Looking to the future
Charles Holland Sun 31 Jul 2016
Looking to the future
Reuters cited it as the top city for real estate investing, and for an ever-increasing number of individuals and organisations across the world, securing property in London remains the ultimate objective.
But whilst ensuring security in a London investment is virtually idiot-proof, the smart money pays much closer attention to particular pockets of the capital which, in the next decade or two, will be transformed into districts high in popularity, culture, and value. But where are these pockets?
Ten years ago, the focus was on the newly-announced route that Crossrail would take through London, and the areas it would pass through along the way. Whitechapel, for example, was heralded as one of Zone 2s last remaining affordable gems, and with Crossrail connecting it to Bond Street in 10 minutes (and to Canary Wharf in three), house prices subsequently rose by 60 per cent, and some commentators see this appreciating by a further 54 per cent between now and Crossrails full launch in 2019.
Fears that buyers might have missed the boat were alleviated only a few months ago by the approval of the second phase of Crossrail. Arguably, this phase could have an even more substantial impact on property values than the last, with it being centred on residential development (in contrast to the commercial focus of phase one).
Areas to watch include Dalston an emerging area to the north of our thriving Shoreditch office as well as south in Balham, and in Tooting where earlier this year we opened our 25th location. Further towards our Richmond and East Sheen operations is Kingston, set to grow significantly as a transportation hub in the coming years. Crossrail 2s route will also span the length of Enfields eastern border, having passed through Tottenham Hale and Seven Sisters en route.
Many of these areas are already thriving communities with fantastic period properties, and their increasing interconnectivity will attract a new wave of residents. New developments are also on the rise here, and cutting edge urban living solutions will feature prominently along the route.
The next-door effect
Its also worth considering areas that surround redevelopment sites. Batterseas new Nine Elms district commands a premium from the outset, but in neighbouring Stockwell and Oval its only a matter of time as to when property values will rise as a result of the ripple effect. Similarly, the North End Road in Fulham could experience this phenomenon as a result of Earls Courts extensive regeneration. Meanwhile Acton, Harlesden and Willesden are set to improve dramatically as a result of Old Oak Commons becoming a major transportation hub.
Developers are focusing on zones 3-6 now; where a much higher number of people can afford to buy property. Improvements to transport links, including the Northern line extension, mean that commuters can take advantage of much cheaper prices further out of the centre, whilst still allowing reasonable journey times. A similar house costs almost twice as much in Balham as it does just three stops south in Colliers Wood, for example.
New developments and off-plan purchases
Those investing in new homes across London are buying more than just an ordinary property; rather, they are arguably buying into the most modern, urban lifestyles. Developers are expert at providing amenities that translate into greater time efficiency, often greater quality of life as well, and reduced commutes.
Whats more, buying properties off-plan means that the investor can often partake in the decision-making on the finish of the property, so that it is to their tastes and standards. On-site recreational facilities including gyms, pools and restaurants are becoming more common, and even basics like car parking and recycling measures are carefully considered in light of todays societal changes.
New developments tend to also utilise space more efficiently, and are going to new heights, and depths, in order to maximise housing output. Developers are following precedents in the Middle and Far East, where skyscrapers and subterranean construction are increasingly turned to. These measures make even more sense in London, where sites are hard to come by and usually limited in area size. The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelseas planning department received over 800 applications for luxurious super-basements in the last five years but its reasonable to expect that commercial developers will use similar solutions on larger scales in the near future.
London is continuing to demonstrate itself as a thriving melting pot for property investment, and its clear that this is set to continue in the longer term. People across the world want stakes in London, and for savvy investors, its still possible to do very well out of this phenomenon.