The best place to invest in London: Oval knocks prime central London for six

Oval has grabbed the title of the capital’s most lucrative property hotspot.
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Oval in south London is the best place to invest in a home, according to a new survey by Savills. 

In addition to the international Kia Oval ground, home of Surrey County Cricket Club, the Lambeth district has Beefeater, one of central London’s largest gin distilleries. 

Along with neighbouring Walworth and Kennington, it also claims to be the birthplace of Charlie Chaplin. Now it has grabbed the title of the capital’s most lucrative property hotspot.

Prices in Oval have outdone prime central London by a mile, rocketing 223 per cent in just five years. Houses there now cost an average of £1.2 million, the report reveals.

Paul Darko, sales manager at Atkinson McLeod, says Oval’s prices have risen thanks to price ceiling-busting developments along the Thames, such as the flagship St George Wharf. Areas inland are benefiting from its good value compared to nearby spots such as Clapham and Brixton. 

“There is a complete mix of property from Georgian and Victorian houses to Thirties mansion flats,” Darko adds. “The majority of buyers are professional couples, often first-time buyers, who want a fast commute to the City. 

“And I have had a number of well-heeled parents buying for their kids.”

Expect to pay about £500,000 to £600,000 for a two-bedroom flat, and from £850,000 to £1 million-plus for a four-bedroom house. 

According to Darko, the only downside of the area is its lack of facilities. He says: “It is a drive-through, mostly residential — locals tend to go out in central London, Clapham or Brixton.”

Savills’ new report has identified the 20 areas in London where prices have stormed ahead since 2009, doubling — and in some cases tripling — in value over a five-year period. 
While the vast majority are north of the river, only 11 of those top areas are within traditional prime central London. 

The new hotspots include Oval, Spitalfields (up 104 per cent to an average of £676,405) and Farringdon (up 127 per cent to an average of £887,862), where a torrent of new building has pushed up overall prices. 

They are joined by areas on the fringe of prime central London — such as Church Street in Westminster (up 178 per cent to an average of £885,200), Queen’s Park (up 99 per cent to an average of £939,363) and Fulham Broadway (up 98 per cent to an average of £962,377) — which have benefited from a ripple effect of buyers priced out of more expensive postcodes and moving on to their less expensive neighbours.

Of course, some of the areas identified by Savills are within traditional prime central London. These include Holland Park, up 114 per cent to an average of £2.4 million since 2009. Its prices have been boosted by a series of major deals, including the sale of a £31.5 million detached house to David and Victoria Beckham in September 2013.

Report author, Lucian Cook, director of residential research at Savills, says that the results reflect the growth of “emerging prime London” — areas on the fringes of prime central London that are benefiting from a ripple out of equity. 

“Some of it is down to regeneration — such as Oval — and particularly where there has been development along the river frontage,” he adds. 

Over the next five years, Cook suspects that the same principles will continue to apply, and tips areas including Ealing, Acton, Kilburn, Dulwich and Herne Hill for strong growth. 

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