London homes are investments on steroids, we all know that. But where should you buy one?
Gone are the days when Croydon was considered unfashionable.
According to Zoopla, house prices in Croydon have soared by 13.1% in the past year, making it a property uber-hot-spot.
The area has come a long way from the 2011 riots. It’s set to become a retail mecca, with two big shopping centres opening up - a new Westfield, and Centrale. It also boasts its own Tech City which has been dubbed as the “Silicon Valley of South London”.
James Cook, planning director at property consultancy GL Hearn, points out that there are a number of exciting developments coming up in Croydon.
“The changes in Croydon are demonstrated by the sheer amount of cranes that are onsite. Station improvements have begun at East Croydon, and activity has started around the Berkeley Homes Saffron Square development.
“Ruskin Square is being regenerated and there is now a new council public service delivery hub following on from the demolition of the old council offices at Galaxy House in East Croydon,” he says.
Average property value in Croydon: £309,488
The arrival of Crossrail in 2018 has made Ealing Broadway very popular among property punters.
With good parks, open spaces and schools, Ealing Broadway is ideal for families. A number of residential developments like the 700-strong apartment complex Dickens Yard and the £100m Cinema Square complex are also coming to the area.
According to Cook of GL Hearn: “Ealing Broadway is highly desirable to families as it benefits from good parks, open spaces and schools. It is relatively affordable compared to areas such as Hammersmith.
“Ealing’s centre has recently benefited from the arrival of a number of independent coffee shops and bakeries and other investment includes the redevelopment of retail frontages along The Broadway, which is now almost complete and will be occupied by high street retailers such as TK Maxx.”
Average property value in Ealing Broadway: £696,256
Don’t make the mistake of thinking of Hackney Wick as an area just for creatives and hipsters. This ex-industrial land has turned into property gold since the Olympics.
If you want to buy here for investment purposes, it’s worth knowing that property prices look set to rise with better transport links. It’s already on the East London Line (i.e. the Overground), and being just one stop from Stratford, it’ll benefit from Crossrail opening this year.
For those who want to live here, the area is buzzing with new cafes, bars and restaurants. Check out the Stour Space Gallery and the Fortnum and Mason restaurant.
London-based property developer Marta de Sousa thinks Hackney Wick’s unique location next to the River Lee and opposite the Olympic Stadium is a big plus point for the area.
“Sitting near the already more developed and unaffordable Shoreditch, buyers will look further afield, making Hackney Wick, with its warehouse conversions and graffiti-laden buildings, an attractive and cheaper option, and a great investment for the coming years,” she says.
Average property value in Hackney Wick: £385,496
Camberwell is one London area that boasts commercialisation and the community feel in equal measure. It’s left its high-crime-rate image behind and is now attracting people who have been priced out of Brixton.
Camberwell is tipped to follow the footsteps of Hoxton, which became desirable after artists started moving in.
The area is a hang-out for students from Goldsmiths College, Camberwell College of Arts and Kings College, but is also appealing to families for its primary schools, both declared “outstanding” by Ofsted.
Watch out for developments including Camberwell Fields on Edmund Street, which will provide 120 shared-ownership apartments and 41 private sale homes in two phases.
With proposals to extend the Bakerloo Line to Camberwell, transport links will make Camberwell a great residential investment.
Average property value in Camberwell: £451,345
This year is big for Twickenham, thanks to the arrival of the Rugby World Cup in this south-west London neighbourhood. The area boasts a good mix of Victorian, Edwardian and new-build homes.
The X factor of this area is definitely its thriving high street. There’s also Eel Pie Island, the home of the English rhythm and blues scene.
Mark Boyle, local property specialist for EstatesDirect.com, thinks buyers must check out the area (although they’ll need a decent budget).
“The good range of property here gives a good range of options to first-time buyer flats and to top-end family homes. What also makes the area enviable is its proximity to the M3 with fast trains in to Waterloo and close to Heathrow. Despite being close to these major transport hubs, the area is not too noisy,” he says.
Average property value in Twickenham: £666,716
For those who love the hustle and bustle of central London, Bayswater is their best bet.
Tom Bill, head of London residential research at Knight Frank, has hailed Bayswater as one of the “strongest development and regeneration potential of any prime central London residential market”.
With a strong combination of luxury quarters and bohemian cafes, Bayswater is set to become London’s next Notting Hill.
The area offers everything from Georgian stucco terraces and garden squares to small studios.
Its proximity to Oxford Circus and Paddington has made it popular with well-off homebuyers and loaded foreigners.
And of course, Bayswater’s bevvy of hotels and bars makes the area to the north of Hyde Park very desirable.
Average property value in Baywater: £1,276,477
Before turning up your noses at this East London area, sample the exciting developments coming to Whitechapel.
Barratt Homes has developed the 27-storey Altitude Tower at 35 Whitechapel High Street, which offers over 170 luxury apartments.
Then there is Aldgate Place, a scheme that includes 500 flats, shops, restaurants and a new public space.
The area has a good mix of Victorian terraced housing/large houses and new-build apartments.
From the Whitechapel Gallery to Tracey Emin’s studio, there’s a lot of for the arty farties here. Living here also means getting to shop at Petticoat Lane market and digging into the legendary kebabs at Tayyabs.
Less than 25 minutes away from central London and in walking distance of the City, you can live here without having to pay exorbitant central London prices.
Average property value in Whitechapel: £645,293
Battersea Power Station development. Need we say more?
If there is one place in London where the Regeneration Of Regenerations is taking place, it’s Nine Elms.
On the radar for anyone remotely interest in London’s property scene, this ex-wasteland is now the site of London’s hottest property developments. It all began when the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership vowed to transform the area in 2010. Their big plan is to deliver 16,000 new homes built, including 3,000 under affordable schemes, across 20 development sites.
What else? The new United States Embassy and New Covent Garden Market are coming to the area, in addition to two new Tube stations.
Average property value in Nine Elms: £658,266
Hither Green is no longer a poor cousin of Lewisham - its hip cafes, bars, chic boutiques and access to central London have put it on London’s hot property map.
From reputed schools like Brindishe Green, to the Hither Green festival every year, the area is becoming popular with young families who can’t afford Blackheath, Peckham and other neighbouring areas.
Hither Green has a good mix of Victorian homes and new builds. Developments to keep an eye on include the Telephone Exchange, which is a converted Edwardian Grade II Listed former telephone exchange that has four loft apartments and a detached coach house.
Twitter is abuzz with praises of Hither Green’s Station Hotel as a gastropub you must visit.
Average property value in Hither Green: £410,158
Source: Ewan Munro
Manor Park is tipped to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of Crossrail, making this East London area a goodie for investment. With a good share of conversions and apartments, Manor Park boasts a buzzing high street with a variety of restaurants and multi-cultural shops.
Architect and founder of Sybarite Architect, Simon Mitchell, thinks Manor Park is hotting up because the mantra for house hunters nowadays is “station, station, station”.
“With Crossrail expected to be completed by 2018, this is the time to invest. Really anywhere along the Crossrail line is set to hike up in price, with some commentators quoting more than a 50% increase.
“However, Manor Park is a particularly strong location. It is already seeing an influx of young professionals and families who are able get period properties and more space for their money.”
Average property value in Manor Park: £304,258