These popular boroughs are outperforming the rest of London
Properties in Barking and Dagenham have never been more popular – and their values continue to rise despite market uncertainties.
There has been plenty of media chatter over recent months about property prices in London and how they are being affected by a whole host of market influences. Given that one of those factors is Brexit, there can be little doubt that the debate will continue to rage and will reach a crescendo at the end of March when the UK leaves the European Union.
However, it is important to remember that “London properties” is a phrase that encompasses a whole variety of postcodes, not to mention property types. While the financial analysts have been getting hot under the collar about prices stuttering in Westminster or Chelsea, the picture in the suburbs is an entirely different one.
In fact, estate agents in Dagenham saw properties in their area change hands for a little over £298,000 last year. That’s a rise of 2.6 percent on the previous year, and almost matches the national average of 3.2 percent. It certainly puts all the headlines about the “London property market collapsing” into context.
Barking and Dagenham is joined by boroughs such as nearby Redbridge and Havering, along with Bexley and Bromley south of the river, in continuing to buck broader price trends in the capital. While central and western locations at the top end of the price market have certainly been dropping, these up-and-coming neighbourhoods only get more popular. These are all areas that have been through periods of poverty, unemployment and crime in the late 20th century and have come out the other side in the new millennium.
To take Dagenham as an example, property owners saw the neighbourhood lose its main employer, as well as much of its identity, when vehicle production was ceased at the Ford motor works in the early 2000s. However, this was accompanied by a major regeneration strategy for the borough that saw improvements in childcare through new children’s centres, significant investment to modernise Barking town centre and the construction of new and affordable housing for first time buyers.
As a result, those who were there through the bad as well as the good have been rewarded with an average rise in property value of £125,000 over the past five years.
This regeneration is part of a broader 20 year project that is continuing with undiminished enthusiasm. For example, described by some as “Barcelona on Thames,” the Barking Riverside project has already seen the construction of 1,000 new homes, but these are just the start. The overall project received an additional £500 million cash injection last year and will see the area transformed. Most importantly, more than half of the 10,000 new homes being built here over the coming years will be affordable. Riverside living in the capital will be a realistic possibility for people regardless of income.
This is just one example of the various infrastructure and development projects that are contributing to make Barking and Dagenham one of the most desirable property hotspots in the South East.