It’s easy to talk of the London house prices as though it is one homogenous thing. Yet Greater London is in fact a 600 square mile mass that is home to more than eight million residents. With such scale it’s important to recognise that the capital is in fact a patchwork quilt of mini interlocking markets.
In such a changeable melting pot, different mini markets often rise to the fore and enjoy their own micro boom. So, where are the potential hotspots to look out for in London at the moment?
One top tip is to keep an eye on the Crossrail development. This is one of the largest construction projects in Europe and will finally be ready to go into operation in 2018-19, after nine years of work across the capital.
The route will open up new opportunities as it crosses from Berkshire and Buckinghamshire right through Central London to Essex and the south east, and the property market will be hotting up in several areas already ahead of that.
Whitechapel could be one area that benefits. Property consultant Knight Frank reckons the current £900 per sq ft value could reach £1,250 by the time Crossrail whirs into action, a predicted rise of 39 per cent. The extension to overground connections has already given the area a boost and the latest transport investment has only driven that on further, with developments such as Goodman’s Fields, a 920-home site that will also feature hotels, shops and restaurants alongside a park.
It’s clearly still an area in development, but that may well attract a new, young, audience who are looking to extend the Shoreditch success story. The London Evening Standard has highlighted how Wickhams, a former department store on Mile End Road, has been converted into a hub for tech and media start-ups.
The Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation was launched at the start of April to cash in on revitalising a section of north-west London to cash in on HS2 and Crossrail. The group says it wants: “To transform and integrate one of the most inaccessible areas in London into a well-connected, world-class transport interchange, deliver housing and commercial development, surrounded by sustainable and thriving neighbourhoods and valued amenity space.”
Mayor Boris Johnson is fronting up the group for the area, which is just north of Wormwood Scrubs and with thousands of homes part of the grand plan it’s certainly worth keeping a close eye on.
It’s not just those areas with transport investment which are set to be hotspots either.
The riots of 2011 cast a long shadow over London – and many other parts of the rest of the UK, but this has certainly lifted in Tottenham Hale – right at the heart of the events that August. The Hale Village project is set to offer the area’s biggest development in years – with a reported 870 ‘green’ homes, student campus, shops and healthcare unit. Then there’s the showpiece sporting development of Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium – which also brings homes and further investment.
Similarly, Mark Collins of real estate firm CBRE recently explained to the Telegraph how investors from the Middle East are looking beyond their traditional property hotspots to snap up bricks and mortar much further from the hustle and bustle of Central London that they would previously have gone.
Speaking in December, he said: “In the past six or seven weeks, I have spoken to clients in the Middle East who have asked about both private rented accommodation and sales opportunities in Croydon, which is undergoing regeneration and is in striking distance of London.
“It used to be that Gulf buyers were only interested in being in walking distance of Harrods – that has completely changed.”
Landlords enjoyed the biggest rise in rents in Croydon in 2014 and that growth is only set to improve, with a £5.2 billion masterplan in place to transform the economy and town centre of an undervalued area that sits just 20 minutes away of Central London by train.