Surge in interest after Hart named top place to liveBy Rebecca Younger
January 10, 2013
PROPERTY sales and lettings agents in Fleet are seeing a surge of interest from buyers and tenants living outside of the area after Hart was named the UK's most desirable place to live for the second year running.
Hart, which is centred on the town of Fleet, beat previous four-time winner Elmbridge, in Surrey, into second place.
The district, in the north-east corner of Hampshire, has been dubbed "a step back in time", with 84 square miles of green wooded landscape and the county's largest freshwater lake, Fleet Pond.
"In particular, Hart residents enjoy good health, high employment, low crime, and high quality schooling," said Richard Day, director at the Fleet branch of Hamptons International, which has seen an influx of potential buyers showing interest in the area since results of the survey were published last month.
The study found Hart residents can expect to live longer than the average Briton, with the average life expectancy at 81.7 years for men, compared to the national average of 79.
Employment in Hart is at 78.6% - well above the national average of 70.2% - and crimes rates are among the lowest in the country.
Rental demand has also soared in Fleet and in nearby Aldershot, according to lettings agent Leaders, which has recently received an "exceptionally large number" of applicant registrations.
“It is not surprising that there is so much demand for properties to rent in this area when you consider what an appealing place it is to live," said Leaders' Fleet branch manager, Zoe Kimberley. "With Fleet being so desirable, we have seen consistently strong demand for properties to rent here for a number of years and this shows no sign of abating. From a landlord’s perspective, this ares represent an excellent investment opportunity, with high rental yields, strong demand and good capital growth potential.”
Zoe pointed out that there is a lot to consider before prospective landlords consider jumping into the world of lettings.
However, she added that for those who do their homework thoroughly: “Buying to let in Fleet or Aldershot is likely to prove a great investment, where average rental yields of around 5% are achievable."