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Golden homes - properties in UK Olympic boroughs more likely to increase in value

The Tokyo Olympics is on track to becoming one of the biggest events of the year. Last year, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the sports ceremony was postponed.

Over the next couple of weeks, 11,300 athletes from 207 countries will compete in a variety of sports during the 2021 Olympics hosted in the Japanese capital (unfortunately still without fans because of the pandemic).

London lettings and estate agent Benham and Reeves has now analysed the property market Olympic legacy of London’s 2012 games.


Olympic boroughs are in first place

In 2012, the Olympic games were hosted in London. Benham and Reeves’ recent study reveals that houses in the borough the Olympic games are hosted tend to increase in price and popularity as a direct result of the games.

Since hosting the London Summer Olympics in 2012, house prices across the city have increased by 5.6% a year on average and by a total of 61% since August 2012.

House price growth across the six boroughs the London Olympics were hosted in has averaged 6.9% per year since 2012, 1.3% more than London as a whole. They’ve also increased by a total of 78% on average and 17% more than the wider London average.

Why do Olympic boroughs bring in the gold?

Before the games, many areas of London underwent extensive regeneration schemes. Stratford, the main hub for the London Olympics, is based in the borough of Newham and has seen a dramatic transformation in the last decade.

London’s Olympic Stadium is now the home of West Ham, while the Olympic village has been converted into properties.

Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, adds: “The huge Olympic regeneration of London and Stratford, in particular, brought about a monumental boost to property prices and today, the London Borough of Newham remains one of the best performing pockets of the London market as a result.”

“This has no doubt had a knock-on impact to the neighbouring boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Waltham Forest. So it’s hardly surprising that all three of these Olympic host boroughs sit top of the property price growth table when analysing the market since 2012.”

“It’s great to see that not only were the London games a great success for the GB team, but they’ve also left a lasting and positive legacy for the local housing markets and wider economies that were such an integral part of hosting them.”

Which UK Olympic borough wins first place for highest house price increase?

Six UK boroughs played their part in hosting the 2012 Olympics, including Newham, Waltham Forest, Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Greenwich, and Tower Hamlets. According to the study, properties in these Olympic boroughs have flourished as a direct result of their association with the Olympics.

The table below displays the house prices across six UK boroughs the Olympics were hosted in:

Olympic Borough Category AveHP - August 2012 AveHP - Latest May 2021 Total Change % Average Annual Change %
Waltham Forest Olympic Host Borough £236,018 £487,133 106% 8.7%
Barking and Dagenham Olympic Host Borough £166,180 £308,760 86% 7.4%
Newham Olympic Host Borough £214,977 £389,309 81% 7.1%
Hackney Olympic Host Borough £333,002 £553,032 66% 6.2%
Greenwich Olympic Host Borough £241,372 £400,216 66% 6.1%
Tower Hamlets Olympic Host Borough £290,365 £474,144 63% 5.8%

Waltham Forest takes first place for highest house price increase, with house prices in this Olympic borough increasing by a hefty 106%, averaging a 7.4% increase per year. House prices in Barking and Dagenham have increased by 86% since the summer of 2012, while in Newham they’ve increased by 81%. Both boroughs have annual growth rates of 7.4% and 7.1%.

The study also shows Hackney, Greenwich and Tower Hamlets have benefitted with house price increases greater than the wider average across London. Hackney and Greenwich saw a 66% growth rate, and Tower Hamlets saw a 63% growth rate.

The study concludes that compared to every other London borough, Olympic boroughs demonstrate a higher value growth from August 2012 to May 2021. The table below displays a comparison between the two:

Category Total change in Property Values - August 2012 to May 2021% Average - annual change - August 2012 to May 2021 %
Olympic Host Borough 78% 6.9%
London overall  61% 5.6%

Though Olympic boroughs typically undergo extensive regeneration schemes that add massive value to these locations, there are instances where some venues are abandoned, including in London.

Thus far, UK Olympic boroughs have still been benefitting from the Olympic boost in terms of house prices and prestige, but question marks have also been raised about the long-term legacy from London 2012. Other places which have in recent decades hosted the Olympics, such as Athens, host of the 2004 Olympics, and Rio de Janeiro, host of the 2016 Olympics, have since seen venues abandoned and little in terms of Olympic legacy.

It will be interesting to see if there is any long-term impact on Toyko moving forward.


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