Property: That's pounds 125,000 a bedroom ...

Just how much - or how little - does half a million buy you these days?

HALF A million pounds might seem a huge amount of money for a family house, and it is true that only a very small percentage of properties sold in England are at or above this sum. But in London and the Home Counties in particular, pounds 500,000 will not, nowadays, buy you very much.

"You would be hard pushed to find a detached family house with nice gardens or a bit of land for pounds 500,000 in the Home Counties," says Tim Stephens of Humberts' Country House department. "You would have to look at least an hour and a half from London before finding anything decent for that price."

In central London, pounds 500,000 might only buy you a flat - and not a very large one at that. John D Wood is selling a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in Kensington Green, W8 with 24-hour security and porterage, for pounds 500,000, and Chestertons Residential currently has a two-bedroom apartment in Vicarage Gate, W8 for pounds 495,000.

John D Wood's Farnham office is selling a much larger property, albeit a bungalow, with a large garden in Lower Bourne, Farnham, Surrey. Coombe Glen has five bedrooms, and is on the market for pounds 500,000. For the same price, you could buy Snayleslynch Farm, which is also close to Farnham. This half-timbered, Grade II-listed cottage overlooking the River Wey has four bedrooms, outbuildings and 2.75 acres (details from Hamptons International).

Hamptons is also selling Foxes, a four-bedroom cottage with two acres, near Dunsfold village, Godalming, Surrey, for offers in the region of pounds 500,000. The rooms are not large, but it is in a very pretty position and has a tennis court and paddock.

The trick of finding something of better value in the Home Counties is to look for a property which is either semi-detached (which brings the price down) or in a less-than-prime position. Humberts, for example, is selling October Cottage, a six-bedroom house with a large garden in Nettleden, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire for pounds 495,000.

"West of the A34 you would expect to achieve a `top address' within a provincial town, usually a 20th-century house with four/five bedrooms, and maybe half an acre," says Gavin West, regional director for Hamptons International.

The further you are from London, the more you will get for your money. Even in the South Hams area of Devon, which is terrifically popular, you should be able to find a farmhouse with a couple of letting cottages, or a lovely house at Dartmouth overlooking the river, for half a million.

However, "once you start going north," says Madeline Marchand of the agent, Marchand & Petit, "your half million will buy you very much more. For that money, you should be able to find a five- or six-bedroom farmhouse with quite a few acres in north Devon."

In Northampton and Lincolnshire, it is possible to buy a nice village house with five to six bedrooms, with a garden up to an acre, for half a million pounds. "Or that sum could get you a four- to five-bedroom house with about four acres of paddocks in a more rural situation," says Quentin Jackson-Stops of Jackson-Stops & Staff.

In the prime areas of North Yorkshire around Leeds and Harrogate, you would find it very difficult to buy a large house with land for under pounds 750,000. "You could buy a five-bedroom house with no more than five or 10 acres for pounds 500,000," says Charles Yeoman of Strutt & Parker.

"North of Ripon, you start seeing more for your money, and once you reach Durham and Northumberland, then you could get quite a lot of property and land for that sum."

Half a million pounds would also buy you a good quality new home within commuting distance of London. Berkeley Homes, for example, have a selection of detached family homes with large, but not huge, gardens for that price in Amersham, Hertfordshire and Mannings Heath, West Sussex.

At the Oaklands development in Amersham, a five-bedroom, four-bathroom and four-reception room house costs pounds 499,000, and at The Fairways in West Sussex, a five-bedroom, four-reception room detached house backing onto Manning Heath golf course is for sale for pounds 495,000.

In Hertfordshire, Mullucks Wells & Associates is selling a smart five- bedroom, four-reception room house, built in period style in the village of Standon, for pounds 499,000.

John D Wood, 0171-493 4106; Chestertons Residential, 0171- 937 7244; Humberts, 0171-629 0909; Hamptons, 01635 582111; Strutt & Parker, 01423 561274; Berkeley Homes, 01494 787200; Berkeley Homes Southern, 01403 211230; Mullucks Wells & Associates, 01279 755400

Arts and Entertainment
TVShow's twee, safe facade smashed by ice cream melting scandal
News
newsVideo for No campaign was meant to get women voting
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

C# Developer (C#, ASP.NET Developer, SQL, MVC, WPF, Real-Time F

£40000 - £48000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Devel...

C# Swift Payment Developer (C#, ASP.NET, .NET, MVC, Authorize.N

£45000 - £60000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Swift...

DevOps Engineer - Linux, Shell, Bash, Solaris, UNIX, Salt-Stack

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: A fast growing Financial Services organisation b...

Trade Desk FIX Analyst - (FIX, SQL, Equities, Support)

£50000 - £60000 per annum + excellent benefits: Harrington Starr: An award-win...

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?