Top 20 in­vest­ment hot spots

David Rob­son iden­ti­fies the London hot spots where prices look cer­tain to keep on soar­ing

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

In the game of snakes and lad­ders that is the London prop­erty mar­ket, there is noth­ing quite as sat­is­fy­ing as be­ing the first per­son to iden­tify a hot spot. When I bought a scruffy ground­floor flat on an even scruffier street in Not­ting Hill in the early Eight­ies, my friends scratched their heads. “Not­ting Hill? Isn’t that where there’s that car­ni­val thing?” The prop­erty quadru­pled in value in four years. By the Nineties, Not­ting Hill was so hip that it spawned a movie of the same name.

I have not al­ways been so lucky. I took a punt on West Kens­ing­ton, which has im­proved at a snail’s pace, and on Padding­ton, which re­mains res­o­lutely un­sexy. But, even now that I live out­side the cap­i­tal, the dream of buy­ing in the right area at the right time still burns bright.

“Peo­ple buy­ing in cen­tral London have be­come far less post­code-snob­bish than they used to be. And they are pre­pared to look at ar­eas they might once have over­looked, so long as the price is right,” ex­plains Tom Bill, the head of London res­i­den­tial re­search at Knight Frank. Sub­stan­tial and con­tin­u­ing changes in the city’s trans­port in­fra­struc­ture have also played a piv­otal role.

So where should the canny buyer invest? Some ar­eas, such as around the soon-to-be-ren­o­vated Bat­tersea Power Sta­tion, have ob­vi­ous in­vest­ment po­ten­tial. But the de­vel­op­ers know that, so prop­erty prices al­ready re­flect the ex­pected gains.

Other up-and-com­ing cor­ners of the cap­i­tal have im­proved un­der the radar, so to speak, and may be bet­ter long-term bets. But whether you want to go with the herd and buy where it’s al­ready cool and get­ting cooler, or take a wild punt on some­where not yet re­motely fash­ion­able, you are spoilt for choice in a ris­ing mar­ket.

Here are 20 cap­i­tal hot spots where snap­ping up prop­erty in 2014 could just be the best decision you have ever made.

1 Bayswa­ter/Queensway

Bayswa­ter is “the last piece of the jig­saw around Hyde Park,” says Tom Bill. Prices on the north side of the park have never matched those in Kens­ing­ton, May­fair or Knights­bridge, but wealthy over­seas in­vestors are start­ing to buy prop­er­ties around Queensway. Look out for tired ter­races and once-cheap ho­tels which, with a bit of TLC, could be con­verted into ul­tra-cool res­i­dences in a prime lo­ca­tion. On the mar­ket: two-bed­room apart­ment at the Lan­cast­ers, a spec­tac­u­lar new de­vel­op­ment on the edge of Hyde Park: £3.3m with Knight Frank (knight­frank.co.uk).

2 Dal­ston/ Kings­land

To the old mantra “Lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion”, there needs to be added a new one: “Trains, trains, trains”. House prices in Dal­ston/ Kings­land are up 31 per cent in the past 12 months, ac­cord­ing to Hamp­tons. It’s the area’s prox­im­ity to the North London Line – part of on­go­ing im­prove­ments to London Over­ground – which is be­lieved to be re­spon­si­ble. Equally sharp price rises have been ob­served near other London Over­ground sta­tions, such as Brock­ley and Bron­des­bury Park. On the mar­ket: three-bed­room apart­ment in a popular de­vel­op­ment on Dal­ston Square: £750,000 with Stir­ling Ack­royd (stir­lin­gack­royd.com).

3 Whitechapel

Could Whitechapel be about to fi­nally shake off the rep­u­ta­tional dam­age caused by Jack the Rip­per? Yes, says Lochie Rankin of Lich­fields, who calls Whitechapel “the most in­ter­est­ing de­vel­op­ing mar­ket in east London”. Although prices in the area are tipped to rise by around 25 per cent be­fore Cross­rail is com­pleted in 2018, de­vel­op­ers have only re­cently seen Whitechapel’s huge po­ten­tial. Ex­pect a rash of New York loft-style prop­er­ties in the next few years. On the mar­ket: five-bed­room midter­raced house in Whitechapel, near the Royal London Hos­pi­tal: £895,000 with Stir­ling De Vere (ster­lingde­vere.com).

4 Peck­ham

The Trot­ters would prob­a­bly be ap­palled, but there is hardly a plonker to be seen in Peck­ham now – the area is be­ing gen­tri­fied so quickly. “When prices shot up in more salu­bri­ous parts of London, Peck­ham was left be­hind, de­spite its prox­im­ity to the City and fan­tas­tic Vic­to­rian ar­chi­tec­ture,” says Gareth James Mo­z­ley of GJM. It is mak­ing up for lost time now, with prices more than dou­bling in five years. On the mar­ket four-bed­room Grade II-listed house on Trafal­gar Av­enue: £999,000 with Kin­leigh, Folkard & Hay­ward (kfh.co.uk).

5 Hol­born/ Ald­wych

Hol­born used to be viewed more as a cor­ri­dor be­tween the West End and the City than as a de­sir­able ad­dress. Not any more. Cool city apart­ments or town houses on im­mac­u­late res­i­den­tial streets such as Doughty Street cost sig­nif­i­cantly less than they would in more fash­ion­able parts of cen­tral London. You can be con­fi­dent of show­ing a healthy profit in the long term. On the mar­ket: two-bed­room flat in the lux­ury bou­tique de­vel­op­ment of Chancery House, in the heart of Hol­born: £2m with Beauchamp Es­tates (beauchamp.co.uk).

6 Clerken­well

“Clerken­well has seen pos­i­tive changes in re­cent years, and I be­lieve the scale of this re­gen­er­a­tion will ac­cel­er­ate over the next five to 10 years,” says Camilla Dell of Black Brick. Cur­rent prop­erty prices in this like­able en­clave, popular with cre­ative types, range from £1,000 to £1,400 per sq ft, but ex­perts see no rea­son why they should not rise to Soho lev­els of £2,000 per sq ft. Far­ring­don will be a ma­jor ben­e­fi­ciary of the Cross­rail project,

while the ma­jor new de­vel­op­ment on the Old Street round­about, known as the White Col­lar Fac­tory, should be com­plete in 2016.

On the mar­ket: spec­tac­u­lar de­signer loft in apart­ment St John Street: £2.6m (primepur­chase.com).

7 Nine Elms, Bat­tersea

London prop­erty ex­perts are unan­i­mous that, with the re­gen­er­a­tion of Bat­tersea Power Sta­tion, the US Em­bassy mov­ing south of the river and the planned North­ern Line ex­ten­sion, this area has a bright fu­ture. So much smart money has al­ready been pumped into the area that it may be too late to get on the band­wagon, but it is cer­tainly a band­wagon worth care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion.

On the mar­ket: two-bed­room flat with views of Bat­tersea Power Sta­tion: £1.215m with Hamp­tons In­ter­na­tional (hamp­tons-int.co.uk).

8 Streatham

“This area is a bril­liant op­tion for those who can’t af­ford the more es­tab­lished sur­round­ing ar­eas, such as Bal­ham,” says Robin Chatwin of Sav­ills. “We have seen prices grow by nearly 20 per cent over the past 12 months, but the area still looks amaz­ing value.” The new Streatham Park is help­ing put the area on the map, while there are ex­cel­lent trans­port links to Vic­to­ria, as well as some well­re­garded schools.

On the mar­ket: five-bed­room semide­tached house with large gar­den on Crif­fel Av­enue: £1.85m with Sav­ills (sav­ills.com).

9 Stoke New­ing­ton

“Stoke New­ing­ton is what Shored­itch was five or six years ago, with a lot of young pro­fes­sion­als mov­ing into the area and cre­at­ing a real buzz,” says Robert Fraser, di­rec­tor of Fraser & Co. Like neigh­bour­ing New­ing­ton Green, this mul­ti­cul­tural pocket of the bor­ough of Hack­ney is be­ing rapidly gen­tri­fied with­out be­com­ing in any way gen­teel. It looks an ex­cel­lent long-term bet.

On the mar­ket: five-bed­room house in a quiet res­i­den­tial area: £999,950 with Fox­tons (fox­tons.co.uk).

10 South­wark

It is hard to en­vis­age a day when Thames-side prop­er­ties fail to at­tract a pre­mium, and it is mainly de­vel­op­ments south of the river which are set­ting the pace. The lat­est one, due for com­ple­tion in 2016, is the Mu­sic Box. Th­ese 40 mod­ern apart­ments are perched on top of the London Cen­tre of Con­tem­po­rary Mu­sic in South­wark, which is fast be­com­ing the epi­cen­tre of South Bank cool.

On the mar­ket: apart­ments at the Mu­sic Box start at £650,000 (tay­lor­wim­p­ey­cen­tral­lon­don.com).

11 Bow

No East End Cock­ney used to be worth his salt un­less he had been born within the sound of Bow bells. Not many of Bow’s cur­rent res­i­dents would pass the Cock­ney test, but the area’s rich his­tory, and lively am­bi­ence, con­tinue to make it at­trac­tive. “Bow is prov­ing par­tic­u­larly popular with City types who can­not af­ford to live in Ca­nary Wharf, but view it as an ex­cel­lent al­ter­na­tive,” says Robert Fraser, di­rec­tor of Fraser & Co.

On the mar­ket: three-bed­room Vic­to­rian ter­raced house on Tre­de­gar Road: £850,000 with Lud­low Thomp­son (lud­lowthomp­son.com).

12 West Dray­ton

Another area likely to ben­e­fit when Cross­rail is com­pleted in 2018, when Bond Street will be just 23 min­utes away. “Over the past cou­ple of years, we have seen a huge in­crease in the num­ber of in­vestors keen to pur­chase prop­erty in the area. They are con­fi­dent that their in­vest­ment will achieve a sub­stan­tial rise in cap­i­tal value once the Cross­rail sta­tion opens,” ex­plains Ni­cholas Jor­dan, di­rec­tor of the Cameron group. Dray­ton Gar­den Vil­lage will pro­vide nearly 800 new homes, while Dray­ton Wharf, on the Grand Union Canal, will of­fer stylish apart­ments at af­ford­able prices, start­ing at £200,000.

On the mar­ket: four-bed­room de­tached house in a prime culde-sac lo­ca­tion: £535,000 with Camerons (cameron-group.co.uk).

13 Brix­ton/ Ken­ning­ton

“Thanks to re-rat­ing, the search for prop­erty hot spots in London is start­ing to move out­wards, and Brix­ton and Ken­ning­ton are among the ar­eas ben­e­fit­ing,” says Ed Mead of Dou­glas & Gor­don. “Brix­ton is de­fy­ing con­ven­tion and is now the area where young peo­ple want to live for all right rea­sons, while the Oval is firmly in the sights of the Bank of Mum and Dad.”

On the mar­ket: three-bed­room Vic­to­rian house be­tween Brix­ton and Oval sta­tions: £800,000 with Kin­leigh, Folkard and Hay­ward (kfh.co.uk).

14 Earl’s Court

Known as Kan­ga­roo Val­ley in the Sev­en­ties, Earl’s Court has never quite over­come a down-at-heel im­age. But all that could be about to change, says Richard Bar­ber of WA El­lis: “The re­de­vel­op­ment of the Earl’s Court Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre and Sea­grave Road will have a mas­sive ef­fect. The de­vel­op­ment will com­prise four ur­ban vil­lages and a new pri­mary school, and we will un­doubt­edly see house price in­creases off the back of it.”

On the mar­ket: six-bed­room free­hold house, with a sep­a­rate stu­dio flat, on Red­cliffe Gar­dens: £6.3m with Ayles­fords In­ter­na­tional (ayles­ford.com).

15 Wap­ping

“The past 12 months have been fan­tas­tic for Wap­ping, with price growth of 24 per cent com­pared with seven per cent for Chelsea and Knights­bridge,” says Lau­ren Ire­land of Sav­ills. Wap­ping is simultaneously steeped in his­tory and thor­oughly mod­ern, packed with the kind of river­side ware­house con­ver­sions that seem sure to gain in pop­u­lar­ity.

On the mar­ket: three-bed­room apart­ment with south-fac­ing ter­race in the sought-after de­vel­op­ment of Cinnabar Wharf West: £1.99m with Sav­ills (sav­ills.com).

16 Vic­to­ria

“Vic­to­ria has long been seen as a poor relation of neigh­bour­ing Bel­gravia. It’s of­ten called upand-com­ing, but has never re­ally ar­rived,” says Rachel Thomp­son of the Buy­ing So­lu­tion. But bet­ter times could be just around the cor­ner, with the £2bn re­gen­er­a­tion of Vic­to­ria Coach Sta­tion and Vic­to­ria Street. Ul­tra-mod­ern glass build­ings are slowly re­plac­ing the aus­tere ar­chi­tec­ture of “old” Vic­to­ria – of­ten a tell­tale sign of an area where con­fi­dence is boom­ing.

On the mar­ket: New York-style loft apart­ments at 55 Vic­to­ria Street in the heart of Vic­to­ria from £1.29m with Strutt & Parker (strut­tand­parker.com)

17 Tot­ten­ham Court Road

“His­tor­i­cally, this end of Ox­ford Street has been con­sid­ered unattrac­tive. But I have no doubt that this per­cep­tion will change con­sid­er­ably, par­tic­u­larly if the Cen­tre Point build­ing gets re­de­vel­oped into high-end res­i­den­tial units,” says Camilla Dell of Black Brick. The Tube sta­tion is be­ing com­pletely re­de­vel­oped and, with the travel time to Ca­nary Wharf set to be halved, the area can only go from strength to strength.

On the mar­ket: stylish onebe­d­room apart­ment with a pa­tio gar­den, just off Char­lotte Street: £795,000 with Hud­son Prop­erty (hud­son-prop­erty.co.uk).

18 Honor Oak

No sec­tor of the cap­i­tal has ben­e­fited more from im­prove­ments in the cap­i­tal’s in­fra­struc­ture than the south­east. Honor Oak, in the bor­ough of Lewisham, per­fectly il­lus­trates the knock-on ef­fect of good rail links. The area has never had the ca­chet of Dul­wich, but it is catch­ing up fast. With di­rect trains to London Bridge likely from 2018, cour­tesy of the Thames­link Project, those com­pet­i­tively priced three-bed­room Vic­to­rian ter­races at around the £500,000 mark are start­ing to look like real bar­gains.

On the mar­ket: three-bed­room pe­riod ter­raced house within a short walk of Honor Oak Park sta­tion: £600,000 with Se­bas­tian Roche (se­bas­tian­roche.com).

19 May­fair

Any­one who has ever played Mo­nop­oly will have clocked May­fair as London’s most pukka ad­dress, so it may seem odd to call such a bas­tion of con­ser­vatism upand-com­ing. But per­haps that way of think­ing is out of date, says Tom Bill of Knight Frank. “May­fair used to be dom­i­nated by of­fices, but we have re­cently seen a big growth in the res­i­den­tial mar­ket, which is likely to bear fruit long term.”

On the mar­ket: Grade II-listed town house on Queen Street, in the heart of May­fair: £8.95m with Knight Frank (knight­frank.co.uk).

20 Ele­phant and Cas­tle

Ele­phant and Cas­tle used to be the kind of scruffy London en­clave you drove through with­out stop­ping: it was far from easy on the eye and the road lay­out was a mess. But bet­ter times have come to the area, with a sig­nif­i­cant pro­gramme of re­gen­er­a­tion. It is also in travel zone one, which is a plus, and prop­erty prices re­main re­mark­ably rea­son­able for some­where so cen­tral. It’s not far from the Old Kent Road, which along with Whitechapel, is the last area on the Mo­nop­oly board where you can still hope to find a bar­gain.

On the mar­ket: three-bed­room con­verted Vic­to­rian flat in a con­ser­va­tion area close to Ele­phant and Cas­tle: £600,000 with Kin­leigh, Folkard and Hay­ward (kfh.co.uk).

New look: Vic­to­ria is fi­nally los­ing its poor-relation tag

River view: Thames-side homes in South­wark are in de­mand

Fi­nal stop: Hol­born is no longer just a through route

Hop on: Earl’s Court is shak­ing off its back­packer im­age

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