Historically part of Essex, Hornchurch is now a busy suburban town in East London popular among commuters. Part of the London Borough of Havering, the town currently has a population of nearly 64,000.
Hornchurch is home to a lively town centre, full of independent shops, coffee chains, cafés and restaurants. The town also has its own football club, A.F.C Hornchurch, who currently play in the Ryman League Division One North.
What’s more, Hornchurch plays host to the one of the country’s best-preserved purpose-built stakeparks, The Rom, a wonderful Grade II listed structure first built in 1978.
Culturally speaking, the Queen’s Theatre – a 500-seat space for comedies, plays, pantomimes, musicals and spoken word performances – is a fantastic venue for all ages, while the Fairkytes Arts Centre is a community arts centre (located in a beautiful Georgian building) offering an eclectic mixture of activities for adults and children alike, as well as playing host to events, demos and a large array of clubs and societies.
As a key commuter hub, transport links in Hornchurch are very strong. Hornchurch tube station – on the District Line – is a little bit away from the town centre, but you can be in the heart of the city in around 40 minutes. Elm Park tube station (also on the District Line) is nearby, while buses to and from central London are frequent. Emerson Park is the nearest Overground station, with regular services to Romford and Upminster.
Hornchurch residents are well-catered for when it comes to restaurants and pubs. For the name alone, the Fatling & Firkin is well worth a visit. Expect unpretentious pub grub and craft beers/ciders on tap. Rienna’s, Istanbul Grill, Tarantino’s and Wildwood are also gems, while those looking for Asian cuisine should check out Xich Lo (Vietnamese), Sukhothai (Thai), Mandarin Palace (Chinese) and the Passage to India (Indian). Those looking for no-nonsense, uncomplicated fast food should head to Stokemoores Traditional Pie ‘N’ Mash; those looking for fine dining will be fully at home at The Cranleigh, where the Sunday roasts are divine!
The sales market
As a popular commuter hub close to London – with excellent transport links to boot – demand for homes in Hornchurch is, as you might expect, pretty high and constant. According to Rightmove, Hornchurch currently has an average asking price of £387,640, up by a substantial 12% in the last year and 32% up on 2013 price levels.
Semi-detached properties tend to be the most popular type of property, along with terraced homes and flats. Compared to London, buyers get far more bang for their buck in the suburbs. However, sellers can still expect to achieve a healthy asking price for their property – with demand high, prices rising year-on-year and the ripple effect from the capital only expected to get stronger in the coming years.
The rental market
Many of those who live in Hornchurch commute into central London every day. Many of these people are also renters, eager to seek out more affordable rents in the outer reaches of London. The good news for landlords, though, is that rental yields tend to be at their highest in East London. Rents might not be as high as the rest of the capital, but property is cheaper to buy in the first place – which means healthier rental yields can be achieved.
Currently, the average rent in Hornchurch is around the £1,400 pcm mark. Attractive, bright, well-maintained properties will be met with considerable demand, so landlords who provide these types of properties have little issue in occupying their homes with professional tenants.
While Hornchurch already has plenty going for it – green space, a busy town centre, local shops, a theatre, restaurants galore – there are ongoing regeneration plans to make the town an even better place to live, work and commute from.
The Hornchurch Urban Strategy is designed to improve, grow and enhance the town, with improvements in housing, transport and infrastructure, as well as plans to make it a cultural centre for Havering, with a “unique and vibrant urban character”. The aim is to make Hornchurch an even more sustainable, inclusive, environmentally friendly place for those who live there.