WHERE TO BUY IN LONDON?
It’s no surprise that the latest statistics show that London house prices are leading the way in terms of rises over the last few years. Latest figures from Hometrack revealed that prices were up by 13.9% over the last year compared with the 6.7% recorded nationally.
It is no wonder that the capital has showed such robust growth. With a ‘booming’ financial sector bolstering City jobs and bonuses, the ‘posher’ parts are awash with moneyed house hunters. On top of the surging top end there is increasing demand from the high numbers of immigrants still flowing into the UK. Despite strong demand restrictive planning policies continue to limit the number of new dwellings coming forward.
Where to buy?
With such strong investment logic of buying in London, the next question is with such a large and diverse housing market is; where to buy to get the maximum returns? The dynamism of the London residential market means that demand often forces ‘run down’ areas to become gentrified as the middle classes swoop in to get on the housing ladder and also secure a housing bargain. So which areas should I look to invest in?
Frequently the best areas to buy are those which are benefiting or just about to benefit from an ‘uplift’ as a result of the areas regeneration. Property Hawk has therefore reviewed some of the most promising areas for regeneration over the next few years. Remember within any part of London there will be areas within areas and therefore before buying you should do detailed research and find the streets which are going to uplift first and benefit most from the regeneration activity. Also use the investor appraiser to ensure that you maximise your potential returns and achieve the returns that you need.
BRENT CROSS CRICKLEWOOD NW4
A huge 20 year regeneration project covering 250 acres in north-west London, creating a transformed Brent Cross Shopping Centre, a pedestrian high street and 7,500 new homes overlooking an improved River Brent. A planning application has been submitted and if permission is granted, work is planned to begin in 2009 or 2010. In nearby Hendon it is still possible to pick up a 1 bedroom apartment for less than £140,000. One bed flats rent for about £150pw. The journey time is less than 30 minutes on the Northern Line to Bank and Brent Cross station is within zone 3.
PADDINGTON MERCHANT SQUARE W2
Merchant Square is the final part of the transformation of Paddington Basin which has already gained new buildings, landscaping and canal bridges. Buying here isn’t cheap as much of the regeneration work has already been done. One bedrooms in the nearby Paddington Walk, west of the basin start at £350,000 but you should be able to rent it out for £300+ pw.
KINGS CROSS CENTRAL N1
A £2 billion regeneration of 67 acres of land north of Kings Cross and the new Euro Terminal at St Pancras. It is proposed to create a new “human city” with up to 2,000 new apartments, shops, offices and new public places. Outline planning permission has been granted by Camden Council, but campaigners have now won a right to have a legal challenge heard in the High Court. The project is now on hold until the review.
The area does not have a high concentration of existing residential stock although in nearby Bloomsbury it is still possible to pick up a studio for just over £200k. A two bed flat is likely to set you back at least £350,000. The area is set to take off with the new Euro Terminal which means Paris will be just over 2 hours away.
ELEPHANT & CASTLE SE1
A 10 year 170 acre redevelopment proposal aims to transform this tired area south of the river into a civic square, shops and 5,300 homes. Two rival schemes are competing for the prize to carry out their vision. It is intended works will be completed by 2014. One of the big attractions is its’ central location. The tube station is in zone 1 whilst the surrounding area is within a 15 minute walk of Westminster.
In nearby Walworth it is still possible to pick up a 2 bedroom house for £330,000 which you should be able to rent out for over £300 per week.
GREENWICH PENINSULA SE10
This is London’s largest single regeneration scheme discounting the Olympics which is actually a number of interrelated projects including Stratford – see previous article. It covers 190 acres of land with over 1.5 miles of river frontage. Once complete it should provide 10,000 new homes and 150 shops, restaurants and offices and parks. The site next to the form Dome will have a developer submit an application this week with hopes that the work will commence in 2008. This project aims to create a completely new residential district within the capital. On the wider peninsula it is possible to buy a new property within the Greenwich Millenium Village with prices starting at £285,000 for a 1 bedroom property. A previously owned two bed flat can be bought for between £325-350k with rents achievable of £350 pw.