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Gloucestershire

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If you’re thinking about moving to the South of England, Gloucestershire continues to be an incredibly popular choice, offering stunning landscapes, affordability, prestigious schools and plenty of history. 

As a key area in the South West, Gloucestershire borders Wales and is home to a large part of the Cotswolds, the Royal Forest of Dean and the Severn Vale, as well as key towns such as Gloucester, Cheltenham and Cirencester.

Featuring some of the most scenic areas in the country, affordable properties compared to the wider South and incredible amenities, Gloucestershire is very popular with homebuyers, especially those that are looking for something more peaceful compared to cities such as London. 

This increased demand for houses in the county mean prices have risen by almost 74% - around £143,586.

In this guide, we explore some of the key benefits of buying a house in Gloucestershire, why you might choose to live in the city and the key developments in the area for homebuyers. 

Shared Ownership Homes in Gloucestershire

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Is Gloucestershire a Good Place to Buy a House?

If you’re thinking about moving to Gloucestershire, it’s important to know if Gloucestershire is a good place to live.

Gloucestershire has something for everyone, whether you want stunning countryside or modern, exciting towns. Easy access to Bristol, Birmingham and Cardiff via the M5 and M4 offer links to larger cities, while an established transit network offers trains to London and the wider UK. 

The county is made up of six districts - Gloucester, Cheltenham, Forest of Dean, Stroud, Tewkesbury and the Cotswolds. The living experience vary between districts but no matter where you live, you’re never far from beautiful landscapes or the hustle and bustle of historic towns.

If we consider the top things that homebuyers generally look for, Gloucestershire typically ranks very well: 

Education & Schools

If you’re thinking of buying to raise a family, Gloucestershire is ideal. The county is home to a broad range of highly-rated schools, many of which hold above-average ratings with Ofsted. 

Nearly 88% of primary schools in Gloucestershire are rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, while 78% of secondary schools in the county have the same ratings.

If you’re simply looking for ‘Outstanding’ rated schools, 20% of primary schools hold the rating while 33% of secondary schools have earned the top mark.

For students seeking higher education, there’s two universities to choose from - The University of Gloucestershire and the Royal Agricultural University, which offer a range of curriculums and opportunities for deeper learning.

Transport

If travel connections are important to you, Gloucestershire - and particularly Gloucester - is extremely well-connected. 

For those travelling North or further South, the M5 runs between Cheltenham and Gloucester, linking the county with the Midlands. If you want to go East to London or West into Wales, the M4 is also nearby. 

The county has accessible train and bus links to London, while you’re only an hour away from Birmingham and Bristol airports.

Gloucestershire has an established integrated commuter network including local bus and train links that allow residents to travel around the county.

Employment

While the county may initially seem to be a sleepy, rural county, it’s actually home to a booming economy that relies on world-class agricultural, industrial and service-led sectors.

There are a diverse range of businesses across the county, featuring leaders in manufacturing, engineering, finance and fashion. 

This means there’s a huge amount of opportunities for people moving to the area, as well as easy links to nearby Bristol or other key cities for commuters.

Some of the key businesses in the county include: St James’s Place Wealth Management, Mears Group PLC, Superdry PLC and EDF Energy - demonstrating the range of businesses calling Gloucestershire home.

Out of the entire Gloucestershire population, 82% are employed, which is significantly higher than the wider South West and the UK average. 

What are House Prices Like in Gloucestershire?

Gloucestershire has been one of the major benefactors of redevelopment, rising demand and a shift in attitude to rural homebuying over the last decade.

The area has seen house prices rise steadily since 2013, following the trend that both London and the South East laid out.

In 2023, the average house price in Gloucestershire is around £336,000 according to the Land Registry, having increased by £143,000 (74%) since 2013.

This represents exceptional growth compared to the wider UK and while Gloucestershire is now set to experience slower price growth during 2023, forecasts suggest that this trend will change again by 2024.

Top Destinations in Gloucestershire

If you’re buying in Gloucestershire, where are the best places to consider? The county has a broad range of bustling towns, rolling landscapes and beautiful vistas, offering something for everyone.

Below we explore some of the top areas that homebuyers should be considering going forward:

The main town in Gloucestershire is also one of the best places to live. Gloucester is home to around 132,000 people and is a bustling town with an array of amenities.

With Roman roots and a number of impressive Medieval buildings, Gloucester has a rich history waiting to be discovered at local attractions such as The Museum of Gloucester, Blackfriars Priory, Gloucester Catherdral and The National Waterways Museum.

If you’re looking for some culture, Gloucester hosts the annual Gloucester International RNB Festival in the summer, while the Gloucester International Cajun and Zydeco Festival is the largest in the UK and the longest-running in Europe. These are just two additions to a complete calendar that runs throughout the year.

Finally, the town is home to some of the most prestigious schools in the county, including The King’s School Gloucester, The Crypt School, Gloucestershire College and the University of Gloucestershire.

Often described as the ‘capital’ of the Cotswolds, Cirencester is a bustling market town that also features acres of beautiful green space and parkland.

Ideally placed for homebuyers seeking a more peaceful way of life, Cirencester is also perfect for commuters that work in London thanks to direct rail and road links.

The town has a number of cultural attractions including an Abbey and Roman-inspired museum, The Corinium, which offer a great day out for families. Elsewhere, you’ll find plenty of drama, comedy, musical entertainment and other attractions around the market town. 

If you’re looking for great places to eat, you can find the Malt and Anchor - an award-winning fish and chip shop - sitting alongside MBB Brasserie, a high-quality restaurant.

Finally, Cirencester has several primary schools and two secondary schools - Cirencester Deer Park School and Cirencester Kingshill School, both of which are either ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’.

While Tetbury is largely renowned for its royal connections, it remains one of the most stylish postcodes in Gloucestershire and is particularly attractive for people moving from London. 

One of the main attractions of Tetbury is the vast amount of independent retailers that call the place home - from antiques shops to boutiques, independent food shops and more.

If you’re looking for somewhere to eat or drink, residents are spoilt for choice from places such as The Snooty Fox, The Gumstool Inn, House of Cheese and Hobbs House Bakery.

Other nearby attractions include Westonbirt Arboretum, Highgrove Gardens and the stunning natural beauty of the Cotswolds. 

While house prices are slightly higher than other towns in the area, it’s still much less expensive than London and larger commuter towns in the South East.

Despite being synonymous with the Cheltenham Festival, the town itself is one of the most popular places for people to call home, offering fantastic rail and road connections with London, exceptional culture and a bustling nightlife.

Cheltenham features an exciting shopping area which has almost become a tourist attraction, home to a range of boutiques, restaurants and coffee shops.

There’s plenty of fancy places to eat alongside the posh shopping experience, with highlights including The Ivy, No. 131 and Kibou. 

We couldn’t talk about Cheltenham without mentioning the festival line-up, which is one of the key attractions in the calendar. With a programme focused on the arts, music, literature and science each year, it attracts thousands of people and creates a thriving atmosphere.