With 2012 drawing to a close, property professionals across the country are attempting to read what the property market will do in 2013. In particular predictions will be made of where people will be or should be investing in over the next year. Simon Nosworthy, head of the residential property departmentat Osbornes solicitors gives a rundown of areas which are predicted to be London ‘hotspots’ in 2013.
A quick snapshot of the property market tells us that although the average UK house price is 11% below the peak level of 2007, the average price in London is now above this 2007 level, when not taking into account inflation. Central London has seen the strongest recovery with prices averaging 22% above their 3rd quarter 2007 Level.
This recovery is certain to continue across 2013 according to Phillip Arnold from Brendons Auctioneers of Royal Chambers 104 Pitshanger Lane, London W5 1QX who comments on the vast amount of overseas investors specifically seeking property in Central London. According to Arnold “the cash funds are viewing London as an area where they can grow their investment at a higher rate than in most other areas of Europe.”
It would seem therefore that Central London is an open playground with cash ready investors who are looking to sit back and watch their investment grow in the long and short term.
If you are not an investor who cannot afford to buy in Central London (which let’s face it is the majority of us!) what other areas in London are considered as “hotspots” to buy in over 2013.
Another hotspot in 2013 according to Arnold will be Eailing and Chiswick. He comments that “whilst they are generally more expensive than surrounding areas, investors and developers are very keen to purchase in these areas due to the fact that rents are high”.
Also Limehouse has been mooted as becoming a hotspot area of London in 2013. The recovering financial sector, its improved infrastructure and its proximity to the Olympic facilities are all factors contributing to why Limehouse is expected to be a hotspot in 2013.
It’s no surprise that another area set to be a big hitter in 2013 is home of the Olympics, Stratford. The area has great transport links, the already booming Westfield shopping centre and conversion has already beginning on converting the Olympic village to residential homes. Although flats contained in this conversion will only be for rent there are plenty of other great ‘deals to be had’ in Stratford, which are likely to attract young professionals and first time buyers trying to get on to the property ladder.
Chartered surveyor and estate agent Jeremy Leaf comments that Stratford “has the benefit of excellent ever-improving transport links being served by improved Overground and Jubilee Line trains as well as benefitting from the proposed Crossrail. It has incredible shopping facilities in the form of Westfield shopping centre and a housing stock in its nearby area which is still affordable. City workers should seek out new and second hand homes in this area with fantastic transport links”.
An area of London threatening to become a hotspot for some time is South London’s Peckham. Famed for being Del-Boy and Rodney’s stomping ground a visitor is now more likely to bump into an artist than Uncle Albert! Transport links in the area have been greatly improved with a loop line that runs between Victoria (13 minutes) and London Bridge (11 minutes). With some great schools located in the neighbouring Dulwich, including Alleyn’s School for boys and girls, James Allen’s Girls’ School and Dulwich College for boys young families who are priced out of the Dulwich market will inevitably look towards Peckham. On looking these families may yet be surprised at the number of character houses in the area. Bellenden Road is lined with charming Victorian houses and cottages and there are exquisite Georgian houses to be found overlooking Peckham Rye.
A bit closer to the ‘home’ of Osbornes in North London is Archway. The area has seen an increase in young middle-class residents, attracted to Archway by its proximity to traditionally more desirable areas such as Upper Street and Highgate, the accessibility of Hampstead Heath and Waterlow Park, and its public transport connections to central London. Residents are also attracted to its ‘edgier’ side and will be attracted to the many loft apartments still available in the area. A great tip for house hunters is to view properties on Sunday, giving you the perfect excuse to make a trip to Peckham’s farmers market for great bread, cheese, fish fruit, veggie, pies and sausages most weeks.
Right next door to Camden is Kentish Town which according to Jeremey Leaf “is seeing increased activity, especially from French ex-pats who have children at the new French school there and who find South Kensington “trop cher”. It nudges trendy Camden Town and is great for commuting to the City. The area around Gospel Oak and Oak Village has long been a favourite of creative and media types”.
Even closer is Islington and Jo-Anne Neighbour of Savills 94 Upper Street, London Borough of Islington, N1 0NP says “Islington is popular with young professionals and families alike. A wide assortment of accommodation, streets and green areas make for a stimulating environment, while excellent eateries, art and culture, including 3 theatre pubs and the Islington Academy add to the variety and vitality of the area.
Access to the rest of London is a piece of cake, via 2 underground stations and 2 overland stations, notwithstanding a plethora of bus routes.
In terms of demographics, Islington can be broken down into specific areas: Barnsbury, Canonbury, The Angel and Highbury all of which offer a fantastic selection of both Georgian and Victorian architecture.
In terms of pricing, Islington still appears very good value in comparison with more traditional enclaves of central London, particularly given its proximity to both the City and the West End, so it’s likely to continue to benefit from the price differentials. “
There are still plenty of other areas which are great for investment in London which no doubt will be hotspots in future years. Areas to look out for are Elephant & Castle, courtesy of the major re-development planned in the area (which will have a knock on effect to the nearby Vauxhall); Croydon, which already has great transport links into central London is being given a facelift and if the rumours are true will soon be the home of the capital’s third Westfield shopping centre. Another area to watch very closely is Battersea. With plans moving forward to finally re-develop the iconic power station and create another ‘village type’ area buyers and investors will be pouring in from home and as far away as Russia, China and the Middle East.
If you are thinking about buying or selling a property contact Simon Nosworthy who will be happy to talk you through the process and also provide you with a quote.