New homes unaffordable for locals, residents say

Plots for new houses in Ely have gone on the market – but with prices starting at £222,995 for a two-bedroom flat, the dream of home ownership may be far off for many locals.

A number of plots have already been snapped up at St James’ Park, off Cam Drive, since going on the market last month.

Hopkins Homes promise “an exceptional location within a thriving new community at Orchards Green.”

The developers say the new neighbourhood will encompass “a variety of amenities from a primary school, local supermarket, parkland and play area to a family pub, community centre and allotments.
But some residents have expressed their dismay on the Ely New Developments Facebook group, saying the prices are unaffordable for many locals.
The cheapest accommodation starts at £222,995 for the two-bedroom ground floor Yves Apartments, offering two car parking spaces.

These will have a living/dining area of 3.905m x 3.625m (12’10” x 11’11”). The kitchen will be 3.280m x 2.400m (10’9” x 7’11”), while the master bedroom will be 3.495m x 2.918m (11’6” x 9’7”). The second bedroom will be 3.145m x 2.315m (10’4” x 7’7”).
On the top end, the four-bedroom Apollonia, boasting a double garage and parking, is retailing at £519,995.

This will include a living room of 4.698m x 3.716m (15’5” x 12’2”), kitchen/dining room of 8.948m x 3.199m (29’4” x 10’6”) and master bedroom of 4.698m x 3.716m (14’9” x 12’1”).

According to Ely New Developments, Hopkins Homes sold three houses on the first day they were released.
One resident has described the prices as “eye watering”, saying the rising cost of housing will “turn Ely into yet another commuter town”.
Another said the development was “totally unaffordable for the majority of the local population.”

In its marketing material, Hopkins Homes describes St James’ Park as being “just a five minute drive from the centre of history Ely, a city which dates back to the 7th century.
“Its rich heritage is evidenced all around you, not least in its sumptuous cathedral whose magnificent towers can be seen for miles around.
“However, this mediaeval city offers everything you could want for 21st century living, with useful amenities including supermarkets, GP and dental surgeries, a selection of banks and a post office. Pubs and restaurants are also in abundance along the city’s pretty streets including the 15th century inn The Lamb Inn.”
It describes “the bustling” city of Cambridge as “just a 35 minute drive away”, adding that it’s “easily reachable for work, leisure or both”.
According to the UK House Price Index, the average property in East Cambridgeshire sold for £280,066 in December 2017, less than the Cambridgeshire average of £291,679, and far less than the Cambridge average of £462,033 during the same month.
As of December 2017 the average house price in the UK was £226,756. Property prices have risen by 0.4% compared to the previous month, and risen by 5.2% compared to the previous year.

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