Is Ashford set to become the place to live in 2018? Throughout the year, Ashford residents can benefit from a number of new additions and redevelopments to the town including a new motorway junction, one of the biggest housing development projects in Kent and an extension to the ever-so-popular McCarthur Glen Outlet Centre. According to our previous study on Kent house prices over the last 20 years, the average value across all property types has increased by a staggering 262.34%. With major developments happening across the town, will house prices continue to soar or stagnate?

What developments will affect Ashford Property Prices this year?

Junction 10a

January 2018 is set to be the start of project junction 10a on the M20 motorway. According to England Highways, ‘The M20 is an international route and is used by large volumes of heavy goods and holiday traffic…

We predict that the existing M20 junction 10 will suffer from congestion and long delays in future if additional capacity is not created’. In attempt to reduce anticipated and existing traffic and congestion, the Highways England ‘will construct a new M20 junction 10A’ which will comprise of ‘a roundabout over the motorway, new slip roads and a new link road to the A2070 Bad Munstereifel Road, with traffic signals on parts of the junction and two 3 lane bridges’. The massive infrastructure is costing a staggering £104.4 million and due to take two years with completion expected in May of 2020.

Ashford residents can expect to see an ease on their local journeys as long-haul traffic is separated to alternative routes. This will also bode well with residents frequently commuting to London as they can expect their journey’s to and from the City to be less congested by holiday traffic and heavy loads. Although all seems well for current residents, will this open the floodgates for even more commuters to flock to Ashford as the ‘easy’ commute becomes attractive?

Rail Links

Although no new rail link infrastructures are being built around Ashford, in January of this year, it was announced that Ashford is the most cost-effective London commuter town.

According to KentOnline ‘, those travelling into the capital from Ashford can expect to fork out £14,164 a year on season tickets’. Ashford could become an attractive hub for commuters in nearby towns London renters alike. The cost of a season ticket from Ashford is a reasonable compared to what others might be paying on rent and season tickets, thus attracting individuals and families to flock from afar to take advantage of the cost-effective London commute.

So what is currently welcome news for London commuters in Ashford, could be not so welcome when their journeys are disturbed and overcrowded by new-comers!

Chilmington Green

Ashford’s first Garden City is being introduced to the town in 2018. Chilmington Green is designed to be a mixed-use community that meets the needs of a 21st-century community

The development will comprise of 5,750 quality new homes, retail, community and social and recreational facilities. Initial infrastructure works are currently underway on site and due to be complete in spring 2018. Upon completion, the first 1,500 homes will begin their build process and over the coming 25 years, the development will benefit from 5,750 homes.

In 1961, Ashford’s population totalled 56,970, forty years later the population had almost doubled as the population total reached 102,661 in 2001. Ashford Borough Council predicts this number will only continue to rise with the approx. population total to reach 141,100 by 2021. Ashford residents can expect this to continue to rise beyond this time with the creation of the Chilmington Green development.

Ben, our Managing Director and Founder of Ben Siggins Estate Agents says “regarding Ashford and the current proposed development in the area, I would expect short-term price reductions during or immediately after the construction period of each building phase…In the immediate vicinity-within a quarter mile radius of the new development. I would expect prices in some cases to rise more quickly than in the wider area once the development is completed”.

Ashford McArthur Glen Designer Outlet Expansion

The popular McArthur Glen Designer Outlet centre is set to undergo a massive £90 million expansion. The designer outlet centre currently comprises of a variety of restaurants, cafes, a children’s play area and more than 80 designer stores.

With works having commenced in January 2018, shopaholics will have to wait until 2019 for the 100,000 sq ft extension to open. The extension welcomes 50 new luxury brands, and 500 new jobs – a huge employment advantage for residents in Ashford and surrounding towns.

Elwick Place Ashford

Ashford town centre is getting a refurb! Elwick place is set to see a brand new lesiure and restaurant complex in 2018.

According to the Elwick Road website, “Elwick Place will comprise a new 100,000 sq ft leisure and restaurant development in the heart of Ashford town centre in Kent, anticipated to open at Christmas 2018.
The development will include a new 6-screen Picturehouse Cinema, a 58-room Travelodge hotel, eight new restaurants and cafes, a new 282 space car park and a further potential phase of residential providing up to 200 apartments.”

Located adjacent to the County Square Shopping Centre which is already home to high profile brands such as Debenhams, M&S, H&M and Next, the new cinema and restaurants at Elwick Place will complement the existing opportunities available for shoppers, driving additional footfall and revenue to Ashford town centre.”

Ashford College also welcomes a brand new campus on Elwick Road. The campus offers state-of-the-art teaching facilities including fashion and photography studios, a professional kitchen, music production studio, multi-media learning resource centre and workshops for motor-vehicle, brick layering, plastering and plumbing. The addition of the new campus aims to attract students from across the UK and is designed to encourage collaborative group work and inspire students to achieve academic success and pursue career aspirations.

So…what are the pros and cons of these ongoing developments?

The creation of the Chilmington Green development is taking steps in the right direction to advance the 21st century; the quality homes and attractive community lifestyle is expected to attract individuals and families from around the South East and the rest of the UK. With the rising population in the Ashford area, will the addition of the new housing and community development benefit Ashford or lead to greater congestion and overcrowding?

This is what Chris, Ashford Branch Manager, has to say about the demand for housing in Ashford “In my opinion the next 12-18months we will see prices stay relatively the same but with a modest increase of maybe around 1.5% after this I expect prices to come down because of uncertainties in the market. We can see from history that when people are unsure about things they tend to do nothing. I believe after this downturn we will then see strong growth again. In the last downturn, Ashford’s demand for property remained high and I see no reason why that won’t continue. This should buffer us slightly from any downturn that may come as it did before”.

Ben, Managing Director at Ben Siggins Estate Agents comments on the impact of the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet expansion and the new Elwick Road Campus. Ben believes that the combination of new residential developments, new transportation links, school improvements and retail development will have an impact on house prices. Here at Ben Siggins Estate Agents, we expect houses prices to increase over and above the average as more people move from around the region to commute and find better living conditions.