We asked Nikki from Savills what she thinks of our Pembers Hill Park site in Fair, Oak, Hampshire

Who has the development been popular with so far?

Pembers Hill Park has been incredibly popular with a wide range of buyers, including first time buyers, downsizers and upsizers, as it offers something for everyone. We have seen a dramatic increase in enquiries for properties at the development over the last year as buyers reassess their work/life balance and search for rural living further afield to where they may have previously considered.

What do buyers like about the new homes?

The quality of the build and the specification is excellent and there are no upgrades – what you see is what you get, including flooring etc. There is a choice of two property characters, both of which have proved popular, including the rural collection, which draws inspiration from the surrounding beautiful Hampshire countryside, and the contemporary homes reflecting the modern, urban style of neighbouring towns. With the first phase now mostly occupied, there is a real sense of community and it is turning into a really lovely place to live.

What is the area like?

The fantastic location offers an abundance of countryside on the doorstep, while providing convenient living, with easy connections to town centres and direct trains to London. The South Downs National Park is nearby, with breath-taking views, diverse wildlife and plenty of opportunities to enjoy walking and cycling, and getting back to nature. Meanwhile, Southampton and Winchester are within easy reach, offering a wealth of amenities, and there are also several excellent schools in the area.

Do you have any advice for first time buyers looking to buy at the development?

If you choose to buy Pembers Hill Park, I would advise using a solicitor who is familiar with sales on the development. They may have local search results and all contract enquiries already in hand, which could speed up the process considerably.

What does the stamp duty holiday mean for those looking to buy at Pembers Hill Park?

The extension to the stamp duty holiday in England came as welcome news for many when it was confirmed by the Government in March. Aimed at helping buyers who may have lost out financially due to Covid, it allows you to spend up to £500,000 on a property, as long as it is your main residence, without paying anything in tax. More expensive properties will only be taxed on their value above £500,000 so if you are buying over this threshold you will still benefit from a £15,000 saving.

What is your advice for those looking to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday saving?

Time is of the essence. In order to take advantage, your sale must be completed by the end of June. After that, stamp duty will apply on purchases at or above £250,000 until the end of September and then will drop back to the usual threshold of £125,000. Choose a property which is already ‘built complete’ and ready to move into – or will be in the next four to six weeks. This is crucial in order to keep on track with the timeline for purchase completion. Again, using a solicitor who is familiar with the development can help speed up the process. Also, consider using an independent financial advisor as opposed to going direct to the lender – they will chase the lender for you and stand a greater chance of obtaining funding in the fastest timescale. Finally, instruct both your solicitor and financial advisor as soon as you agree to purchase a property and ask them both what you need to do to ensure you meet the stamp duty deadline. Ask for a list of actions so you can tick them off as you go.