Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Executive Homes with a Touch of Real Class

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Executive Homes with a Touch of Real Class

Article excerpt

Byline: By Karen Overbury

A growing concern is, quite rightly, that first-time buyers are finding it increasingly difficult to get on to the property ladder.

More and more developers are addressing the need, with an increase in quality, good-value one and two-bedroom homes being built.

I have just finished helping to judge The Journal/Evening Gazette 21st Century Living Awards and found myself visiting a good range of smaller properties in a variety of locations and my fellow judges - the real property "experts" were mostly very impressed by the standards we saw.

Previously run-down areas such as Longbenton, in Newcastle, and Firthmore, in Darlington, are enjoying a new life and new populations following regeneration there.

But what about the luxury end?

An oft-repeated argument is that if the North-East is to attract more and better companies into the area, it must build more homes at the luxury end of the market.

Government planning guidance limits what builders can do and where - but a number of companies are building executive-style homes.

Traditionally popular areas such as Gosforth, Ponteland and Darras Hall have little new-build and are close to saturation. Various builders, including George Wimpey North-East and Bellway are building executive homes at Wynard, which has good transport links, especially to the south of the region.

But modern communication means an increasing number of people are able to work from home one, two or even three days a week.

And without the need to travel daily, buyers are discovering the delights of living in areas they might not previously have considered.

One such example is Bellway's Aln View site in north Northumberland - a particularly attractive area, with the benefit of being away from the beaten commuting track, but still less than an hour's drive to Newcastle. …

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