With rolling countryside minutes away, frequent commuter trains to London Marylebone, top grammar schools and plans for major investment in the town centre, Aylesbury is fast becoming a property hotspot.
But the world of estate agency is dog-eat-dog, and the town is no exception, with many houses sold within days of being put on the market by savvy buyers set on snapping up a bargain.
In turn, this frenzy is pushing the prices up, says Timothy Taylor, principal at Hartwell Partnership on Buckingham Street, Aylesbury: “The property market in the Vale is very buoyant at the moment. In the last 12 months, we’ve seen prices rising monthly, but now it looks like things are settling.
“Aylesbury still represents value for money. When the Hawkslade estate was built about 20 years ago, we saw a drift coming down from Wycombe, which is historically more expensive.
“Now, the town is up-and-coming because the council are putting their money where their mouth is and investing in the infrastructure.”
The town centre regeneration plan will eventually see Waterside North transformed into a buzzing hub of cafes, restaurants and residential flats beside the Odeon cinema on Exchange Street.
Timothy said: “People want that coffee-bar culture, where they can go and meet friends and socialise. It’s that type of lifestyle that is really attractive. What we need now is some flagship stores like Debenhams, which will not only encourage buyers but create jobs too. It’s all linked.”
But Timothy, who lives in Wing, says people are more reluctant to move than ever – meaning there are not enough houses to meet demand.
He said: “There are eight buyers for every house on the market, and I think there is a lot of inertia out there.
“People are only selling if they really have to. They would rather have the better car, the holiday every year.
Timothy, who has more than three-decades experience in the property market, says people are more inclined to think about extending their home, giving them the space they crave at a dramatically reduced cost.
“Garage conversions are increasingly popular now – as they give a growing family that extra space on the ground floor – but 20 years ago, people would have thought you were mad if you’d said you were going to convert your garage.”
Aylesbury offers up a good selection of property in desirable areas such as leafy Bedgrove, the charmingOld Town and Watermead, with its almost riviera-feel.
Timothy said: “Watermead was a real game-changer when it was built in the late 1980s, because of the lake. Anything built on water has real appeal.”
First-time buyers can hop on the property ladder in brand spanking new builds on the outskirts of town in Berryfields and Buckingham Park.
Neighbourhoods such as Quarrendon and Southcourt have largely shed their stigma in the last few years, and Timothy says they are often favourable because of the houses’ ample square footage and spacious back gardens – all at affordable prices.
But the real white elephant in the room is the future construction of the HS2 rail line, which will cut around the back of the estates on the south side – namely Fairford Leys, The Willows and Hawkslade.
So does the property guru think that will have a dramatic effect on house prices once it is up and running?
“I think it was a bigger issue at first than it is now. Often people have the fear factor, and they look at what they haven’t got instead of what they have got. As expected, the houses on the peripherals will be hardest to sell, but people move on quite quickly.
“Look at Arla. Everyone complained when they first came to town because of the traffic problems, but now those have settled down, people have forgotten.”