This weekend, the Exeter Chiefs take on the Saracens for the coveted prize of the Aviva Premiership title. With a three-hour drive compared to Saracens one hour mosey around the North Circular, it may well feel like an away day for the travelling Chiefs. But should they clinch the title it could mean more than a medal for those living close to the Chiefs home ground, Sandy Park, 165 miles to the south-west.
Research by leading fixed fee estate agent, eMoov.co.uk, shows that the Chiefs road to the final has been beneficial for more than Exeter rugby fans.
Since Exeter moved from the County Ground to Sandy Park in 2006, in order to facilitate the growth of the franchise and turn the team into Premiership contenders, the average asking price in the surrounding area has increased by 33% overall, now £329,063.
Not only is this £8,000 more than Exeter as a whole, but the redevelopment of Sandy Park to facilitate a larger crowd and offer other resources outside of the rugby spectrum has seen prices increase by 9% more than the Exeter market.
With further plans to increase the current capacity to over 20,000 people and further expansion of the surrounding grounds and car park, the positive spill over to the surrounding area and local economy could see prices growth in the area remain strong.
Since the Chiefs moved to Sandy Park the team has gone from strength to strength and with the further plans to expand the complex, I can’t see them slowing down anytime soon.
It’s no coincidence that the strong property price growth in the area coincides with the move to and regeneration of the stadium. With a bigger venue comes more jobs, more pride for the team and the area and more opportunities for the local pubs, hotels and restaurants to benefit economically.
The knock on effect is that there are more people in need of housing in the area and as this increase in demand starts to outweigh the supply level, of course, prices are going to climb. A Chiefs win on Saturday should see this continue. With high profile victories and trophies come more funding, more sponsorship, more stability, all factors that benefit the local area whether it be the property market, economically or so on.
Whether the Chiefs win or not, one thing is for sure, the area is certainly on the up in terms of the property market. Good news for existing Exeter homeowners, but if you’re thinking about buying in the area I wouldn’t leave it too long as prices are likely to keep climbing.Lewis Rossiter
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