Spotlight on Cambridge
For home movers, high inflation has eroded household finances and, via interest and mortgage rates, has constrained the ambitions of home purchasers. Equally, house prices remain stable - the result of lower housing supply and a resilient jobs market. These competing pressures have protected the housing market fundamentals, yet sentiment remains cautious.
An uncertain backdrop can create a challenge for new home purchasers. In these environments, it is right to seek out additional market information to provide reassurance. When it comes to Cambridge, this reassurance is thankfully available in abundance. The academic reputation of Cambridge needs no embellishment, with over 800 years of leading global thinking. More Nobel Prize winners are associated with Cambridge University than any other institute of higher learning in Europe and 3rd in the world with 121 prize winners, in case you were wondering! The city is steeped in history as every guide on the City's Cam River punts will share (for a price, of course).
For many, the reputation of Cambridge may stop there. That would be a shame and an open slight on it's true form and function at the centre of 'Silicon Fen'. Modern Cambridge is Europe's largest Life Science centre, with a hotbed of technology-led innovation across the region's science parks. There are twice the number of patents registered in Cambridge each year than any city in the UK and Europe - regardless of size.
All of this drives pressure on the local housing stock, which due to planning restrictions falls well short of the rate of household growth. Further, the growth in knowledge sector jobs is 6.5% pa across 1,400 separate businesses, making Cambridge the most expensive market in the UK outside of London and perennially one of the fastest growing. It's connectivity to London, at less than an hour by train or car, means it is under constant growth pressure which has continued unabated.
This balance of old and new, historic and modern, makes Cambridge one of the most exciting cities in Europe. There are constant pressures to change and grow the city, yet restrictive planning laws preserve a millennium of history and will continue to ensure that the true beating heart of my home town will remain protected long into the future.