Now, to clarify I’m not talking about “oop north” but instead the north and south side of Ashley Road - a road that separates BH12 and BH14 postcodes. The north side of the Ashley Road has long been considered less salubrious but it seems this stigma is being quickly dispelled with demand for the “wrong side” of Ashley Road soaring. My parents have lived happily in Victoria Road (BH12) for over a decade now and my first house was on Beaconsfield Road so, aside for school catchments, I’ve never really understood the mythical boundary of “good” and “bad” that Ashley Road has created. (It’s probably worth mentioning that I’m from Rochdale so every BH posh is posh to me but it seems now people are casting prejudices aside an opting to get more bang for your buck.) I think now living either side of Ashley Road now represents a choice of “good” and “just as good” and here are some stats that help back it up: Properties in Upper Parkstone have risen 30% in the last 5 years compared with a 23% rise in Lower Parkstone. The average price of property in Upper Parkstone is now just £23,663 less than Ashley Cross although that may mean the choice between having a house or an apartment. For those exclusively looking for detached homes they’ll have to pay a handsome premium of £149,959 to live in Ashley Cross (on average) but the difference between terraced properties is much more modest at £24,313 – almost identical to the averages between the postcodes. I think the sharp rise in Upper Parkstone property prices is largely due to the lack of available stock. Transactions are down by almost a quarter (24%) whereas, surprisingly, Ashley Cross has seen a rise of sold property by 3% - although demand continues to outstrip supply by a heavy margin. Having spoken with buyers throughout the year it is clear families are hugely influenced by school catchments which I believe accounts for in the bigger price difference for detached homes in BH14. Lilliput and Courthill First Schools and Baden Powell Middle School, are highly favoured and I can’t see demand waning in the near future. The cliché of “location, location, location” seems to be diminishing for some however as we have increasingly seen first time buyers opt to buy a house in Upper Parkstone rather than an apartment in Ashley Cross. I look forward to seeing if this gap continues to narrow throughout 2018 and of course will keep you posted.

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