Dusk image at Woburn Downs

South East Property Buying Guide

About the South East

Stretching for more than 7,000 miles, the South East is a picturesque corner of the UK with over eight million inhabitants across nine counties: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire and Surrey.


The region is famous for its striking chalk cliffs, exciting cities, bustling seaside towns and swathes of open countryside. London technically lies within the South East, but is a region of its own. Other major cities include Reading, which enjoys superb links to the capital, and coastal hotspots like Southampton and Portsmouth.


The South East is also home to an array of beauty spots, like the South Downs, Kent Downs, Chiltern Hills and High Weald, not to mention the iconic White Cliffs of Dover.


Whether you’re looking for advice on choosing areas or the latest investment opportunities, our buying guide for South East England is here to help.

The Bayswater

South East property market prices & trends

The UK House Price Index shows the South East property market saw a similar growth as the average across the rest of England in 2022. Property prices in the South East rose by around 13% between 2020 and 2023.

The South East has the second-highest average house prices of all English regions, behind Greater London. East Sussex showed the most significant increase in demand, with property values rising by 16% from 2020. Buckinghamshire (15%), Kent (14%) and the Isle of Wight (14%) followed closely. 

Our latest offers could help you get on the property ladder faster, no matter if you’re a first-time or second-time buyer, upsizer or downsizer, or you’re adding a new property to your nationwide portfolio.  

Best investment areas in the South East

Although many roads lead to London in the South East, there’s great potential for investors outside the capital.

Luton has grown in popularity among London commuters, with trains into the capital taking as little as 25 minutes. Property prices rose by 11% between 2020 and 2023, but many affordable properties still make this city an exciting hotspot for investors.

Bracknell and Oxford also featured in the top five, thanks to their fantastic amenities, historic landmarks and cultural sights. Oxford University’s global reputation attracts millions of visitors yearly, increasing property values.

Southampton is also an excellent place to buy, thanks to its employment rates, business start-ups and the city’s large student population.

The most sought-after property areas in the South East


The South East has always played a vital role in the strength of the UK’s property market. Whether you want to live in a bustling city, coast or countryside, there are many desirable areas to explore across the region.


Oxford has a lofty global reputation for its heritage, culture and outstanding institution. It’s one of the most famous cities in the South East, which explains why properties in Oxford are always in high demand.


Farnham is an attractive town in Surrey with a strong property market, considered one of the best places to live in the South East. Near the South Downs and Surrey Hills, trains into London take less than an hour.


A thriving tech hub, Bracknell is a favourite among commuters and families thanks to the wealth of attractions and transport links. It's nicknamed the ‘UK's Silicon Valley’ with excellent career opportunities in the area.

Best places to move with your family in the South East

The high street in Haywards-Heath

The South East has something for every family. Whether you want to raise your children by the beach or look at cities for family life in the South East, choosing a family home is easy with David Wilson Homes.

Haywards Heath

Trains to London from Haywards Heath take less than 45 minutes. This West Sussex location is conveniently located for Crawley and Gatwick Airport access.


Windsor is home to England’s most famous castle and boasts spectacular open countryside and various unique activities. It’s steeped in history and royal traditions, making it perfect for family living.


A historic village on the outskirts of Milton Keynes, Broughton offers superb access to the M1. Children will love days out at Gulliver’s Land theme park.

Ofsted rankings of best schools in the South East

School Ofsted Rating Date of Inspection
Godalming Junior School
 Good  March 2022
St Dominic’s School
 Outstanding  July 2022
Freemantles School
 Outstanding  January 2022
Ash Grange Nursery and Primary School
 Good  March 2020
Rodborough Secondary
 Good  July 2022
Woking College
 Outstanding  November 2022
Farncombe Church of England Infant School
 Good  January 2023 
Kennet School
 Outstanding  January 2023
New Forest School
 Outstanding  October 2022
Ash Manor School
 Good  January 2023


Best places to move to be close to nature in the South East

David Wilson Homes, Kingsbrook, Aylesbury, Canal Quarter, Nature Reserve Scene, Layton and Hertford

The South East has some of the UK’s most breathtaking natural landscapes, from rolling hills to spectacular coastal scenery. Find out where to move to be close to nature.


A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Canterbury is a cathedral city in Kent. It’s surrounded by nature reserves like Blean Woods and Stodmarsh, close to the Kent Downs and within striking distance of seaside towns.


A beautiful city packed with culture, Chichester Harbour is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Close to beaches, Chichester is on the edge of the South Downs, midway between Worthing and Portsmouth.

Hayling Island

A stone’s throw from Portsmouth, this charming spot enjoys plenty of Blue Flag beaches. While it’s a popular location for watersports, Hayling Island is also ideal for countryside walks or cycling excursions.

Buying in South East’s towns & cities

Outside view of a selection of 4 bedroom homes at Chalkers Rise
Although some parts of the South East are hugely popular for their unspoiled nature, others are desirable for their modern amenities, cultural highlights and historical value.

If you consider transport links to London among your priorities, many areas are conveniently on the edge of the capital. This includes locations close to the M25 motorway, which circles the outskirts of Greater London.

The M25 branches off to the M1, M3, M4, M20 and M23, all connecting parts of the South East to London. Rail services are also convenient. Transport for the South East aims to help the region be the world leader in sustainable economic growth by 2050.

Buying your home in Southampton

Southampton is a port city on the south coast, boasting a rich history to match its location. The area is prime for investing and raising a family, with many cultural and natural attractions on your doorstep. House prices rose by just under 10% between 2020 and 2023.


Sitting between Southampton and Winchester, Eastleigh is conveniently located for the M3 and Southampton Airport. The adjoining Itchen Valley Country Park is a beautiful open space. Local property prices increased by just under 10% between 2020 and 2023.


Prefer the pull of the suburbs to the bustle of the city? Bedhampton could be up your street. It is 20 miles east of Southampton and offers a beautiful coastline and local amenities.

Buying your home in Portsmouth

This picturesque city occupies Portsea Island, just under 20 miles from Southampton. Homes here are always in demand thanks to their beautiful seaside setting. Portsmouth property rose in value by 14% between 2020 and 2023.


Conveniently located midway between the coast and the South Downs National Park, Waterlooville is a firm favourite among homebuyers. New homes here benefit from endless adventure opportunities in the surrounding natural landscape. The local property market has recorded a 12% increase in house prices between 2020 and 2023.

Buying your home in Brighton

As one of the UK’s most vibrant and diverse towns, new homes in Brighton are always in high demand. Enjoy the lively nightlife and seaside atmosphere, while trains to London only take an hour. Property prices in Brighton rose by 14% from 2020 to 2023.


New homes in Peacehaven are just over five miles from Brighton. The increase in property prices is higher than its neighbour, with a rise of just under 20% between 2020 and 2023.
Drone image at Brooklands Park

Buying your home in Reading

Reading is a beautiful place to live for many reasons. Whether interested in quick links to London, beauty spots like the Chiltern Hills and North Wessex Downs or the dynamic property market, house prices in Reading rose by over 10% between 2020 and 2023.


A desirable spot over the M4 from Reading, Wokingham is ideal for commuters working in London thanks to 30-minute transport links.


Aldershot provides excellent access to Surrey Hills, the South Downs National Park, Farnham, Guildford, and Woking. House prices here recorded a 7% increase between 2020 and 2023.

Buying your home in Milton Keynes

This town has recently seen development and regeneration projects, today boasting some of the best transport links to London. Trains to the capital take just half an hour, making Milton Keynes popular among commuters. It’s also ideal for second-steppers looking for more space outside of London.


This desirable town lies on Milton Keynes’ south-eastern outskirts, ideally located to access Kingston Centre and the M1. House prices in Wavendon grew by 15% between 2020 and 2023.

Little Brickhill

A few miles south of Wavendon, on the other side of Woburn Golf Club, Little Brickhill is a pleasant village near Rushmere Country Park, a conservation area bypassed by the A5.

Buying your home in Slough

New homes in Slough are ideal for their proximity to London. Trains to the capital take just 15 minutes, while the town is also an important business centre in its own right. House prices in Slough increased by around 6% between 2020 and 2023.

Our Offers to Get You Moving

Help to Sell Schemes

We have a range of schemes to help you sell your existing home.


Low Deposit Schemes

If you have a low deposit, we have a variety of schemes to help make moving more affordable.

Key Worker Scheme

We could help make your move with our Key Worker Deposit Contribution Scheme.