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The NHS is never far from the headlines. Under pressure, and in need of more funding, today’s 70th birthday celebrations up and down the UK are even more significant.
When it comes to creating the list for our ideal home and location, we often have some ideas. It is easy to get swept away with living near the best schools or a good supermarket. Many of us will look for a nice high street, great transport links, or a wonderful view over rolling hills.
However, when it comes to buying a new home, few people consider how good the local healthcare options really are. Luckily, for many of us, it is not important – until we really need it.
Did you know that being in close proximity of a top hospital can actually affect the local property prices?
In 2017, research from eMoov showed that, on average, house prices were 14% higher than the national average when situated near a hospital. Not only that, but the rating of the hospitals awarded by the Care Quality Commission also influenced the increase or decrease the value of nearby properties.
When looking at 600 areas with neighbouring hospitals, those with an outstanding rating saw house prices rising to 20% over the national average. However, the hospitals rated as inadequate saw a fall of 17% below the national average.
So next time you are looking at moving house, it might be worth taking a look at whether you’re near a hospital that could add thousands to the asking price.
The school catchment areas are a big deal. Families can move just to have access to a certain school district. But are you aware that doctor surgeries run similar catchment areas?
If you move out of the area, you will be expected to move surgeries. With more GPs moving out of the profession – recent NHS figures show there was a decrease of 350 full-time equivalent GPs in England between September 2015 and June 2017 – will home buyers be looking for properties closer to the doctor’s surgeries they want?
And will they be willing to pay a premium?
Kent has seen a steady increase in property prices over the past few years, but how does our healthcare system stack up? And will it lead to a healthy outcome for property prices in the future?
As with the NHS across the UK, it is not without challenges. However, there is some good news for areas such as Dartford and Gravesend. Over 92% of patients are waiting less than the expected 18 weeks for basic operations and care – above the national expectations.
Whilst not quite hitting expected levels for A&E wait times, the healthcare facilities in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells are above the national average. Overall, the charts look good for the health of Kent and its properties.
With access to good NHS healthcare becoming increasingly important, whether you are buying or selling a home, maybe a health check might be in order.