The recovery of London’s property market is beginning in Canary Wharf and Chingford.
Exclusive Homes & Property research has found a clear divide when it comes to home-hunting with those in search of good-value houses looking to the northern and eastern suburbs of the capital, while flat-hunters go south and west.
A smaller group, looking for top-end “bargains”, searches in Hampstead, St John’s Wood and Marylebone. The Olympic zone with its new-build homes is attracting both house- and flat-hunters to Stratford.
People seeking houses look around Mill Hill, Barnet and Finchley to the north; in good-value outer-east districts such as Chingford, Woodford and Wanstead; and in south-east “villages” of Greenwich and Blackheath.
Flat-hunters, often looking for a more central location, put Canary Wharf, Clapham and Putney at the top of their lists.
Investing in Chingford
Neil Barnes, of estate agent Douglas Allen, believes Chingford attracts people looking for a slightly quieter life than central London can offer. “It borders on the green fields of Essex, but parts of it are quite busy, too,” he says.
“The schools are good and the transport links to London are also very good.” A two-bedroom Victorian terrace in Chingford would sell for about £220,000; a five-bedroom detached house costs from £700,000.
Flat-seekers’ mecca: Putney
Judy Urmossy of Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward’s Putney Hill branch said that the area was a magnet for young buyers.
“It has got restaurants and bars in abundance, and the high street is not bad,” she said. “It is safe and affluent, we have got the river, and transport’s good.
A one-bedroom conversion in the area would cost around £300,000, a two-bedroom flat between £350,000 and £450,000, depending on location."
Hampstead has always been sought- after, but Peter Brookes, of Savills, says the recession has brought it in reach of more people. “The feeling is that now prices have dropped buyers want to have a go at this area.” A “mainstream” two-bedroom flat in the village will cost about £800,000.
Miles Shipside, of Rightmove, said there was always a “flight to quality”. “The only people who can really buy at the moment have substantial deposits. They want solid homes in good areas,” he said.
Charlie Fisher, of Savills in Docklands, says buyers descended on Canary Wharf following the collapse of the banking sector as homes were released at realistic prices.
“People still believe there are deals to be had on flats where investors can no longer keep up payments on their buy-to-let properties, or finish off paying for their new-build apartments,” he says. A basic one-bedroom flat in the area is selling for about £250,000; two-bedroom prime homes are around £600,000.
Stratford’s a runner
A new-build two-bedroom flat in the Stratford Olympic zone will cost maybe £250,000 while a three-bedroom Victorian house costs between £250,000 and £300,000.
Ian Middleton of Halifax confirms that it is the sports extravaganza that is driving the sales. “The main thing is all the investment that is going into the area because of 2012 and the great transport links it possesses.”
House-hunter hotspots: Greenwich/Blackheath
Mark Maynard, a director of Humphreys Skitt & Co, which has offices in Greenwich and Blackheath, says the area’s selling points include the river, the Royal Park, trains that run from Greenwich to Cannon Street in 10 minutes, and a good choice of schools.
Buyers can expect to pay £350,000 for a two-bedroom Victorian cottage and about £4.25 million for a Georgian mansion. A four-bedroom Victorian house in a Blackheath conservation area (left) is currently for sale through Humphreys Skitt & Co (020 8858 1102) for £625,000.