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Village people see home values rise

One-third of first-time buyers would have reconsidered the location of their home if they had been given more information before they moved in, according to research from Virgin One.

Its Cappuccino Test report questioned homeowners and estate agents on what makes an area up and coming, how they spot prosperous areas and the top turn-offs of a bad neighbourhood.

It found that renaming a neighbourhood is a good way to get people to think more highly about the area.

The report suggests that renaming an area as a “village” is the most popular way of transforming opinion of the location, with 45 per cent saying it adds value to a property. Just over 34 per cent of respondents said the words “conservation area” add value while “riverside” was cited by 32.5 per cent .

Other factors which improve the perception of an area include the presence of famous neighbours, trendy bars, high-street shops and bookshop chains.

Virgin One spokesman James Duffell says: “You often hear people saying that an area is up and coming but it has always been a bit of an abstract concept. We have tried to gain an insight into how people define a neighbourhood as up and coming, desirable or downright appealing. We recommend homeowners do as much research as they can before they commit to buying in an area to try and avoid the unexpected.”

The Cappuccino Test also found that more than two-thirds of respondents think interest rate increases will have a big impact on their repayment in the next two years, with a quarter saying rate rises could actually cost them their property.

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