Wherever you live today, it may be possible to move somewhere a little different – and a little cheaper – especially if you are struggling to afford a home of your own where you currently live. You might fancy a city centre flat so you can go out and about in the evenings and at weekends, or you may prefer a house with a garden, more space and easy access to the countryside.

So where can you find affordable places to live if you are looking at moving within the North? The average price in the UK, according to the Land Registry as of June 2021, is £265,668. We’ve found 10 places across the North where properties are available to buy for £250,000 or less – and good value rents too.

Salford – 2 bed terrace
Average price: £160,000
Average rent: £795pcm

Salford has been transformed beyond belief with the development of MediaCityUK in Salford Quays where the incredible BBC and ITV studios are now based. Here you can enjoy amazing city centre living in some great apartment blocks with some stunning views.

The area has its own university, great schools, fantastic links to Manchester city centre and in easy reach of an airport if you enjoy getting away from it all! Yet it’s also easy to access the countryside if you prefer long walks with great views at the weekend.

But it’s not just home to brand new developments, it’s also possible to buy or rent a modern or Victorian terraced house in some lovely areas such as Worsley, which, although not far from city centre living, can offer more space and a garden.

Interested? Discover more about the area and our branches in Greater Manchester.

Durham – 2 bed terrace
Average price: £115,000
Average rent: £550pcm

Durham does have its more pricey areas, but overall it has an affordable average price of £115,000 for a 2 bed terrace, and very reasonable rental prices too.

One of the huge attractions of Durham is its history which, according to the National Geographic in 2019, helps make it one of the eight most beautiful British cities. With the outlook of an amazing cathedral, a gorgeous city centre with lots of unique retailers and eateries, plus access to Wharton Park where you can entertain the kids or our canine friends, this really is a place which can offer you a great lifestyle at a budget you can afford.

Being on the East Coast train line means that you can easily access the rest of the country, from Edinburgh to London and head across the country to Manchester too in just a couple of hours.

Bootle – 3 bed semi
Average price: £170,000
Average rent: £795pcm

Bootle is just north of Liverpool and is definitely worth considering if you love being near the banks of the River Mersey, but also want easy access to the fantastic Liverpool city centre.

For those with families, there is access to good schools, and there are plenty of places to visit to ‘get away from it all’ such as nearby Crosby Beach.

Bootle’s heritage is in the Victorian age, so it’s extremely popular for those who would like to live somewhere a little quieter than a city centre in a period property. But with redevelopment, there are also plenty of modern properties to buy or rent too. It’s a particularly good place to live if you are on a budget but want more space, such as a three bed semi for under £200,000.

Although it has received some bad press in the past, things are changing here and now might be the time to take a look to see if you could make this area your affordable home.

Roker – 2 bed flat
Average price: £90,000
Average rent: £525pcm

This is a gem of an area near Sunderland with easy access to a beautiful, Blue Flag beach, which you can even access via a webcam.

Sunderland city centre isn’t far away and has all the amenities you need. But it’s also easy to get to nearby Newcastle or the beautiful Durham. As well as the beaches, Roker Park has play areas for kids and for dogs to enjoy and it even has its own lake. For those that really want an affordable place to live but fancy the high life too, you can investigate joining Sunderland Yacht Club.

Property wise, much of the housing is from Victorian days, which means they are well built and have great garden space, but as with many areas, there are still modern properties available.

It’s not always easy to find what you want to buy or rent here as it’s so popular, but it’s really worth taking a look if Roker seems to be the kind of place you’d love to live.

Lincoln – 3 bed semi
Average price: £225,000
Average rent: £750pcm

Lincoln is an area that’s easy to overlook, yet it’s a truly great place to live. Perhaps surprisingly, it is a big area for tourism due to the city’s heritage which goes back to Domesday and its international reputation thanks to featuring in the Da Vinci Code.

As a city, Lincoln has many historic sites that you can visit. It also has all the usual shops you’d expect in a city centre, with some fantastic independent stores, especially if you can manage to walk up Steep Hill which, if you need a break, has plenty of old-fashioned tea rooms to keep you going.

Housing wise, Lincoln offers huge opportunities for every type of living you could wish for, especially as it’s in one of the largest counties in the UK. You can enjoy city centre living or some beautiful rural villages and there are even plenty of places to live by the sea. If you like water, it’s even possible to live in areas where you can take your boat into the centre of Lincoln via Brayford Pool.

The best thing about Lincoln is its housing mix and affordability. Some have made Lincoln their home and commute into London by train along the East Coast Line which takes just over two hours.

Fancy moving to Lincoln? We can help you to find out what you could afford, and where.

Crewe – 3 bed semi
Average price: £170,000
Average rent: £750pcm

If you like to travel around the UK by train, you will love Crewe. Railways were part of the history of Crewe’s development and today you can still get pretty much anywhere from Crewe, including Manchester in less than an hour and London in less than two hours. It sits in Cheshire East so not far away are prime locations such as Winsford and Chester – just an hour by car – but the good news is property prices are much lower.

Properties here can be bought for around £170,000 with semi-detached two to three bed homes making up the majority of sales in the area (according to Rightmove). Even larger, detached homes can be bought for around £250,000.

Crewe is a great place for families that need an affordable property with a lot of space and enjoy the outdoors. Queens Park is a fantastic place to visit with plenty to do including kids play areas, an ornamental lake, boules and an outdoor gym. It’s around half an hour to Tatton Park which is home to a Japanese Garden, and for those that really love to escape to the country, it’s just under an hour to the Peak District National Park.

Schools are typically rated good and there are plenty of amenities in the city centre, or if you prefer you can head to nearby Manchester, Chester or Shrewsbury.

Want to find out more about buying or renting in Crewe? Get in touch to find out more.

Bolton – 3 bed semi
Average price: £220,000
Average rent: £825pcm

Bolton is an excellent location for those that want to live either in a nearby country village or in suburbia, especially if you need or want to travel.

The Bolton Interchange railway line is on the West Coast Mainline, so Manchester Piccadilly station is just under half an hour, with easy access to areas such as Wigan. Road networks are good with the A6 and the M61/M60/M62 motorways nearby.

There are plenty of parks with the best being Queens Park, and the area has various shopping centres with retail parks nearby. Bolton University means that there is a good nightlife in the area, and for moviegoers, there is even a 15-screen cinema.

Property wise, period semis and post-war properties can be bought or rented which will deliver good sized rooms and great gardens. For families, there are plenty of schools, some of which are rated ‘outstanding’.

If Bolton sounds like an area you would like to investigate, get in touch and we can help.

Northwich – 3 bed semi
Average price: £200,000
Average rent: £850pcm

According to Rightmove in 2020, Northwich was in the top 20 places to live in Great Britain, ranking it 2nd in the North West – and the good news is, it’s also pretty affordable to buy a home.

Northwich is in Cheshire and there are good transport links to Manchester, just an hour away with the M6 nearby, and for those that like to go abroad, Manchester and Liverpool airports are within the hour too.

As with many areas in Cheshire, you are close to fantastic countryside, and within Northwich itself there is Delamere Forest.

Shopping is good with the new Barons Quay, great for retail but also with lots of eateries so you can make it into a day out, or if you prefer, you can have a picnic in the park overlooking the River Weaver. If you like something a bit more lively, it’s worth finding out what’s happening at Memorial Court where there is live music and comedy shows.

Schools are typically rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ and there is also Sir John Deane’s College which is a highly ranked sixth form college.

Property wise, there are nearby villages, but also modern developments with deals for first-time buyers. You can buy a two bedroom flat in the Freshwater view marina development for under £150,000 or have plenty of space indoors and out with a three bed 1930s semi for around £200,000.

Northwich may well be worth a visit, contact your local Leaders office for more information.

Ellesmere Port – 3 bed semi
Average price: £185,000
Average rent: £750pcm

North of Chester and south of Liverpool, Ellesmere Port may not have been somewhere you would have thought of moving to, but if you want an affordable home, it’s definitely worth considering.

Transport links are good with the M56 and M53 nearby. For those that love Chester but would struggle to afford the house prices, it’s just 7 miles away and Merseyrail trains will get you there in around half an hour. Liverpool is a little further, but is still under 45 minutes. International airports are also relatively easy to reach.

If you have a family, the schools are rated ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’ and West Cheshire College has campuses in the area, so it’s also possible to access apprenticeships and foundation degrees. There are plenty of places to shop including the popular Cheshire Oaks designer outlet village and if you like Marks & Spencer, Ellesmere Port is home to the world’s second largest store.

There is plenty to do outside of work such as visiting the Blue Planet Aquarium and if you love canals, this is where the Shropshire Union Canal meets the Manchester Ship Canal. If you prefer, there is great entertainment from the multi-screen cinema which has also has ten-pin bowling, adventure golf and trampolining.

Near to the town centre is the Rivacre Valley Nature Park, Stanney Woods and Whitby Park, great for families and dogs. For those that are more adventurous, you can even access Snowdonia National Park in just over an hour.

Property wise, there are plenty of new homes under construction from all the major developers, but not just for younger buyers, there are new builds specifically for those over 55.

Carlisle – 3 bed terrace
Average price: £140,000
Average rent: £575pcm

Located in the North West est of England, Carlisle is the economic capital for much of Cumbria. Carlisle’s history dates back to Roman times and it is just north of two of the most beautiful parts of the UK, with the Lake District and the North Pennines just a 45 minute drive away.

However, instead of paying a fortune for a property, the average price according to Rightmove is under £150,000 with terraces for less than £125,000 and a detached property for less than £250,000.

It’s pretty easy to go north or south with the M6 nearby and as it’s on the West Coast Mainline, you can be in Glasgow in an hour or south to London in around three and a half hours.

Education wise, there is a choice of primary schools through to secondary and even higher education, with the University of Cumbria. Property wise, there are plenty of places to live from rural villages just outside Carlisle through to suburban semis and detached homes.

Average prices and rents mentioned in this article are based on current Rightmove adverts (September 2021) for the property type specified.

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Daniel Peacock.

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