A town which straddles the East London/Essex border, Romford is a popular commuter hub with a lively housing market and a population of just over 82,000.
Historically a small market town in Essex, the suburban growth of London in the 20th century saw its size and influence grow, with a considerable expansion and increase in population. It’s officially been part of Greater London since 1965 when the town was transferred from Essex, and is the administrative centre of the London Borough of Havering.
At the same time, it has kept many of its Essex roots and is part of a postcode area which covers western parts of the historic county as well as much of East London.
But what of the property market in the area?
Online news site Essex Live recently ran an article saying that the housing market in the county had boomed over the last five years, becoming one of the best areas for ‘value-increase’ in England, meaning homeowners benefit from big profits when selling up.
Zoopla data found that, on average, house prices in Essex have risen by as much as 28% since 2014 - one of the biggest rises on a nationwide basis. It also found that the Romford postcode – RM – had seen one of the largest nationwide value increases.
There has been a 27% rise in average house price in RM17 (Grays) between 2014 and 2019, while RM18 (Tilbury) has seen a 25% increase over the same time period. There has also been a 25% increase in RM12 (Hornchurch) and a 24% rise in RM10 (Dagenham).
In Romford itself, meanwhile, most of the sales over the past year were terraced properties, according to Rightmove. The property website also says the town’s average house price currently stands at nearly £358,000, 10% up on 2016. Zoopla puts the current average value at a shade over £348,000, but with an average price paid of over £361,000 in the last 12 months.
In other research, it was revealed that it takes an average of 17 weeks to sell a home in the London Borough of Havering – home to Romford town centre and all the Romford postcodes – just below the London average of 18 weeks but above the UK average (which is currently 14 and a half weeks, according to a City Rate of Sale Report released by Post Office Money Mortgages).
In Romford itself, the average time it takes to sell a home is said to be 16 weeks – slightly longer than ideal, perhaps, but quicker than many parts of the capital. Sellers can feel reasonably confident in getting their home sold fast, particularly with demand for homes in the area being strong.
As ever, working closely with a reliable, experienced estate agent can help the selling process to be as seamless as possible by helping you to overcome any barriers, ensuring quick correspondence throughout and chasing up conveyancers on both sides of the sale to push things through in a reasonable amount of time.
One key factor when it comes to demand, particularly in London and its outer boroughs, is affordability – and buyers can certainly feel like they could bag a relative bargain in Romford. At the start of the year, sold price data from the Office for National Statistics found that the overall average price in Havering was £375,014, up by 2.1% on the previous year.
So, still within the range of families, first-time buyer couples and second steppers as a relatively affordable option – keeping demand high – but also offering sellers plenty to cheer about with steadily rising house prices.
Romford is also attempting to improve its image and attractiveness as a place to live, work and commute from, with a £35 million injection for the town’s riverside and a major housing regeneration scheme with a primary school and commercial space, forming the first phase of the Bridge Close regeneration, devised by Fletcher Priest.
The development, near Romford’s soon-to-open Elizabeth Line station, is set to deliver more than 1,000 homes over time, as well cultural and community facilities, workspaces and a path beside the River Rom.
The plans to transform Romford’s town centre with new homes and workspace, as part of the redevelopment of the Bridge Close industrial estate, were first announced in January 2017. This followed news in March 2016 that the centre of Romford had been designated a Housing Zone by then Mayor of London Boris Johnson, with considerable sums of public money to be invested in unlocking sites, allowing for mixed-tenure homes and new employment opportunities.
A number of other regeneration projects – including the £25 million Sapphire Ice and Leisure centre and the £1.4 million invested in upgrading the area around Romford train station in preparation for the commencement of Crossrail services – have either completed or are ongoing.
Romford, like many other locations in East London and the borders of Essex, has benefited from the much-advertised Crossrail effect – and, even though the opening of the full line has been delayed, the section from Shenfield to London Liverpool Street is effectively already running under the banner of TfL Rail, and house prices have risen as a result of increased demand and press exposure brought about by improved transport links.
As well as the ongoing regeneration and the excellent transport links on offer – not just the Elizabeth Line, but also strong bus, car and Overground links – Romford also has a number of other things to make it appealing to buyers.
It has strong local amenities, including cinemas, an eclectic range of local shops and restaurants, and lovely green space such as Lodge Farm Park. We also recently outlined the leisure activities to keep people living in Romford busy, from music and shows to theatre performances, a night at the dogs and the annual Romford Film Festival.
At Balgores Property Group, we can help you to get your property sold in Romford for the best possible price. To find out more about how we can help you to sell your Romford property, please get in touch with us at one of our offices.
Additionally, you can see how much your home could be worth on the current market by requesting a free and instant online valuation.