The county of Northumberland is located in the North East of England. Northumberland is known primarily for its stunning coastline and scenic countryside in the shape of the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the 405 square mile Northumberland National Park and the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, quite apart from the numerous local parks and stately homes and gardens dotted throughout the county.
Northumberland also has a rich heritage with settlements in the area dating back to prehistoric times and the name originating from the Anglo Saxon “norð hẏmbra land” in reference to the county’s location north of the Humber estuary. Northumberland’s position on the English and Scottish border has also made it the site of various battles for territory between the two countries over the centuries. The history of the area has been well preserved to this day in Hadrian’s Wall which dates back to AD 122, coastal fortress Bamburgh Castle and The Holy Island of Lindisfarne to name but a few of Northumberland’s impressive historic monuments. Indeed, Northumberland even has the distinction of being the English county with the most castles.
The county is home to hubs Berwick-upon-Tweed, England’s most northerly town, Morpeth and beautiful villages like historic Corbridge and Alnwick of Harry Potter fame whilst also being within easy reach of all the amenities on offer in nearby city Newcastle-upon-Tyne. For families, there are also a range of state, academy and independent school options in the county plus a range of family friendly activities and facilities.
Despite its coastal, north easterly location, Northumberland is very accessible to the rest of the UK via the A1 from London to Edinburgh, the A697, A696, A68 and A69 westbound towards Carlisle. Major rail hubs Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Berwick upon Tweed are on the East Coast Main Line between London and Edinburgh and Newcastle also has services on the Hadrian’s Wall Line from Newcastle to Carlisle. Nearby Newcastle Airport offers a range of domestic and international flight options too.
But what of houses in Northumberland then? Is the county with so much to offer prospective homeowners an affordable option?
It has long been known that the North of England is considerably cheaper overall than the South, particularly pricey capital city London. Despite a significant rise in house prices outside of the capital in the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic – including many areas of the North East and an 11 per cent rise in Northumberland itself – postcodes in the county have still appeared in the top 10 list of most affordable property postcodes in England and Wales in recent months, alongside neighbouring counties Tyne and Wear and County Durham.
Indeed, the cheapest area in the UK in 2021 so far has been named by Zoopla as the North East town of Shildon in County Durham (coming in at a very affordable average sold price of £84,876 according to Rightmove), with homeowners calculated to spend a very reasonable 7% of their annual household income on mortgage repayments based on a 15% deposit.
In comparison, the average property price for homes in Northumberland over the past year came in slightly higher than both County Durham and Tyne and Wear at £215,061, although this is still comfortably lower than the national average of £254,624. Whilst popular Northumberland hotspots such as Hartburn (£860,000), Bolam (£680,000) and Darras Hall (£629,279) attract significant property prices, affordable areas such as Cambois (£102,190), Newbiggin-By-The-Sea (£106,941) and Ashington (£116,511) mean the county is still good value for today’s prospective homeowners looking for a location that ticks all the boxes. When it comes to properties, you can pick up a terraced or semi-detached property for around £148,000 and £177,000, respectively. Spacious, detached properties, of which there are many in Northumberland, can be found for around £350,000.