The London housing market is as diverse as it is expensive.
Whether you’re stepping onto the property ladder for the first time, or you’re looking to buy an investment property, some areas in Greater London will offer a better return than others. So, where should you start your property search?
Before you get carried away checking Rightmove pages for suitable flats or houses, it’s a good idea to do some groundwork to help you make an informed decision about where the best place is to invest in the capital.
Read a comprehensive property buying guide such as this one, take a look at up-to-date market figures, speak to estate agents and other property professionals and visit your shortlisted areas in person to get a feel for the location.
We’ve done the same and come up with these 9 London hotspots that you should definitely consider.
Located in TFL (Transport for London) Zone 5, Croydon is quickly becoming a London hotspot. The South London area is undergoing massive development at present, with a number of big businesses moving to Croydon.
Add to that excellent rail links into Central London and the Gatwick Express and the planned new Westfield Shopping Centre and it’s easy to see how East Croydon is in the process of generating its own commercial footprint.
In terms of property, Croydon offers a mix of luxury and affordable living, which is highly popular with young professionals. It’s an up and coming area that is likely to increase demand for property and push up prices.
If you’re looking for plenty of space, good schools and value for money, Enfield in North London is a great place to go for families. Enfield is an extremely well connected location, boasting 3 train stations and 3 tube stations, as well as easy road access to the M25 and A1.
The large borough has seen massive redevelopment in the 2000s with the Palace Gardens shopping area, and more regeneration is underway. The biggest, Meridian Water, promises 10,000 new homes plus a new train station that will see commuting times to Liverpool Street cut to 25 minutes.
While Woolwich is still one of the cheapest places to buy in London, the planned Crossrail route is sending property development in the area into overdrive including the flagship residential development at Royal Arsenal Riverside.
Once Crossrail is operational, Woolwich will be one of the best connected areas south of the river, with a mere 15 minute commuter journey into the City.
In terms of property prices, demand is set to boom which is likely to send prices sky high. Now is a good time to invest for the best deals.
Forest Gate has undergone immense change over recent years, benefitting from high levels of gentrification due to the 2012 Summer Olympics in nearby Stratford.
Then there’s the Crossrail effect which, according to Zoopla, has already pushed up housing prices in the area by 52% since 2009.
All the predictions suggest that property prices in Forest Gate will carry on increasing beyond the arrival of Crossrail, making this area an excellent place to buy property.
Clapton has come a long way in the last 15 or so years. Where once was a deeply untrendy area, Clapton is now a favoured destination for young professionals who are looking for a more affordable alternative to nearby fashionable Stoke Newington.
Since the 2012 Olympics, the area has seen an influx of new shops, cafes, pizza places and vintage stores and is positively buzzing with growth potential.
Situated in West London, Hayes’ transport links to central and eastern London are set to improve massively, with the planned arrival of Crossrail in 2018 promising 10 trains every hour in each direction.
Add to that the proximity of Heathrow Airport just 5 minutes away and it’s clear to see why Hayes will be a strategic London location.
Accompanying the improvement of transport links, Hayes’ investment potential is further strengthened by substantial regeneration projects in the area, including the ongoing £6 million town centre upgrade which should add to the town’s appeal.
With West London having already experienced growth surges in recent years, attention is now turning to East London’s potential. Starting from a comparatively low house price base, Leyton is one area that’s tipped for growth and a very shrewd place to invest in property.
Positive signs to suggest an upward trajectory of the area’s fortunes include improving transport links into the capital and general development within Leyton. Would you believe that a staggering 25 new coffee shops have moved into the area over the last 4 years? A surefire sign of an up and coming area if ever there was one.
For Central London property investments, Farringdon offers exciting growth opportunities. Morphing from undeveloped to suburban residential area to London hotspot, the area has a decent selection of shops, cafes and restaurants.
Crucially, it is located near Silicon Roundabout – a hub for tech companies – which has really boosted Farringdon’s appeal.
What’s more, the area is set to become an important transport hub, with the arrival of Crossrail next year providing convenient links to St Albans and Gatwick, and a myriad of central London destination via the London Underground.
Until recently, Wood Green remained largely undeveloped albeit with some fantastic Victorian houses with comparatively affordable price tags. 5,000 new homes and a new central hub have now been agreed, which is expected to bring significant regeneration for the area.
In terms of transport, there are improvements planned for the Piccadilly Line, Great Northern line and a possibility of Crossrail 2 stopping at Wood Green, making the area west of Tottenham a great long-term bet for property investment.