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Coolest New UK Areas To Buy A House


Fancy a new home in a cool area of the UK that will make you rich in five years? Let ShortList's Emily Phillips be your guide...


The new, cheap cultural wonder

West End, Glasgow

The West End has had a renaissance. With new blocks of slick Help To Buy and shared-equity apartments springing up like Scottish roses, you can enjoy views over the city’s stunning gothic architecture for as little as £52 a week. Plus, you’re also blessed with world-class culture and quirky nightlife on your doorstep: check out the £3 mojitos at the Hillhead Book Club.

On the market:

Victorian red sandstone 2-bed flat, £189,000 (pictured)


The new, quieter Madchester

Chorlton Green, Manchester

Every café, bar and market in this Manchester suburb is a record collector’s haven – with the monthly hipster jumble sale, Beer & Bazaar, a veritable feast of rare pressings. As its name would imply, Chorlton Green is centered on a bucolic green, with Victorian red-brick villas edging the leafy parkland, and openings such as the Tibetan Kitchen, The Jackalope and Elektrik are luring people away from the city.

On the market:

2-bed conversion, £150,000 [pictured]


The new face of the mean streets

Holbeck Urban Village, Leeds

This former northern industrial hub’s saving grace is that it features some outstanding architecture, such as Temple Works and Dark Arches. An £800m investment should defibrillate the local economy, attracting digital industries and galleries to create a space to rival Shoreditch’s Silicon Roundabout. They’ve even built the creative types a place to live: the ’24-hour’ community of 100 flats in the renovated Round Foundry.

On the market:

Quirky 2-bed Victorian flat, £135,000 [pictured]


The new street-art breeding ground

Easton, Bristol

With Bristol topping various ‘best cities to live in’ polls of late (thanks partly to Park Street recently being turned into a giant waterslide), it’s no surprise that the city is getting pretty pricey. But if a tree-lined Georgian terrace in Clifton isn’t the be-all-and-end-all, a short walk east reveals a different side to the city. As the birthplace of Banksy, Easton boasts a number of his works to prove his heritage. It’s still rough around the edges, but with international food stores, bread-purveyor East Bristol Bakery and the Easton Cowboys football club for a lively post-work kick-about, expect community spirit and nifty terraces to boot.

On the market:

2-bed flat in Victorian stone-brick, £125,000 [pictured]


The new London inner-city stop-off

Bruce Grove, London

Searching for a north or east London locale where you can afford a garden shed for less than £500k has become a city-wide pastime. An insider tip leads us to Tottenham, now heralded as the new new new Stoke Newington, and with the planned £1bn revival of White Hart Lane for Spurs’ new stadium and high street, it should mean that returns on investment in the area will be high. With the 2011 riot decimation came renovation, and now there are cool pubs such as The Beehive N17 and Ferryboat where there were once only supporters’ locals, and supper clubs (check out Soul Food Sisters) where there were once kebab shops.

On the market:

2-bed Victorian conversion flat, £249,950


The new media village

Pontcanna & Canton, Cardiff

If you need a respite from the buzz of Cardiff, Pontcanna’s village-y ambience is just a 30-minute stroll away. Its community is determined to keep it local and low-key, so you’d better shop at the local butcher or there’ll be trouble. It’s not all Welsh lamb dinners though – check out The Hang Fire Smokehouse at The Lansdowne pub for barbecue, or feast on the high seas at Fish At 85. Canton is the bordering suburb and has become an overflow for the tightly-squeezed Pontcanna crowd.

On the market:

Newly-fitted 2-bed terrace, £275,000 [pictured]


The new hipster hideaway

Ladywell, London

Unless you bought into Hackney a decade ago, you’re no doubt priced out now, which is why Ladywell – with its ever-improving transport links and burgeoning locales such as Brockley (with its food market and brewery) and Lewisham (home to Street Feast’s summer pop-up) is the perfect remedy. It has a traditional feel to the high street and cool spots in its own right, such as the laidback Ladywell Tavern.

On the market:

2-bed flat in need of work, £195,000 [pictured]


The new commuter hub by the sea

Southend, Essex

If you want to keep your job in London but fancy eating fish and chips on the beach for your dinner (instead of beans), then Southend-On-Sea has ditched its boy-racer image to become our new favourite seafront idyll. Outstripping every other commuter town around the capital on cost of living versus train prices, the Essex promenade is also now home to a host of hip new businesses (see fashion brand The Ragged Priest) as well as hot pop-ups from ‘burger, cocktails and dreams’ vendor Henry Burgers, to Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty’s upmarket spot on the pier. Plus, it’s only 40 minutes into London and it even has its own international airport. Yes, really.

On the market:

2-bed on the seafront, £200,000 [pictured]


The new sparkly inner-city living

The Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham

The JQ dodged the mass urban clearances of the post-war years and remains much as it would have looked 100 years ago. What comes with that is soul. It has welcomed a swathe of digital creatives, producing tomorrow’s products, apps and websites in the listed factories of yesteryear. St Pauls Gallery boasts the world’s biggest collection of signed album cover art, while The Church is involved in revolutionary food experiences, and in The Lord Clifden, The Red Lion and The Rose Villa Tavern the JQ has three of Birmingham’s best pubs.

On the market:

2-bed apartment in the Old Silver Works, £170,000 [pictured]


The seaside art community

Creative Quarter, Folkestone

With prices in commutable Brighton almost on a par with London, and other seaside outposts struggling with ‘Kiss Me Quick’ identity crises, Folkestone has emerged as an unlikely forerunner for our water-view affections. The once dying Kentish Euro port is just an hour’s high-speed train away from St Pancras – and just over two hours to Paris. It’s had a creative revival to attract businesses to the beach, with the newly tricked-out shopping lanes, high-impact office blocks and the Folkestone Triennial encouraging residents to create art out of their town. It has an artsy vibe mixed with a serious business edge – and the perfectly affordable place to kickstart your creative start-up. Take your London money and make a run for it.

On the market:

Regency 2-bed on the seafront, £79,950 [pictured]


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