London's next homes hotspots: six districts tipped for house price growth by 2018

Buyers who head for promising new growth areas in the capital often get rewarded. While the biggest recent price rises have been in coveted areas ringing prime central London, the new growth districts are further afield, in Zones 2, 3 and 4.
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​Big business: Royal Docks is set to become London's next financial district

Where do you start looking for a new home? London is brimming with building projects and transport upgrades that are creating new property-buying opportunities, whatever your budget.

Urban renewal is a constant in the capital — areas that have been forgotten are reawakened for  many reasons. 

Young homebuyers in search of under-valued property will colonise the fringe of a popular area, or  regeneration projects will transform a district and make it suddenly desirable, as at King’s Cross.

The spur might be commercial, such as the tech sector sprouting up in Shoreditch, or cultural, such as the opening of Tate Modern at Bankside. New tribes settle, bringing vitality, hastening gentrification and pushing up prices. It is a familiar cycle.

IMAGE GALLERY: SEARCH FOR HOMES IN THE NEWEST LONDON HOTSPOTS



Looking into the crystall ball
Back in 2011, property consultant Knight Frank cherry-picked a  dozen areas where property values would jump during the period up to this year.  

At the time, the predictions appeared bullish but have proved broadly correct, spectacularly so in the case of Nine Elms, the booming  riverside strip that wraps around Battersea Power Station, where values have increased by 140 per cent. Fitzrovia and Blackfriars, two more hotspots, actually exceeded the forecast.

The company is taking on the role of tipster again, predicting  areas that will rise the most between now and 2018. And Crossrail figures prominently in the report. At the very least, such analysis is food for thought and a decent starting point for bargain hunters.

Whereas over the past five years, the biggest price rises have been in coveted areas ringing so-called prime central London, the new growth districts are further afield, in Zones 2, 3 and 4. This correlates with a  demographic trend.

London’s population is rising fastest in these zones, and housing  supply is failing to keep up with demand. And, as ever, people are  hunting for well-connected, but more affordable areas.

So while new-build prices for London as a whole are expected to rise by 25 per cent for the period up to 2018, some areas are forecast to increase by as much as 67 per cent.

Buyers who take a punt on promising new frontiers often get rewarded for their boldness. It paid off handsomely for those who  moved to Canary Wharf in the Nineties and for those who more recently spotted Dalston.

But be aware of false prophets. Areas take time to turn around and developers are prone to talking up values before they have got there in regeneration zones, where they are building. And, by offering new  design ideas and lifestyle extras, they will talk up an area beyond its reality and command steep prices based on the promise of better things to come.

Regeneration normally takes a long time — five years at least, possibly  10 or even 20 years — for the full impact to be felt. So you have to weigh up whether the wait is worth it. Crossrail is scheduled to open in  2018, its impact is already lifting  the veil on some areas while increasing the allure of others.

Slashed journey times are the great reward — 1.5 million more people will be within a 45-minute commute of London’s key business districts.

TOTTENHAM HALE
Current value: £450 per sq ft
2018 forecast: £750 per sq ft, a rise  of 67 per cent

Its rough image deters many, but Tottenham is undoubtedly good  first-time buyer territory, being relatively cheap and having quick  transport links to the centre. Crucially, regeneration is beginning to make a difference.

Hale Village, next to Tottenham Hale station, is Haringey borough’s biggest development project since the Sixties — 870 new “green” homes to date, a 1,200-room student campus, a supermarket, a Diocese of London community centre and a specialist kidney care unit run by Royal Free Hospital. And there is much more to come, including a residential skyscraper, private rental accommodation, shops and offices.

Homes are proving popular with key workers and young career  professionals — among them junior doctors and nurses. A high  proportion of residents — 44 per cent — are in the 16 to 29 age bracket.



The 12-acre site borders protected parkland and the Lee Navigation,  a once-vital canal route running  into Docklands. The next phase  of apartments is scheduled for release later this year. Visit halevillagelondon.co.uk or call  020 8808 4070.

Tottenham Hotspur FC’s new stadium project will bring flats, shops, a technical college and primary school, while Lawrence Square, close to Seven Sisters Tube station, replaces an industrial estate and has 260 homes priced from £249,950. Call Bellway on 0845 676 0261.


 

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From £499, 995: First Central in Park Royal, once a hub for manufacturing, now home to modern apartments. Call 0845 018 0716


OLD OAK COMMON
Current value: £600 per sq ft
2018 prediction: £950 per sq ft, a rise of 58 per cent

City planners have great ambitions for this little-known west London  district lying just north of Wormwood Scrubs. It has been earmarked as the location for a transport superhub, where Crossrail and HS2 will integrate.

Mayor Boris Johnson has set up a development corporation to spearhead regeneration and deliver up to 24,000 homes plus offices and shops.

Old Oak Estate, dating from the Twenties, consists of houses grouped  around greens, in a garden-suburb layout, and is surprisingly  countryfied. Even Wormwood Scrubs, despite the prison compound, is an attractive open space incorporating, surprisingly, a nature reserve.



Rather than being an isolated triangle of land, Old Oak Common is  beginning to merge with its neighbours. Park Royal, for decades a manufacturing and distribution base for companies, is part of the wider master plan. A branch of the Grand Union Canal passes through it, providing an opportunity for waterside living. First Central is one of the new residential schemes, with three-bedroom apartments priced from £499,995. Call Bellway on  0845 018 0716.

ROYAL DOCKS
Current value: £600 per sq ft
2018 forecast: £900 per sq ft, a rise  of 50 per cent

Equivalent in size to the area from Hyde Park to Tower Bridge, and with more waterfront than Venice, Royal Docks is set to become London’s next big business district, a centre for global trade and green technology.

The Greater London Authority’s vision is for tens of thousands of  new homes and convivial waterside living. Several projects are under  way or in the pipeline, including a  neighbourhood called Silvertown, with up to 3,000 homes, a central piazza the size of Covent Garden, and “brand” pavilions for the leading companies to showcase their wares.


 

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From £990,000: Royal Wharf currently has townhouses on the market. Call 0808 118 1987


Royal Wharf is another new neighbourhood, mainly low-rise with a primary school plus a DLR station. The first of 3,385 homes will be ready next year. Currently for sale are townhouses priced from £990,000. Call 0808 118 1987. And in this part of Docklands, Britain’s first “floating village” will be built, consisting of  50 modern, eco-friendly houses, linked by pedestrian and cycle bridges to an “on-site” market square.

EUSTON
Current value: £1,000 per sq ft
2018 forecast: £1,500 per sq ft, a rise  of 50 per cent

Euston Area Action Plan has been agreed to rejuvenate the area around the train station, itself the subject of a major redevelopment plan linked to the HS2 rail project.

Japanese-style “bullet trains” will not arrive before 2026, but Euston’s transformation has already started. Traditionally it has been a place to pass through rather than a place  to live. Office towers loom over  car-clogged Euston Road, the congestion charge boundary and once one of the capital’s most pedestrian-unfriendly thoroughfares. New homes are part of the mix at a big office complex called Regent’s Place, where Facebook has relocated to.



The project scooped top prize in the mayor’s 2014 London Planning Awards, and despite its corporate feel (14,000 employees) has become a convivial hub, with restaurants, cafés, a food market,  art studios and a theatre plus a  public space for performances, events and art installations. The district has strong academic and charitable links, with numerous university buildings and medical campuses, including Wellcome Trust.  

This settled backbone gives the  area character amid the scurrying  commuters. Over time, the area  will entice more people out of the West End.

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Whitechapel Gallery has linked up with Berkeley Homes to create an arts space at Goodman's Fields, Aldgate, with 920 homes priced from £735,000

WHITECHAPEL
Current value: £900 per sq ft
2018 forecast: £1,250 per sq ft, a rise  of 39 per cent

Whitechapel remains the cheapest City fringe area — but perhaps not for much longer. The Overground extension gave the area a boost, and a new fairy godmother has descended in the form of Crossrail, which has  helped trigger a building boom  that will bring many hundreds of  new homes.

The area is still quite rough around the edges, but that’s not a negative for a lot of young buyers and renters. And with London’s digital economy moving eastwards, Whitechapel is a logical extension to the Shoreditch tech cluster. Wickhams, a former colonnade-fronted Edwardian department store on Mile End Road, originally designed as an East End Selfridges, has been converted into a hub for tech and media start-ups.



Barts’ five-acre Whitechapel Estate next to Royal London Hospital is the latest chunk of land to be snapped up for development — a commercial and  residential mixed use scheme with 550 homes. And Redrow’s launch of four penthouses at One Commercial Street is a telltale sign of where  the area is heading. Prices start  at £2,950,000. Call DTZ on 020  3302 3115.

Whitechapel Gallery, which is credited with helping to launch the  careers of several renowned British artists, from David Hockney to Gilbert & George, is one of the area’s institutions. The gallery has linked up with developer Berkeley Homes to establish a new arts space at Goodman’s Fields, where 920 homes are being built alongside hotels, shops and restaurants. A public park and landscaped courtyard gardens are also being created. Prices from £735,000. Call 020 3217 1000.
 

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From £425,000: Royal Arsenal Riverside will feature 592 apartments by the Thames in five tower blocks above a new Crossrail station. Call 020 8331 7130


WOOLWICH
Current value: £650 per sq ft
2018 forecast: £950 per sq ft, a rise of 46 per cent

Crossrail “throws Woolwich into a new demand bracket, morphing it into a serious commuter zone,” according to Knight Frank. When the station opens in 2018, no other place beyond Zone 1 in south London will be as well-connected. Locals will be able to travel to Canary Wharf in eight minutes, to the City in 14 minutes, to Bond Street in 22 minutes and to Heathrow in 50 minutes, without changing trains.

Though touted as “up-and-coming” for more than a decade, Woolwich has never really achieving that status — until now. Royal Arsenal Riverside is the address that will benefit most. The new Crossrail station is being built within the walls of this architecturally historic housing that once employed close to 80,000 people and has a collection of listed buildings. Developer Berkeley Homes is building 592 apartments in five tower blocks above the station. Prices from £425,000. Call 020 8331 7130.



The local council is lobbying Transport for London to make Woolwich a Zone 3 station (currently Zone 4), while another objective is to reconnect the riverside with Woolwich town centre, achieved via new pedestrian routes and a public square.

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