers on the market for £130k with equivalent 50% shared ownership apartments on at £80k!!

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