“Hotspots in East Cambridgeshire include the likes of Fulbourn, Balsham, The Wilbrahams, Six Mile Bottom, Lode and other villages to the west of Newmarket. What made the difference for East Cambridgeshire, pre-COVID, was the opening of Cambridge North train station in 2017. This helped to make these villages more desirable and open up the area as an option for those who commuted into London. And despite the current changes in working patterns, the easy access to Cambridge North still remains a desirable factor for many making the move, in case they should be called back into the office five days a week.
We have definitely seen an increase in the number of buyers moving from London as they justify the longer commute in return for greater value for money and more space. And these buyers are not necessarily attached to one area of London, rather they can be from all over the city and have effectively put a pin in a map and drawn a circle for where they would be willing to live. These buyers are also now competing with our local market, which consists not only of local people trading up and down but also those employed across the Cambridge Cluster of bio-tech and science parks. Budgets of course are varied, however, when you have terraced homes in areas such as Walthamstow selling for around the £1million-mark, this is giving those moving further east a good pot of cash to pick up a much larger village home. Whilst of course the stamp duty holiday has seriously kickstarted the market, there is also a drive from buyers from cities to move out to villages as quickly as possible as they are anxious about the possibility of another lockdown later in the year.
Fulbourn, which is only around three miles east of Cambridge, remains one of the area’s most sought-after villages. It has a range of pubs, shops, a primary school and restaurant and is also home to the ARM headquarters which consistently employs thousands of people, all of whom look to live nearby. Fulbourn commands a premium when it comes to prices because of the employment opportunities, facilities and access into Cambridge city centre. Prices tend to be around the £450,000-mark for a three-bedroom family home, with values slightly higher for the prettiest period properties on the market, however the larger properties can command anything into the millions for the best examples.
Another five miles from Fulbourn is Balsham, which is to the south east of Cambridge. With a pretty village green, deli and café and two pubs, Balsham is another popular location with buyers and has a really rural feel, surrounded by open countryside. Prices in Balsham are slightly lower than Fulbourn, with pretty period family homes on the market for around £500,000 and larger village properties around the £900,000-mark.
Another great village in East Cambridgeshire is Lode, which is on the edge of the Fens. Lode is seven from Cambridge and seven miles from Newmarket. It is the first of the Fen edge villages and has a well-known polo club, a tennis club and is home of the National Trust’s Anglesey Abbey, which dates back to the 12th century and also Lode Water Mill which is open to the public. Further east of Lode and heading into the Fens are the likes of Swaffham Bulbeck and Swaffham Prior which are traditional Cambridgeshire villages and can offer more value for money than those closer to the city.”