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Investment insight: where to invest new, but bigger

With 93% of all new build transactions in London in the last year attributed to the purchase of flats, Stone Real Estate has looked at where buyers have the best chance of buying bigger in the capital without forsaking a shiny new build property.

The new home specialists analysed new build sales transaction records over the last year across London and what proportion of sales was attributed to each property type. It found that 93% of all transactions were listed as flats, with just 4% listed as terraced homes, 2% as semi-detached and just 1% as detached properties.

Interestingly, flats accounted for 100% of all new build transactions in boroughs starting with B – Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Brent and Bromley, and so on.


Camden, the City of London, Westminster and Croydon also had 99% of all new build transactions attributed to the purchase of a flat.

Michael Stone, founder and chief executive officer of Stone Real Estates, explains: “The flat is, of course, the most prominent type of new build property available in today’s market and this is for a number of reasons. First of all, space is scarce and so building up not only allows you to house more people on a plot, but it also means a better return for the housebuilder as they have more homes to sell.”

“Price also dictates this trend to a large extent, with many buyers unable to afford a larger property, so the flat enables the delivery of a more affordable option to meet demand.”

However, he says this popularity goes beyond supply and price point.

“Many new build developments are delivering a lifestyle in addition to the bricks and mortar, incorporating features such as onsite amenities, private gyms, cinema rooms and rooftop social areas. All of these additional benefits resonate with today’s new build London buyer and this is helping to drive the popularity of these developments and the flat.”

But flat living isn’t for everyone, so what other new builds can investors turn to?

Terraced new builds

Despite new build flats ruling the roost, there is one borough where this isn’t the case. In Wandsworth, terraced new build properties accounted for 51% of transactions last year, making it the best borough for home buyers looking for a newer build space.

Tower Hamlets (27%), Richmond (20%), Waltham Forest (20%), Sutton (18%), Redbridge (14%) and Merton (10%) also saw the number of new build transactions attributed to terraced housing hit 10% or above of all transactions, making them good investment options for those looking further afield than a flat.


As your search for more space expands, the chances of finding a new build in London begin to diminish but look hard enough and you could find your ideal new build property.

Waltham Forest saw a healthy 30% of all new build sales last year fall under the semi-detached category, with Southwark (13%) and Sutton (10%) also ranked high when it came to semi-detached new build availability.


Seen as the Holy Grail of the new build sector in London, finding a detached home will be a stretch given they only account for 1% of all new build transactions. However, Southwark is your best bet when house hunting, accounting for 14% of all new build transactions last year – the highest of any London borough.  

Lambeth (6%), Newham (5%) and Richmond (4%) also offered a new build detached offering to a degree, while detached homes accounted for 1% of transactions in Sutton, Redbridge, Hillingdon, Lewisham and Hammersmith and Fulham.

Stone concludes: “The beautiful thing about the London property market is the diverse offering of properties on offer and while flats dominate the new build sector for the large part, there are still plenty of pockets where you can secure the quality and value for money of a new build home, but with a property size and style to suit you.”


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