Think of Cambridge and you’ll probably be reminded of the world-famous university. There is a lot more than education happening in this English city, though. With beautiful surrounds and a rapidly expanding number of tech companies locating themselves here, Cambridge is incredibly popular with home buyers. Gavin Human, Director of Fine & Country Cambridge, shares his favourite parts of the city.
Tell us about your city. What makes it special?
Cambridge is a fantastic multi-cultural city that embraces diversity across the city. Cambridge is renowned for its world famous universities and education facilities. Offering a far reaching range of specialised schools for languages and various skill sets it would be unfair to single out any one in particular. Our cycle path networks, park and ride and guided bus facilities and various international acclaimed business parks are envied by many other cities in the UK and from around the globe.
Why should people move to your city?
Cambridge is a truly unique city and it is a privilege to serve the local community as their estate agent.
The city offers a fantastic environment for families small and large. There are excellent business facilities, with several specialised business parks ideal for small local start-up companies or large worldwide businesses such as Microsoft and Arm Holdings Limited. We are also very well connected to London, which is ideal for those wishing to commute, with a direct train service to Kings Cross in under an hour.
What are the most sought-after areas?
Often people request South Cambridge because it offers quicker connections to London, but we are finding that city-based residents are increasingly migrating out of the suburbs to villages further afield, but their commute is still between 30 and 45 minutes in the morning. This is being partly driven by the increasing number of people working from home several days a week so they may not need to drive every day through the rush hour traffic. As we have experts in the office that cover the whole of Cambridge we find that the vast majority of areas are highly sought after.
What are the best schools, restaurants and bars?
Our historic universities are world renowned, coupled with a real mixture of private and quality state schooling for all families that want the very best education for their children. There are many amazing places to eat; Cambridge really is paradise for a true foodie. From the small boutique independent restaurant with covers for 10, or the large national eateries capable of sitting over 100. From the high street, to the small courtyard, from the city centre to the remote village, you can never go hungry in Cambridge and can effectively eat from around the world in one night.
What festivals or big community events do you have in the city?
Throughout the year, Cambridge offers a variety of festivals and events. The Midsummer Fair on Midsummer Common has a history dating back 100’s of years and is fun for all the family. For those feeling rather more energetic, the Cambridge Half Marathon started in 2012 and it has grown from 3,000 participants to nearly 7,000 runners since then. Tune into BBC Radio Two in July and you will hear The Cambridge Folk Festival, one of the premier music events in Europe and one of the longest running and most famous folk festivals in the world. Cambridge really does have something for everyone, regardless of age.
So how much do properties cost in your area? What are the highest and lowest prices?
Cambridge is like a mini London so we do see a high demand and a general lack of supply. For those looking to step foot onto the ladder, you may find a shared ownership house for around £100,000, but your typical terrace could start off around £350,000 upwards. The most expensive house currently for sale on the open market has a price guide of £4,000,000.
What type of properties sell the fastest?
All properties, regardless of age, type and condition sell fast if they are put on the market at the right price at the correct market value. There is a lack of good quality housing for sale and a growing demand from willing and able buyers.
Finally, what advice would you give to anyone thinking of moving to your city?
Take your time looking around. Each village is different, each suburb offers something new. Jump in your car, drive around, pin point certain villages and then re-visit at different times of the day. Do dummy runs of your work journey and school drop-offs as in my view you can never do enough research. It is important to speak to people who ideally live in the area, and I often suggest to buyers that they should go and chat to local shopper keepers and staff, pop into the local pub and speak to the locals. Having worked in estate agency for over 25 years, one thing that really stands out to me in Cambridge, and does not change where-ever you end up buying, is the sense of community spirit. It really is a great place to live.