Affectionately dubbed the Garden of England, Kent combines historic charm with colourful coastal towns and an easy commute to the capital. So it’s no wonder that new homes in Kent tempt buyers and renters alike. But how do you narrow down your options? Our verified residents have rated the region’s developers, giving you a flavour of life in our Top 10 before you commit.
Where is Kent?
Tucked away in the south-eastern corner of England, the home county of Kent faces the Strait of Dover and the North Sea. You’ll find Greater London to the north-west, with Essex just across the River Thames estuary to the north. East Sussex lies to the south-west and Surrey to the west.
Living in Kent
Renowned for its orchards, hop gardens, strawberries and hazelnuts, and with close links to London, Kent has a well-to-do reputation brushed with romance. The county town is Maidstone, where much of the region’s produce is showcased in its major agricultural market centre. Just 38 miles from London, the town also hosts a range of cultural events and excellent shopping amenities alongside beautiful parks and river cruises.
Head further east to find Canterbury – an ancient pilgrimage site immortalised by Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Claiming the oldest cathedral in England, it’s still an important spiritual mecca to this day. And with Roman walls and medieval gateways encircling a cobbled centre and charming timber buildings, the city possesses a magical atmosphere that’s hard to beat.
Kent also has plenty of coastline, providing lovely scenery, entertainment, and impromptu family holidays. In the south, Folkestone combines Victorian architecture with arcades and pavilions, while nearby Dover offers cliff-top walks and excursions to France. Heading north, choose from the seafood haven of Whitstable, the resorts of Margate and Ramsgate, or the historic town of Sandwich, which boasts nature reserves and world-class golf courses.
There’s lots of stunning countryside to explore too, including the Kent Downs AONB and The High Weald AONB. The Vale of Holmesdale is also home to most of the county’s 26 castles.
Education-wise, Kent County Council still favours a selective system based on the eleven-plus, with students given places at either a secondary modern or a grammar school. Meanwhile, the county’s four universities provide a comprehensive range of further education courses and qualifications.
Transport in Kent
With much of Kent lying within the London commuter belt, it benefits from good transport links by road and rail. The Romans connected the area’s ports to the capital, with the A2, B2068, A257, and A28 taking over where they left off.
In addition, the M2 runs from Medway to Faversham and the M20 from Swanley to Folkestone. The M25 also extends into Kent, from Westerham to the Dartford Crossing. If you’re looking to visit France, just catch a ferry over to Calais from Dover or drive to Coquelles via the Eurotunnel from Folkestone.
Just commuting? Catch a high-speed train from Canterbury West station to get to London St Pancras in 55 minutes. From Sevenoaks, you’ll arrive in Charing Cross in only 35 minutes. Maidstone’s rail links can also deliver you to St Pancras or London Victoria in just over an hour.
Kent property prices
Recent data from Zoopla shows the average price for property in Kent was £380,250 in December 2021. This is a rise of 4.92 per cent over the last 12 months. At £231,218, flats were the only property type to sell below the current national average. Meanwhile, terraced houses achieved £287,892, semi-detached homes £366,672, and detached properties £641,128.
A recent market summary by Home.co.uk calculated the average rental price to be around £1,240 PCM. This is higher than the national average, which is about £1,058 (including London). Smaller one-bedroom properties were let for about £858 per month, with five-bedroom homes securing £2,109 PCM on average. Note that these figures are recalculated daily based on current market listings.
New homes in Kent: Top 10 developments
It’s clear the county has plenty to offer – but which new homes in Kent match your unique requirements? Let’s find out.
Located in Gillingham, The Kell is a Build to Rent development managed by Way of Life. Reviewed into first place, it offers 192 new apartments with a mix of one, two or three bedrooms. The development is also pet-friendly, and residents have access to an onsite team with 24/7 CCTV security, secure bike storage, and private balconies with views over Chatham Docks.
Our reviewers describe The Kell as safe and secure, with ‘user-friendly’ facilities and a great location. They also love the waterfront view and being 5 minutes from a grill & bar and a grocery store. The Dockside shopping centre is only 20 minutes on foot.
In second place, Holborough Lakes is a new development of two-bedroom apartments and three and four-bedroom homes in rural Kent. Set around a series of freshwater lakes and attractive landscaping, it offers an excellent range of facilities. All homes benefit from spacious open plan living areas and private gardens with lawns and patios.
One resident told us that they love the ‘beautiful design’ and having access to double parking spaces and a gym. They also enjoy spotting wildlife during their lakeside walks and relaxing on a balcony overlooking the lake in the summer.
Victory Pier by Berkeley Homes sits in Gillingham – and third position. The development offers a range of apartments located on the waterfront of an expanding community. In addition, residents benefit from access to a private residents’ gym and Wi-Fi lounge.
As well as this, Victory Pier is a mixed residential and retail scheme, so you have access to shops on your doorstep, while the town centre is just a 10-minute walk away. There are also convenient connections to Central London. Residents told us that the development is generally quiet and peaceful and that it’s easy to park if you’re a permit holder.
3.96 (24 reviews)
3.96 (24 reviews)
Set between Rainham and Sittingbourne and still comfortably in the top half of our list, Watling Place is a collection of new homes in the small historic village of Newington. This development has a range of two, three, four and five-bedroom homes, with lots of lovely green areas around and a local shop. Just a short walk will take you to Newington station, making it easy to travel without a car.
In the middle of our Top 10, Mascalls Grange is a new development located in the small town of Paddock Wood in Kent. Surrounded by countryside but with excellent links to the city, it offers convenience alongside a rural lifestyle.
From one-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom houses, the development has a wide range of property styles to suit everyone. Our residents like being close to Tunbridge Wells, which is great for families, and having a good range of shops in the village. The local station provides an easy commute into London and Ramsgate, with the development served by the nearby A21.
Rochester Riverside is a £419m regeneration project delivered by Countryside and Hyde over 12 years. Our residents voted it into sixth place because of its easy links to London and its location on the outskirts of Rochester town centre. One reviewer told us that the ‘community of residents is awesome’ and that there is a fantastic number of parks nearby. The coast is just a short drive away too.
At number seven, Kingsmead is a development of two to four-bedroom homes in Faversham, Kent. The houses are built to a high standard with modern living in mind. Residents describe the design of the properties as incorporating traditional and modern styles. They also love living in a quiet location a few minutes from town, which is always a hive of activity and offers many pubs and restaurants to choose from.
Our eighth most popular development, Stour Meadows is a collection of two and three-bedroom houses situated in the new village of Finberry in Ashford. Residents like Finberry’s beautiful landscaped design and ‘stunning houses’, all set within a peaceful neighbourhood. It’s also well located for travelling to London or just popping into the city centre, plus there’s a cinema and shops just a few minutes away.
Claiming the ninth spot in the Top 10, Hollyfields is a new development of two-bedroom coach houses and three, four and five-bedroom family homes located in the Kent countryside, just 1.2 miles from Tunbridge Wells town centre. One resident said the development is ‘very aesthetically pleasing and peaceful’, with excellent facilities and a ‘good value’ service charge.
The train station is within walking distance, providing connections to London Bridge in 44 minutes and the traditional shops and convenience stores within Hawkenbury village are within easy reach. There’s also a convenient shuttle service that runs in the morning and evening.
Our final contender – a development of one and two-bedroom apartments and two, three, four and five-bedroom houses – is set in the village of Sellindge, near Ashford and Folkestone. We’ve been informed that the estate has a ‘real village feel’, with surrounding towns and cities such Hythe, Ashford, and Canterbury all easily reachable. There are also some local shops, including a Co-Op, and good quality bars and restaurants nearby in Ashford.
Now you have an overview of each development in our Top 10, it’s time to delve a little deeper. Click on our area guide below to read every honest review and learn more about our transparency rating system.
HomeViews provides verified resident reviews of the UK’s housing developments. We’re working with developers, house builders, operators, housing associations and the Government to recognise high performers and help improve standards in the built environment.