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House prices surge in Outer London as buyers seek more space away from the centre

Bellway Maybrey Works

The rising demand for homes with more space has led to a surge in house prices in London’s outer boroughs, according to Bellway London.

The developer says buyers are increasingly choosing locations on the edge of the capital over traditional property hotspots closer to Central London following the pandemic.

A greater desire to have access to open space and the rise in homeworking are among the main factors which have resulted in property seekers gravitating towards London’s outer fringes.

Two of Bellway London’s most popular sites over recent months are situated in the outer boroughs of Havering and Bromley, which have both experienced average house price growth of five per cent or more over the past 12 months.

By contrast, more central boroughs such as Southwark, Camden, Islington and Hackney all saw prices decline.

Emma Hamlett, Sales Director for Bellway London, said: “One of the narratives to have emerged from the pandemic is that of homeowners deserting London and other big cities in favour of a peaceful life in the country.

“In reality, the picture is slightly more complex than that. While the shift towards flexible working has given more people the freedom to choose locations further away from their place of work, this hasn’t translated into a mass exodus from the capital.

“One trend we have noticed over the past year or so is that buyers are increasingly opting for London’s outer boroughs to get on the property ladder and put down roots. These locations typically offer more space, a more relaxed way of life and greater sense of community than neighbourhoods closer to the centre.

“And because they are served by London’s public transport network, they generally make for a cheaper and more convenient commute than more rural towns and villages within the traditional commuter belt.

“Our St George’s Park development in Hornchurch, in the borough of Havering, is a prime example of this trend. Unlike most new-build developments in more central locations, St George’s Park features a wide mix of two to five-bedroom houses, which all offer gardens, which are proving particularly popular with families, while also benefiting from apartments with balconies. The site also benefits from being close to open spaces such as Hornchurch Country Park and is only a mile from Hornchurch Underground station.

“We are currently selling between two and three homes a week at our Maybrey Works development in Sydenham, in the borough of Bromley. This development is attracting first-time buyers who want to be close to Central London but without being right in the heart of the city. Maybrey Works is situated just a two-minute walk from Lower Sydenham station which has direct trains to Charing Cross and London Bridge in around 25 minutes.”

According to the Rightmove House Price Index for November, Bromley was the London borough with the highest house price growth over the past year, with an average increase of 6.5 per cent.

Havering saw the fifth highest increase, with a rise of 5.0 per cent, while prices in Wandsworth grew by 2.3 per cent, placing it 19th out of the 32 London boroughs.

A report by property experts Savills has forecast that prices in prime outer London, which includes areas such as Battersea, Wandsworth, Clapham and Hampstead, will rise four per cent next year and 13.7 per cent by 2026.

For more information about Bellway London’s developments in Hornchurch, Sydenham and Nine Elms, visit https://www.bellwaylondon.co.uk/.

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BDC 318 : Jul 2024