Rising prices and a lack of prime available stock is driving investors out of popular London areas and into pastures new. Consequently, last year's hotspots could soon be slipping down the popularity rankings.
With regeneration taking place across the capital, the face of the city is also likely to be much different over the coming years, but just which areas will be the ones to watch for investors?
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The Borough of Newham has been the site of much activity lately as part of the Thames Gateway regeneration project. Located just three miles from the City, the area occupies much of the capital's revitalised docklands and has received a massive GBP 15 billion worth of investment.
This is expected to lead to population growth of approximately 131,000 people - equivalent to the size of the city of Cambridge. As the population expands, opportunities for residential and office investment are being created, not to mention further industrial capacity, thanks to its dockland location.
Those looking to enter the retail market should also pay attention to Newham, as the Queens Market is undergoing a period of regeneration. Known for its "vibrant mix of exotic fresh produce and goods", the area is a popular place to shop and is part of a multimillion pound improvement scheme.
As one of the UKs largest and exciting regeneration projects, the Greenwich Peninsula is likely to be highly competitive for investors, but is certain to emerge as the hot new area of London over the coming years.
The development covers 190 acres and will include homes, offices, schools, shops and community facilities. What's more, the site is just minutes from Canary Wharf, the West End and London's City Airport - if it's all about location, location, location, then this development is certainly winning the race.
The Lower Marsh area of Waterloo is certainly one to watch for retailers, with a new regeneration project targeting physical improvements to open up the historic shopping street.
Currently, the street is hidden away behind Waterloo station and is difficult to access. It is hoped the improvements will enhance walking routes, increasing footfall in the area. It is also intended that the management of the Lower Marsh will be outsourced to a commercial operator.
By 2030, Nine Elms in Battersea will be one of the most distinctive areas of central London. As part of the Vauxhall development, there will be 16,000 new homes created, not to mention 25,000 new jobs. The riverside location of the development is also expected to attract a wave of international investors looking for a prestigious site.
Furthermore, Vauxhall Square will be undergoing redevelopment, after the go-ahead was given to a major GBP 500 million project from CLS Holdings to construct two 50-storey towers, a 278-bedroom hotel, accommodation for up to 359 students, a hostel for homeless people and a multi-screen cinema.
Richard Tice, chief executive officer of CLS Holdings, stated: "We are delighted to have secured this major planning approval in the main Central London regeneration area, which is undergoing rapid transformation and attracting the attention of investors worldwide. The project is expected to create over 5,000 construction jobs, 2,000 permanent jobs, and deliver more than GBP 500 million of inward investment into the Vauxhall area."
Southwark is a borough prime for investment, with 40 per cent currently under regeneration and developments valued at around GBP 4 billion. Elephant and Castle is one of the standout areas in the borough and over the next 15 years it is hoped that it will emerge as the capital's new exciting destination.
As part the regeneration, the town centre will be pedestrianised, up to 450,000 square feet of retail space will be made available and 5,000 new and replacement homes created.
Barking and Dagenham
For those looking for long-term investment, Barking and Dagenham is the perfect up-and-coming location.
Over the next 20 years, the area will be transformed under the Thames Gateway project to increase the prosperity of the area. Industrial areas will feature prominently in the project as part of plans to increase new jobs and improve investment prospects.
Opportunities for investment could be set to open up in Croydon, with the CBRE submitting an application to convert, extend and partially demolish St George's House, on behalf of Legal & General.
Under the proposals, the existing building will be transformed into 288 residential units, with community and retail provisions included. Liz Mason, planning director at CBRE, explained that this is part of the "council's spatial ambitions for central Croydon, including housing growth".
Stanhope/Schroders have also released their plans to turn the Rushkin Square site in East Croydon into a residential and office development, the Croydon Advertiser reported. Once each stage is completed, the site will hold 550 homes and one million square feet of offices, with the potential for a 22-storey tower and a nine-storey adjacent plinth development.
Barnet is expected to be the site of considerable population growth over the next ten to 15 years, with four of the largest estates in the area set for redevelopment. The Cricklewood, Brent Cross and West Hendon area, Colindale and Mill Hill East will also be earmarked for strategic growth.
In the heart of the Borough of Hackney and now connected to a tube network, Dalston is one of the major up-and-coming business areas of London and is already home to many architects, photographers, music studios, fashion designers, web designers and publishers. This makes the area poised for office investment as businesses look to escape the high rents of central London.
While not as famed as Shoreditch for its bar culture, Dalston is rapidly attracting more and more people for its nightlife and leisure facilities. As a cultural hub, the area will no doubt become a favourite among boutique hoteliers.
Tower Hamlets has been subject to much regeneration in recent years, particularly in and around Fish Island. While housing has been the main focus of projects, developers aim to capitalise on the Olympic legacy, making use of the stadium, aquatics centre and Olympic Park. There is also new integrated urban structure in the area, making movement easier for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Thursday 07 February 2013