Cambridge has long been the brightest beacon of light in the county, drawing people in with its historic charm and promise of a relaxing, idyllic lifestyle without sacrificing solid job opportunities.
Although many of us work in Cambridge, or enjoy ambling along the meadows and cobbled lanes on the weekends, realistically we have to settle down in more affordable and still lovely parts of the county.
By pinpointing the areas with the most rapidly increasing house prices, we’ve discovered the most popular places to live in and around Cambridgeshire.
Many of our towns and villages have seen a rise in average property price between 2014 and 2019, according to recent Rightmove data.
Average price increases in the top 10 areas over a five-year period range between 32 and 25 per cent.
Below are the top 10 towns in and around Cambridgeshire which have seen the biggest percentage increase in house prices since 2014.
10. Linton – 25.93 per cent
This three-bedroom detached house in Linton is up for sale at £449,995 (Image: Cheffins)
This village has a good mix of modern and period properties, making it suitable for different tastes. Its close proximity to Cambridge – it takes under a half hour to drive – is a big bonus for those who want to work in the city. That’s also one reason why house prices are fairly steep in the village.
Linton doesn’t have a train station, but Audley End mainline station is about 11 miles away, and offers a commuter service to London Liverpool Street.
Linton Zoo is another perk for the village as well as its highly-rated schools.
With a rise in average property prices of £99,780 over the last five years, it’s 10th on the list of the most popular places in the county.
2014 average property price: £384,825
2019 average property price: £484,605
9. Ramsey – 26.27 per cent
The market town is a more affordable housing option that is under a half hour from Peterborough. It’s an ideal spot for nature lovers, with its close proximity to Great Fen, a fenland landscape encompassing two National Nature Reserves, Holme Fen and Woodwalten Fen.
Another draw is the Fenland Light Railway, a miniature steam railway that hosts events throughout the year.
Average property prices have risen by £52,021 in Ramsey since 2014. That is an increase of 26.27 per cent.
2014 average property price: £198,040
2019 average property price: £250,061
8. Whittlesey – 26.99 per cent
The town sits close to Peterborough, which is where residents flock for more choice of shops and restaurants.
Whittlesey has seen prices rise £49,904 during a five-year period. That is an increase of 26.99 per cent.
2014 average property price: £184,931
2019 average property price: £234,835
7. Ely – 27.76 per cent
Ely is a lovely place to visit in its own right, embracing a bucolic rural lifestyle set around the impressive cathedral known as the ‘Ship of the Fens’.
It is also within commuting distance to Cambridge or even London.
The train station offers a direct service to London King’s Cross that takes about an hour and 15 minutes and one to Cambridge that is about 20 minutes.
Other draws to the city are the market and lovely riverside nature walks.
2014 average property price: £243,636
2019 average property price: £311,261
6. St Neots – 28.17 per cent
St Neots High Street
St Neots is growing in popularity thanks to its easy access to London King’s Cross, with a direct train lasting around 46-56 minutes.
It’s a lovely spot for families who want a quieter lifestyle that’s still in reach of the big city.
2014 average property price: £240,045
2019 average property price: £307,676
5. Huntingdon – 28.29 per cent
The quaint market town is home to the only museum dedicated to Oliver Cromwell, which is set in the grammar school he attended.
There is also the lovely Hinchingbrooke Country Park, with lakes, meadows and mature oak woodland.
The average value of a home has gone up by £55,478.
2014 average property price: £196,101
2019 average property price: £251,579
4. Royston, Hertfordshire – 28.38 per cent
This Hertfordshire town is another place that is ideal for London commuters, with a direct train service just under an hour.
It is also just half an hour’s drive from Stansted Airport.
2014 average property price: £352,085
2019 average property price: £452,017
3. Peterborough – 31.21 per cent
Peterborough’s Cathedral Square underwent a huge revamp (Image: Roland Leon Daily Mirror)
People have a love hate relationship with Peterborough.
Outsiders tend to take a dim view, with the city winning the title of the worst place to live in Britain for the second time in a row. The ‘award’ based on the annual survey from iLiveHere.co.uk, featured quite a few savage comments, with one person even saying it should have been destroyed during WW2.
But many people who actually take the time to explore the area come to appreciate its rich history and natural beauty in and around the city.
Over the years a revamp of the city centre has brought plenty of exciting new opportunities and things to do, breathing new life into the place.
It also has plenty of choice when it comes to shopping, which you can learn more about here.
Although the house prices have jumped 31.21 per cent since 2014, properties are still affordable.
2014 average property price: £149,064
2019 average property price: £195,581
2. Chatteris – 32.06 per cent
The market town is about 20 minutes from Ely and anywhere from 35-50 minutes from Peterborough.
The average house price in 2019 was £215,803, which is not far off from the three-bedroom house below on the market for £215,000.
Prices might have increased by 32.06 per cent, one of the highest increases in the county, but you can still find plenty of bargains in the area.
2014 average property price: £163,407
2019 average property price: £215,803
1. March – 32.48 per cent
House prices in the market town jumped the highest in Cambridgeshire over the five-year period.
This spot is another one for those who like to get out in nature, with the closest place for major shops and restaurants being Peterborough.
2014 average property price: £172,431
2019 average property price: £228,442