London’s next prime hotspots have been revealed by buying agency Black Brick, with previously overlooked areas topping the list of recommendations.
“In a marketplace as diverse as London, there is a constant ebb and flow of buyer interest in various parts of the capital, in response to developer investment, infrastructure improvements – or simply to changing fashions,” the firm said. “With this in mind, we think buyers would be well advised to take a look at two areas they may have overlooked in the past: Bermondsey and Fitzrovia.”
Bermondsey, which is located on the southern side of the Thames, stretching east from London Bridge, was recently named as the best place to live in London by the Sunday Times. This, according to the newspaper, “reflects the rise of an area that epitomises the modern urban good life”.
A foodie mecca, it combines culture, craft beer and even indoor climbing with excellent transport links and a relatively central location. Bermondsey’s converted warehouses – a legacy of its vital role in London’s river trade – jostle with newer developments to provide a diverse range of property.
Although property is far from cheap here – buyers are likely to be paying seven-figure sums for loft apartments – there are still pockets of affordability. It’s possible, for example, to purchase a one or two-bed ex-local authority property for around £350,000 – something which is much rarer in central London.
Meanwhile, towards the top end of the market, 1 Tower Bridge offered a range of one to four-bedroom apartments that sold for between £500,000 and £5 million.
Thorburn Square SE1, on the other hand, offers buyers the chance to buy a 750 sq. foot two-bedroom apartment overlooking a garden square for £400,000.
“For investors looking at buying in London, but without the budget for super prime/prime areas, Bermondsey and the SE1 area in general presents an opportunity to buy into a very centrally located area with excellent transport links,” Tom Kain, a buying consultant at Black Brick, said.
“North of the river, Fitzrovia – bounded by Oxford Street to the south, Tottenham Court Road to the east, and Great Portland Street and Euston Road to the west and north – has been similarly overlooked.”
This might have something to do with its historic reputation for being somewhat drab and dominated by office buildings and the estate of University College Hospital, but Kain says it is undergoing a wave of development and modernisation that ‘promises, if not outright transformation, certainly a significant polishing up’.
Equally, the Crossrail redevelopment of Tottenham Court Road station is ‘heralding a smartening up of the east end of Oxford Street’ and of ‘unlovely Tottenham Court Road itself’, with developers moving in to take advantage of this fact.
“One of the first developments to launch very successfully several years ago, the 235-unit Fitzroy Place, includes a redevelopment of the old Middlesex Hospital, while there are still two penthouses for sale in the mixed-use Rathbone Square development – which Facebook has chosen for its UK headquarters,” Kain continued.
Property here is available for a substantial discount when compared to the cost of its newly-fashionable neighbour Marylebone, at approximately £2,000 square foot for high quality new-builds, compared with £3,000-plus in Marylebone.
“There are a raft of other smaller, more boutique new-build developments and re-developments of previously commercial buildings popping up in Fitzrovia. Combined with significant investment into commercial buildings and infrastructure we predict the area should outperform other parts of central London over the next few years,” Camilla Dell, Black Brick’s managing partner, concluded.