Kent House Prices Rising Amidst National Crash

(Last Updated: 19/12/2023)
21 min read

Average Sale Price


Price Growth

(YoY to September)

Best Growth YoY

Canterbury & Ashford
(6.9% & 4.2%)

Least Growth YoY

Thanet & Sevenoaks
(-7.6% & -5.2%)
Key Takeaways
  • Worst July for sales volume in Kent property market since records began
  • Kent house prices still yet to recover from their 2022 peak
  • Medway district has the most active housing market in Kent at 75% of last year's sale volume
  • Property in Sevenoaks is £191,312 more expensive than the national average
  • While house prices in Kent are down versus last year, Canterbury, Ashford, Maidstone and Dartford buck the trend, showing healthy growth

A charming residential street in Rye in Kent. A guide on the Kent property market from SAM Conveyancing

The soaring cost of borrowing has slowed down sales all over the country, and the Kent property market is no exception. However, borrowers and lenders alike are more confident due to the Bank of England (BoE) base rate remaining stable since August.

Source: Office for National Statistics (ONS)

Will there be a UK recession in 2024?

The UK Economy fell into recession last year, but positive annual growth of 0.25% was initially forecast by the Bank of England at the beginning of 2024.

The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) revised their forecasts upwards at the end of February, to 0.5% for 2024, 0.7% for 2025, and a healthier 1% growth for 2026.

This, however, is well below the pre-pandemic average. NEISR estimate that Britain's poorest households will not recover fully until 2027.

Worst July for property sales in Kent since records began

The Land Registry's latest data goes as far as July, which has the lowest property sales for any July since records began in 1995. While we saw things starting to move again in the autumn, the end of the year is always quieter for sales and we don't expect the market to pick up much until the spring.

While buyers in Kent and elsewhere should be sure they can afford to absorb a potential increase in interest rates, we expect to see very little change now until the second half of 2024, when interest rates are expected to fall very gently over several years. The base rate is unlikely to return below 3%. This does mean, however, that if you can afford your mortgage at the current rates, you can buy in Kent as soon as you're ready.

Source: House Price Index (HPI)

Why are houses in Kent so expensive?

The average property price in the region of Kent is comfortably above the national average for England and Wales. As a region, demand outstrips supply, keeping property prices higher. This is largely due to its proximity to the city and desirability to commuters, access to Europe via Dover, as well as growth in the industrial & life sciences sectors and leisure & tourism. Not to mention Kent's rural English charm.

Source: House Price Index (HPI)

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What our survey revealed about homebuyers
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What are homebuyers looking for?

Medway shows most resilience in sales volume

While completed transactions are down across the county and the country, Medway seems to have bounced back ahead of other districts in Kent, with July sales at 74.6% of its sales volume for the same month last year. Dover has fared the worst, seeing just 50.3% of last year's transactions. The other districts in Kent all fell between 51.4% and 65.5%, making Medway the clear winner.

Medway is the largest urban area in the South East outside of London and is well connected to the city via the M2 motorway and direct trains to Victoria. It is steeped in history, military, and maritime heritage and was home to Charles Dickens.

Source: House Price Index (HPI)

Sevenoaks remains the most expensive district in Kent to buy a home

Sevenoaks is the best connected, situated 21 miles from Charring Cross, with direct trains from Sevenoaks to London Bridge taking just 22 minutes. Sevenoaks offers 'the best of both worlds' with historic houses and gardens, bucolic villages and rich culture, driving up desirability and house prices.

The average property in Sevenoaks cost £495,699 in September, which is £133,375 higher than the regional average for Kent or £191,312 higher than the average for England and Wales.

Source: House Price Index (HPI)

Have house prices gone down in Kent?

House prices have gone down in most districts in Kent compared to last year, based on the latest data published by the Land Registry (September). In order of the greatest fall in prices: house prices fell by 7.6% year-on-year in Thanet, 5.2% in Sevenoaks, 3.7% in Tonbridge & Malling, 3.6% in Swale, 2.7% in Folkestone & Hythe, 1.5% in Gravesham, and less than 1% in Tunbridge Wells, Medway and Dover. House prices in Dover and Gravesham have actually gone up month-on-month.

Some districts, particularly Sevenoaks, for example, are seeing steeper falls simply because prices are rebalancing after being disproportionately inflated, as city-dwellers compete for commutable homes outside the city as a result of the pandemic.

House prices in Canterbury (+6.9%), Ashford (+4.2%), Maidstone (+3.1%), and Dartford (+2%) for September were higher versus the same month last year. These districts are bucking the wider trend of England and Wales as a whole, where the average house price fell for the first time in a decade, year on year.

Source: House Price Index (HPI)

Will house prices go up in 2024 in Kent?

Economists seem to agree that house prices will fall nationally in 2024, with predictions ranging between -1% and -5%. The pattern for 2023 so far has seen the most growth in the North, with the East and South East being the worst affected. It is possible that this pattern will continue into 2024; we may, however, see people returning to the cities as we all continue to adjust to the 'new normal'.

Unemployment is set to rise until 2026 which may drive further movement into the city. Under these conditions, it is possible that house prices in parts of Kent will rise in 2024 or at least fall less compared to the national average.

Source: House Price Index (HPI)

What is next for Kent?

Kent Property Market Report, in partnership with Kent County Council, Caxtons Property Consultants and Locate in Kent say:

"Over the next 25 years, the Kent and Medway area can deliver some 250,000 new jobs and over 230,000 new homes, adding £23bn Gross Value Added (GVA), which is an increase of nearly one percent, to the nation’s total GVA.

As we work towards achieving net zero, Kent and Medway’s future job prospects will come from sectors including new methods of food production, evolving communication technologies, life science R&D, advanced manufacturing and green energy.

In these sectors, the Kent and Medway area has the potential to lead the nation’s economy through the skills being built, the investment being made and the innovation taking place right now."

Ongoing initiatives to boost Kent's housing market

Growing Kent's employment space with inward investment.

Refurbishing and developing community spaces with the Kent County Council Village and Community Hall Grant Scheme.

  • Low Carbon Across the South and East (LoCASE) funding for SMEs
  • Grants helping make KCC’s buildings more energy efficient
  • Kent County Council’s first Solar Park, Bowerhouse 2
  • Solar Together Kent, which allows residents and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises to purchase solar panels and storage batteries with vetted installers at prices lower than the general market price
  • Proposed Lower Thames Crossing;
  • Development in Dartford Town Centre including new dwellings, pedestrian friendly spaces, green roofed bus stops and cycling and walking connections;
  • Thousands of new homes from Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, alongside green and blue spaces, Major Urban Park, new electricity grid;
  • Ebbsfleet Central development around the station, recreational facilities, retail space, health and wellbeing hub, GP centre, nursery and gym;
  • Alkerden Market Centre, designed to achieve BREEAM Excellent and deliver against a number of garden city principles;
  • Harbour Village providing over 550 homes, including affordable housing, new open spaces, a Fastrack bus link and a community centre.
  • 242 new built-to-rent homes and resident and public parking on Gravesend riverside
  • Establishing a commuter boat from Gravesend
  • 75 retirement homes at former police station site
  • Northfleet Harbourside, bringing jobs, creating opportunities, and delivering new local services for all the community. Including a new multi-purpose 8,000 capacity stadium with improved facilities and function space for the club, 3,000 jobs, parklands and green public spaces, shops, restaurants/cafes and 3,500 new homes.
  • A new leisure centre at the existing Cascades centre.
  • Redevelopment of St. George's Centre.
  • Gravesham Community Investment Partnership (GCIP) to build affordable homes in the borough.
  • Maidstone Innovation Centre, expected to support over 270 jobs and create £120m of GVA over the first 10 years.
  • Maidstone Town Centre. New Town Centre Strategy and Delivery Plan to produce clear viable development briefs and planning guidance to inform and attract investment to the town’s mixed-use opportunity sites
  • Former Royal Mail Sorting Office, mixed tenure scheme with over 200 homes in 2026/27, 14,000ft² (1,300m²) of commercial space, and significant placemaking and regeneration benefits to the town centre.
  • Springfield Library, 100+ homes with a mix of tenures
  • Len House, £30m transformation of the Grade 2 listed landmark building with new build development situated on Mill Street, for a mix of commercial space and 159 new homes.
  • LOC8 commercial park, providing logistics and industrial spaces
  • Net Zero Skills Factory, offering both practical and theoretical skills in green construction and technologies
  • Innovation Park Medway (IPM), 645,834ft² (60,000m²) of high quality, innovative commercial space in a prime location near Junction 3 of the M2, for businesses working in areas such as green infrastructure, technology, manufacturing, and support services.
  • Chatham City Centre: Medway Development Company, a multi-million-pound regeneration programme to further improve the area for visitors, locals, businesses and developers
  • Chatham Waterfront: providing 111 private sale apartments and 71 in a private rental scheme, co-working space, and places to eat, drink and shop, with bus links from Chatham’s Waterfront bus station and train station.
  • Garrison Point, 115 apartment development, close to Chatham High Street, bus and train stations, providing affordable homes for residents.
  • Mountbatten House, 168 flats (108 of which are in the former office building) will be created, along with a public plaza, pop-up shops and cafes. A glass lift will serve a rooftop restaurant and events space. New lighting and banners around the former bus station will continue along the main road.
  • MedwayOne, a storage, data centre, lorry park, and manufacturing space, generating £44m a year for the area’s economy, powered by a new energy-from-waste plant
  • Berkeley Homes' proposed modular homes factory at Kingsnorth Industrial Estate creating an estimated 250 jobs
  • The Docking Station, a Grade 2 listed former accommodation for police staff, will house the Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries at the University of Kent. The new facility will provide workspaces for artists and technologists, flexible space for teaching and graduates, plus performance areas.
  • MidKent College is opening an Art School and expanding its art courses to offer qualifications to university level, accredited through the University of Kent. This will replace the University for Creative Arts (UCA), which closed in 2023.
  • The Paddock redevelopment, new seating areas, a central open space, planted areas to increase biodiversity, trees and enhanced lighting.
  • St John’s Church restoration will provide facilities for the local community for events and classes, flexible meeting spaces for businesses and a café area, as well as continuing as a place of worship
  • The Brook Theatre revamp to modernise the workspace for performing arts groups and also improve the experience for theatregoers. It includes improved public access, new staging, lighting and sound equipment, better office spaces, and upgraded rehearsal and dance studio spaces.
  • Debenhams site, TBC
  • Rochester Riverside, homes and primary school.
  • BAE Systems plans to increase its Medway workforce by up to 500 over the next five years.
  • Wallbrook Business Park will provide flexible units and offices.
  • Saxon 53, a 52,743ft ²(4,900m²) unit close to the Trinity Trading Estate, Sittingbourne. will include a 135ft (41m) yard, 32ft (10m) eaves and 5,382ft² (500m²) office space
  • Project Fortress (formerly Cleve Hill Solar Farm), a photovoltaic power station on the Graveney Marshes between Faversham and Whitstable. Once operational, it will be the largest solar farm in the UK, generating 373MW of electricity from 900 acres (360ha) of vertical solar panels and will also include 700MWh of battery storage.
  • Major road developments scheduled to be open for traffic in Winter 2024
  • Faversham Lakes, 9,397ft² (873m²) of offices, workshop studios and storage, as well as 7,685ft² (714m²) for community use, within a set of listed buildings associated with the site’s history.
  • Works on Masters House in Sheerness have significantly reduced the building’s carbon footprint. Launch It will be creating an enterprise centre at the building, which will support local young people in setting up and running their own businesses.
  • Dockyard Church, a new co-working space by Islandworks, provides a flexible and collaborative workspace for freelancers, remote workers, small business owners, and young entrepreneurs. In addition to meeting rooms and event space hire.
  • Swanley, with a newly built state-of-the-art White Oak leisure centre, a 60 acre (24.28ha) recreational town park with boating lake, splash park, miniature railway and Meeting Point; a new, purpose-built co-working centre on Swanley High Street providing private offices, meeting and event spaces based on flexible membership terms, with on site business support. Swanley has key sites available for future development and existing industrial, retail and housing.
  • Sevenoaks town centre saw work recently commencing on a development of over 100 homes, 9,688ft² (900m²) of retail space and public realm and open space improvements within the High Street
  • In Edenbridge, Stangrove Estate and Farmstead Drive improvements will provide a much needed and improved community shop, off-street parking and environmental improvements, plus 13 new homes, a new community hall and a community shop, improved landscaping and parking facilities with 23 new environmentally efficient homes.
  • Kings Hill (phase 3), 635 new homes, a youth recreational facility, community hall extension, and a new public park with community enhancements such as grass sports pitches and further land for allotments. Construction work is also underway on phase 5 with a total of 350 further new homes, of which 40% will be affordable.
  • Peters Village near Wouldham will ultimately total just under 1,000 homes.
  • Panattoni Park Aylesford, hosting a number of logistics companies, is the largest speculative development serving London and the South East; it will be built to a minimum BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’ and EPC A.
  • Centenary Village (The Royal British Legion Industries or RBLI) will comprise a new community centre with a café, an IT learning suite and welfare base, a new shared home and more Move On apartments for homeless veterans.
  • Tonbridge High Street. MACE Group is reviewing assets directly to the east of the high street, looking at the feasibility of introducing various new town centre uses.
  • The Birling Estate partnered with Westwell Wines to plant 40 acres (16ha) of vines over the next two years, helping to further enhance Kent’s reputation as the home of English wine.
  • Leigh Flood Storage Area (LFSA) will ultimately better protect over 1,400 homes from flooding.
  • 30 Electric Vehicle Charging Points were recently installed in Aylesford, Kings Hill and Tonbridge, with plans for a second phase underway.
  • Royal Tunbridge Wells Town Centre currently under assessment for development potential
  • 75% of the Town Hall has been released for refurbishment. It will accommodate 42 co-workers at a time, within an open plan co-working area and private studios (for over 300 people), meeting and project spaces (for over 100 individuals) and a dedicated conference and events space re-establishing the Grade 2 listed building as the social, civic, economic and cultural centre of the town.
  • Former Cinema Site, development by Retirement Villages includes an extra care retirement community comprising extra care accommodation with café, restaurant and wellness facilities, new commercial floorspace, public realm improvements and realignment of public rights of way.
  • Kingstanding Way, permission for up to 796,529ft2 (74,000m2 ) of business floorspace and nearly 4,000 direct and 2,000 indirect jobs,
  • Knights Wood development by Dandara (~600 homes) and Hollyfields development by Berkeley Group (271 homes) are now in their final delivery phases.
  • Further homes being built in Paddock Wood at Mascalls Farm, Mascalls Court Farm, Church Farm, and Brick Kiln Farm, totalling over 1,400 dwellings.
  • Nutrient Nutrality. Planning applications for up to 10,000 new homes located within the River Stour catchment and/or which discharge foul water into the catchment have not been able to progress unless they can achieve nutrient neutrality. Residential developments can achieve nutrient neutrality by including nature based solutions such as reed bed systems in the development, to prevent water pollution.
  • Town Centre Reset, including Ashford UnFramed, a street art trail, and grants which will provide up to £10,000 for successful businesses or landlords to fit out, or make improvements to, empty premises in the town centre
  • Ashford International Studios – Newtown Works, a mixed-use development to deliver TV and film studios with associated production spaces, dedicated film school, residential units, commercial space and a hotel.
  • Plans underway for Brompton Factory, which would deliver a £100m investment for the area and potential for up to 4,000 jobs for the local economy. It will also provide an opportunity to restore the wetland and promote walking and cycling for the community. By 2028, the company expects to employ over 1,500 staff.
  • Ashford College expansion will house classrooms and laboratories for Business, Information Technology, and Engineering, allowing 250 more students each year to access the high-quality education offered at the College.
  • Waterbrook, 16 industrial units completed, phase 2 on the market with outline planning consent for B1, B2, B8 development with options available to provide units from 35,000ft (3,252m²) to 290,000ft² (26,942m²).
  • Entralon Gate is a 54,000ft (5,012m²) development consisting of five employment units comprising a mix of B1, B2, and B8 uses, also on the market.
  • The Triangle, 143 one, two, and three bed apartments, all feature delightfully modern interiors, communal rooftops, landscaped courtyards, underground parking, bicycle storage and plug-in electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Henwood, a proposed net zero-carbon, short-stay accommodation development featuring 23 units as temporary homes for those people who have found themselves homeless.
  • Levelling Up Fund: Connected Canterbury. £22,685,264 for works on Canterbury Castle, The Marlow Kit, an occasional events space in Westgate Square, the area around the Clock Tower, the bus station and St George’s Lane, car parks at Castle Row, St Radigunds and Longport with new electric vehicle charging, docked cycle hire, additional planting, better lighting and signs and solar panels, story gardens around the city and heritage routes or trails around the city, with better surfacing, accessibility improvements, planting, lighting and signs
  • The Riverside, a £115m leisure development at The Riverside with cinema, gaming bar, restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
  • Levelling Up Fund – Dover Beacon, £18.1m for a new creative and digital college, a business startup centre and a riverside park in Bench Street.
  • Levelling Up Fund – Dover Access Improvements Project, £45m for the project to improve traffic flow from the UK to the EU and reduce congestion in the town.
  • Future High Streets Fund – Underpass and Creative Centre, £3.2m (with £1.7m from the district council) to increase footfall and local spending in the town centre with a refurbished subway and a new Creative Centre.
  • National Lottery Heritage Fund – Maison Dieu, £10.5m restoration of the Grade 1 listed Maison Dieu in Dover is now underway, including a new holiday let and café, supported by a £4.27m grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund,
  • Coastal Communities Fund – Market Square, £3.1m project, supported by £2.44m from the Coastal Communities Fund to refurbish the market square, including a water feature. Regular events are held in the Square, which include live music on Saturdays throughout the summer and a monthly Artisan Market.
  • Housing Infrastructure Fund – Dover Fastrack, a new zero-emission electric bus route, which will connect Whitfield, Dover town centre and Dover Priory railway station
  • Port of Dover regeneration featuring a new marina with pier plus a new Marina Curve and Clock Tower Square, which has a number of new hospitality businesses. Planning permission has been granted for a 90-bed Electric Motel Company accommodation.
  • GrowUp, a vertical farm that opened under a year ago, is set to expand its site by 40%. It uses renewable heating and cooling from the Kent Renewable Energy Biomass plant adjacent to the site.
  • Folkestone – A Brighter Future, £19.8m to create a sustainable, attractive and welcoming gateway for Folkestone town centre with a green park replacing the bus station in Bouverie Square. It will also enable the first phase of Folca (the former Debenhams store) to progress, creating a watertight functional shell ready for phase two works.
  • Folca Building – Folkestone, Architect to create a RIBA stage 2 concept for the former store, together with outline costs.
  • Ship Street – Folkestone is to provide 135 energy efficient homes, with 22% affordable housing for rent and shared ownership. The scheme promotes safe walking and cycling between Folkestone Central train station and the town centre. It will include commercial space, a public realm and a green link, increasing connectivity to the existing neighbourhood and town centre.
  • Biggins Wood – Folkestone, permission for 77 residential units and 62,431ft² (5,800m²) of commercial development.
  • Coast Drive – Greatstone, Romney Marsh, a major £1.28m beachside visitor destination; will boost tourism and the local economy and include an attractive and sustainable new visitor ‘hub’ housing a café concession, education /training space, accessible toilets and Changing Places facilities, 94 new beach chalets, a fully accessible boardwalk, space for two water sports businesses with shower /changing facilities provided in the ‘hub’ as well as refurbished car park surfaces and new EV charging /disabled parking bays.
  • Romney Marsh Business Hub – Mountfield Road, a 10.7 acre (4.33ha) site in 9 plots under offer for commercial development, is expected to create over 400 jobs over a 10-year period.
  • Highview – Folkestone, planning approved for a scheme of 25 homes for affordable rent and five homes for shared ownership, all designed to be net-zero carbon rated.
  • Otterpool Park Garden Town, outline planning permission granted for a new 8,500 home garden town near Folkestone that will support sustainable living and a healthy economy, provide the best quality of life for existing and future residents and respond to local landscape character.
  • Thanet District Council Local Plan, a framework for future growth and development which identifies land for 18,000 new homes
  • Thanet Parkway, new train station on the Ashford International to Ramsgate line, with line speed improvements, increasing rail connectivity, employment opportunities and investment appeal at business parks
  • Manston Airport, Riveroak Strategic Partners, proposes to reopen and develop the airport as a dedicated air freight facility for at least 10,000 air cargo movements per year.
  • Inner Circuit or North Kent Link, major road improvement proposed to ease pressure on the road network. It will help to link existing and planned housing to key employment and leisure destinations and the seafronts.
  • Ramsgate - Future High Streets Fund: £2.7m secured for a highway and workspace scheme and Levelling Up Fund: £19.8m to develop the Commercial Port and buildings around the Royal Harbour. Plans focus on creating a Green Port and improved infrastructure, refurbishing key assets in the Royal Harbour, and improving access to skills and training opportunities across the wider town.
  • Margate - Town Deal Programme: £22.2m and Levelling Up Fund: £6.3m for a digital skills hub. The first project was the set-up of the Margate Creative Land Trust with £6.7m to allow the Trust to acquire underused/empty properties to be offered as affordable commercial space for the creative industries. The funding includes projects to support the Theatre Royal, Margate Winter Gardens, and Dreamland.

Should I buy a house in Kent?

Kent is the 'Garden of England', a beautiful part of the country with rural charm, seaside and excellent transport links to London, the sea and airports. It has a rich history and agricultural and maritime heritage and is a high income county.

Prices in Kent may come down a little in 2024, but economists believe they will rise again from 2025-2028, so now may be a good time to buy before prices rise again. The base rate is stable and is unlikely to rise much, if at all. If you can afford to buy at the current rate, you should be fairly confident that interest rates will start to fall again toward the end of next year. If you are renting and can afford a 10% deposit now, this may be a much more desirable option than saving for a bigger deposit, as rents are set to rise by over 6% (Savills).

According to Zoopla, 1 in 4 properties are accepting offers at 10% or more below their asking price. So, it is very much a buyer's market.

"With asking prices continually over the recently sold house prices, I see a market that has a great opportunity for buyers to negotiate harder and get a more realistic value in this current market."

- Andrew Boast FMAAT MIC
CEO and Author | SAM Conveyancing

Sources: Latest data from - Gov.UK, Bank of England, UK House Price Index, ONS and Property Mark (NAEA), Kent Property Market.

Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing Manager
Written by:

Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.

Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Reviewed by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands-on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.
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