Plot-finding website reveals most searched-for UK self build counties – where are Britain’s dream-building hotspots?
Every January, Plotsearch sees a huge surge in people using its services to try to locate the dream plot for their self build project. But which areas of the UK were most desired in 2014?
10. Sussex – with its pretty villages and leafy countryside, Sussex makes it onto the list as the tenth most-searched location for self builders. Across the county from Chichester to Eastbourne, and Hastings to Horsham, there are select building opportunities ranging from £80,000 to £980,000 that includes an option to purchase a 0.3 hectare plot to construct x3 five-bed detached dwellings with double garages; or the opportunity to take on a barn conversion project to create a large family 3-bed dwelling for £625,000 in Battle.
9. Cornwall – Famed as the location for Doc Martin, Cornwall offers a mild climate, rolling hills and nearly 300 miles of coastline to those self builders who aspire to a more relaxed way of living, with 148 building opportunities currently available, starting at just £39,950. And if you fancy rubbing shoulders with celebrities such as Fowey-resident Dawn French, you can obtain a 516 m2 plot in Fowey with detailed planning to build a detached four-bedroom home in an elevated position with unrivalled sea and coastal views.
8. Carmarthenshire – Offering one of the most spectacular and diverse landscapes in South West Wales, Carmarthenshire has been rated No. 8 as the most popular searched locations to build that dream home. And you can do just that for only £6,950, which will get you a plot to build a detached bungalow (or dormer bungalow) in the village of Ammanford. Alternatively, if you have £395,000, you could take on a renovation project in the rural village of Penybont in Snowdonia National Park, converting and updating a 7-bedroom farmhouse on a 26 acre smallholding.
7. Hampshire – with a mix of national parks, coastline and excellent transport infrastructure, it’s no surprise to see Hampshire in the Top 10. The New Forest and South Downs alone cover around 45% of the county, so building opportunities are naturally limited. However, if you take the ferry across to the Isle of Wight, you can take your pick from plots in East Cowes, Freshwater, Newport, Ryde, Shanklin and Ventnor ranging from £3,750 to £240,000.
6. Somerset & Avon – At the heart of the West Country, Somerset is a destination of dramatic coastline, seaside resorts, historic market towns and stunning countryside. If coastal living is the goal, £100,000 will secure a 143m2 plot in ‘golden sands’ Weston-super-Mare with detailed planning for a detached four-bedroom home. And if it’s good enough for ‘A-Lister’ Nicolas Cage who owns a cottage near Glastonbury, you too can purchase a 809m2 plot with outline planning to build a contemporary four-bedroom detached home, within walking distance of the town centre.
5. Cambridgeshire – Home to renowned Cambridge University, the county of Cambridgeshire features at No.5 on the list. Among the 144 building opportunities currently listed, includes a £45,000 project requiring the purchaser to demolish an existing former storage building and replace it with a two-bedroom dwelling of 93.7m2 in Wisbech. For those who wish to live closer to the desirable University city, there is an opportunity to build both a four-bedroom and two-bedroom home on a single plot in Duxford with the guide price of £245,000. With average property prices in Cambridge being £268,502, this could present a healthy return on investment (dependant on the works carried out, of course).
4. Aberdeenshire – the first Scottish location in the top ten, Aberdeenshire holds appeal due to the number of building opportunities available and low purchase prices. Although home to one of the most famous royal residences, Balmoral Castle, for just £28,000 you can buy the land for your very own castle – or if you fancy becoming neighbours of the royals, there is a 1 acre plot in the nearby village of Ballater for offers over £150,000.
3. Kent – the ‘Garden of England’ certainly holds significant appeal with over 15,500 searches for land during 2014. By offering a convenient location for commutes to both London and the Continent, and with 28% of the county forming two distinct areas of natural outstanding beauty (the North Downs and The Weald), it’s easy to see the attraction. Choices in Kent include a plot with outline planning to build a three-bedroom, end-terraced house in Rochester for offers in the region of £60,000; a £150,000 plot in Sittingbourne with detailed planning to construct a 4/5 bedroom home; or the purchase of a 5 acre site for £1m to build a 4-bedroom eco house in Goudhurst, 12 miles south of Maidstone.
2. The Highlands – Over 17,000 searches for land in the Highlands were conducted during 2014, so if you are thinking about escaping the rat race for the rural beauty of the Highlands, why not look at the 570 current building opportunities available on PlotSearch. For £20,000 you could purchase a 2,000 sqm plot in Thurso – the most northerly town in mainland Scotland – with outline planning for the construction of a detached residential dwelling with views across the Pentland Firth & Orkney. At the other end of the scale, if owning a 10 acre plot in the heart of the Great Glen appeals – and you have £1.25m to spare – then a plot near Spean Bridge may just tick the box.
1. Devon – If top-ranking county Devon is your dream destination, there is currently a choice of 112 sites with 134 building opportunities and you can start building a detached two bedroom home on a 161 sqm plot in Crediton, Exeter for just £39,950. Alternatively, also in Exeter, you could take on a £700,000 project converting an existing chapel into a dwelling of circa 3,400 sq ft.
Exclusively featuring plots with planning permission, PlotSearch has helped over 100,000 self builders find a plot of land or building opportunity since its launch in 2000. The site currently has over 80,000 subscribers actively looking for land and is the UK’s largest and most accurate database of genuine self build land, renovation and conversion opportunities.