The average Londoner now spends two thirds of their income on rent. Both house prices and rent have shot up in recent years, and it shows no sign of abating; this is bad news for any young professionals looking to get a foot on the property ladder, but for anyone looking to invest there are clear opportunities. Whether you’re buying to live or buying to let, we’ve compiled a list of UK Investor Magazine’s top ten hot spots for property investment.
We have made a note of the average value of properties in each area, as well as the value change over the past 12 months and five years. For context, the average house price in London is £620,557, with a change of +3.74% over one year and 31.34% over five. This can be compared to England as a whole, where the average house price is £291,620, with a change of 3.67% over the past year and 16.49% over five years. These figures show just how fast the property market in London is moving compared to that of the rest of the UK.
With close proximity to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, Bayswater is more affordable than its famous neighbours Mayfair, Marylebone and Notting Hill. Streets are lined with elegant, white Georgian houses, and transport is good – Central line stations Queensway and Lancaster Gate are nearby, and Bayswater itself is on the District and Circle Line. The West End, Kensington and Knightsbridge are just a short walk away, as is the mainline station Paddington. When Crossrail opens in 2018, Canary Wharf will just be 15 minutes away. This little area has the same charm and desirability as the more expensive West London neighbourhoods, but without the price tag – at the moment.
Average value: £1,221,895
Value change (12 months): +2.02%
East London area Dalston is further out than its trendy cousin Shoreditch, but has the same vibe. The area is served by several overground stations, linking to the North, Liverpool Street and the City, and still has plenty of plenty of bars, pubs and clubs. It’s close enough to Islington to have a relaxed, more grown-up feel and is near to both Victoria Park and London Fields.
Average value: £563,306
Value change (12 months): +5.87%
Value change (5 years): +39.28%
Dalston has showed an impressive change over the past year, shooting up 5.87%, nearly double that of the rest of London. Now is the time to invest here, before prices shoot up too high.
This little pocket of south London is rarely recognised when mentioned in conversation. Nestled between Norwood, Dulwich and Crystal Palace, it has good rail links to Victoria, London Bridge and the South, as well as buses to Brixton and Clapham. There are plenty of pubs and bars and it has a friendly, family atmosphere.
Average value: £473,882
Value change (12 months): +3.05%
Value change (5 years): +37.10%
Peckham might be a little rough around the edges, but it has plenty of character. The location is excellent, with rail and overground links to Canary Wharf, the City, Shoreditch and North and South. There’s a good offering of nightlife, with two rooftop bars on the top of carparks that open in the summer, as well as several bars, art galleries and restaurants that are worth a visit.
Jason Davis of Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward says prices on his patch have risen 30 per cent in the last year.
“We have seen a 70 per cent increase in first-time buyers compared to the same time last year, as we offer better value for money than Dulwich, Camberwell and Brixton,” he says.
Average value: £458,997
Value change (12 months): +3.97%
Value change (5 years): +36.41%
Nine Elms is the final piece of the South Bank to undergo a refurbishment. At 195 hectares, it is far larger than Hyde Park and situated less than a mile upstream from the Houses of Parliament. Vast sites are now being transformed to form a brand new residential and business quarter right in the heart of London. The development has described by the Mayor as “the most important regeneration story in London” and the luxury flats will have their own private glass-bottomed pool, suspended between the two blocks.
Prices range between £600k for a small 1 bed to £14 million for a penthouse.
Average value: £708,921
Value change (12 months): -1.30%
Value change (5 years): +42.85%
Once seen as an area a little down-at-heel, Streatham has become popular recently as people are priced out of nearby areas Clapham and Balham. There are direct trains to both London Victoria and London Bridge, 10 minutes from Clapham Junction for a change to go almost anywhere in the UK. The average house price is around £463,000, and the area has excellent amenities with proximity to Tooting Bec park and Lido.
Average value: £463,672
Value change (12 months): -1.53%
Value change (5 years): +38.69%
Both the Streatham and Nine Elms postcodes have bucked the trend of the rest of England and London, where prices have risen on average. However, prices have grown more than average in both places over five years, showing the potential – buying now while the prices have dipped may well equal a good return in the future.
This area may well be one of the worst areas in London; however, with the addition of Crossrail serving the area in 2018, it makes for an excellent investment. Currently it is the cheapest place in London to buy, with four-bedroom maisonettes on sale for under £200,000. Abbey Wood consists largely of a council estate, which was once the dystopian home of nihilistic Alex and his droogs in Stanley Kubrick’s controversial film from 1971, A Clockwork Orange. However, there is a good chance that once Crossrail opens the area up to investment, it will follow the lead of the Heygate Estate in Elephant & Castle and demolish it to make way for newbuild houseing. The potential for the area is huge – making it an ideal place to invest.
Average value: £266,713
Value change (12 months): +3.73%
Value change (5 years): +33.59%
The property value here is hundreds of thousands below London, rivalling that of the rest of the UK, showing clear potential.
In the 1980s, Wapping was a run-down and derelict inner city wasteland until the London Docklands Development Corporation began redeveloping the area. Properties have an Excellent position on the river, with several of the oldest pubs in London dotted along the front. There is a stellar view of Canary Wharf, and good connections on the overground to the City and Canary Wharf. Many of the properties are warehouse conversations with bundles of character.
Average value: £559,406
Value change (12 months): +4.75%
Value change (5 years): +32.06
Elephant and Castle
Arguably, Elephant and Castle is just a large roundabout, and market and the Ministry of Sound nightclub. However, a £3 billion redevelopment is underway, with the famous Heygate council estate being demolished making way for developer Lend Lease to replace the 1,200 homes contained within the brutalist blocks of the Heygate with almost 2,500 new apartments and shops.
Average value: £677,234
Value change (12 months): +2.30%
Value change (5 years): +32.55%
Arguably the most expensive area in London, house prices in this area are showing no signs of slowing and more and more properties being bought up by foreign investors. According to E J Harris, rents in Mayfair have shot up 7.5 per cent over the last 12 months.
“This year has been good for both. Average prices in prime central London increased 12.8 per cent, hitting £1.7 million. The rest of London has seen 10.7 per cent growth and a high of £514,516. Naomi Heaton, chief executive of LCP, prime London specialist
Average value: £1,694,802
Value change (12 months): +1.91%
Value change (5 years): +40.36%
Prices in Mayfair have shot up over five years in comparison to both the rest of London and the UK – however, this shows no sign of stopping.
Miranda Wadham on 20/08/2015