Barnt Green is a hugely popular little village to the north-east of Bromsgrove in Worcestershire. To the north-west is Lickey Hills and to the east, the two Bittell reservoirs - lovely destinations for a walk or spot of watersport. The landscape gives the area a fantastic rural feel, despite the convenience of being just ten minutes from Birmingham.
To the south-east is Alvechurch, equally as well thought of and with history dating back to the 15th century.
Barnt Green itself dates back to around 1880, but saw most of its development in the first half of the 20th century. The population now numbers just short of 2,000 and is well served by local amenities.
The centre of the village has a parade of shops, including two butchers, a bakery, an optician and several small boutique-style stores, along with a Tesco Express and a park.
Barnt Green has a good mix of property stock, with smaller 2-3 bedroom family properties centred in and around the hub of the main village. The majority of this was built between the 1940’s and 1970’s, though some newer properties exist close to the railway station.
Larger, more affluent properties sit on the periphery of the village towards Lickey, Blackwell and Burcot.
First time buyers tend to find homes in the newer estates in Cofton Hackett and Blackwell. There are some 1-2 bedroom flats in Barnt Green itself, but buyers should expect to pay a premium for the location.
As homebuyers move up the housing ladder, they will often move into the hub of the village where there is a greater density of 3 and 4 bedroom properties.
Prices in Barnt Green and surrounding areas had remained largely stable throughout the recession and up until the end of 2013, but have risen since the start of 2014 and are expected to increase further.
The inability to build on green belt land is applying pressure and the largest gains are expected in the larger more affluent properties of the borough where demand outstrips supply.
Roads in and around Twatling Road, Cherry Hill Road, Fairlight Drive, Mearse Lane, Plymouth Road and Shepley Road on the periphery of the village will continue to be most affluent.
The area close by the former Rover car factory has undergone a multi-million pound redevelopment with housing, retail and other commercial use allocated. This area is highly investible as demand for rental stock and family properties grows.
The majority of Barnt Green inhabitants choose to buy rather than rent and this is reflected by fewer lettings opportunities available.
Typical tenants in the village are commuting professionals and families, both preferring to live in the hub of the village given the excellent transport links and amenities.
Rental prices have seen a slight increase since the recession ended and we would expect to see this continue in line with national averages.
Rental yields in Barnt Green are relatively low in comparison to national averages as properties tend to be priced at a premium. The best properties for buy-to-let landlord investments would tend to be 2-3 houses in and around the hub of the village.
Barnt Green railway station provides excellent access to Birmingham, Bromsgrove and Redditch - with travel to each available within a 20 minute journey time. There are also good bus routes to all of the surrounding towns.
The village has easy access to junctions on the M5 and M42 motorways, as well as the nearby A38, and is approximately a 30 minute drive from Birmingham International Airport.
Several of the local schools are rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted, including St Andrew's Primary School in the village itself. Schools are popular and the drive to live within catchment has a notable influence on prices in the area.
The landscape around Barnt Green gives the area a fantastic rural feel, despite the convenience of being just ten minutes from Birmingham.
Lower and Upper Bittell reservoirs are popular for outdoor activities such as walks and watersports. Running alongside Lower Bittell Reservoir is the Worcester and Birmingham Canal which has a number of attractions to explore.
To the north-east, Lickey Hills Country Park offers 524 acres of parkland and is another well-loved local recreation spot.
In the village itself, there's a great little sports club offering a good standard of squash, tennis, badminton, table tennis, running and cycling.
Local employment is focused on the string of shops along the main parade, the two main pubs (The Queen Victoria and The Barnt Green Inn) and the sports club.
However, proximity to Birmingham, Redditch and Bromsgrove offers commuters a great deal of flexibility.