How to pick the next investment hot spot from builders’ skips to good schools. Everyone is excited by the prospect of moving to an area that, in five years, will be the height of chic. But how do you do it? What are the indicators that will mean your one step ahead of the crowd?
Everyone is excited by the prospect of moving to an area that, in five years, will be the height of chic. But how do you do it? What are the indicators that will mean your one step ahead of the crowd?
According to Sam Floy, it’s by counting the number of artisanal coffee shops compared to fried chicken shops and when the former is outnumbering the latter, you’re on to a winner. In a recent survey he conducted using this method (you may have read about in the press) he found a number of hotspots to watch, with Peckham coming out on top.
And it seems like this may prove to be a fairly effective method, as Peckham has seen an increase in prices over recent months and has been touted as the next big thing in a number of publications.
So the chicken / coffee shop ratio seems to be one thing to look out for, but what other promising signs should you be keeping an eye on? We’ve put a list together below.
· Is there a new station about to open? It is not rocket science, but improved rail links, slashing commuter times, are invariably harbingers of a rise in property prices. The forthcoming Thameslink serving Brent Cross and Cricklewood is a good example. Ditto, Battersea once the Northern Line extension is completed. And the stations along the
· Are there cool and unique shops popping up in the area? Whether an independent book shop, vintage boutique or cereal café, shops like these can often be a sign of an area on the up as residents come to expect these amenities on their doorstep.
· Is there a new Waitrose about to open? It has become a cliché, but that is because it is true. A study early this year by Lloyds Bank found that proximity to a branch of Waitrose added an average of 12 per cent to the value of a property. West Oxford, where a new Waitrose is imminent, ticks this box. Look out for early planning applications.
· Are there builders’ skips on the residential streets? They may be an eyesore now, but they usually offer solid evidence of home-owners convinced that an area is a good long-term bet.
· Where are young professionals moving to? The suits are always a good sign – young, well-paid professionals are one of the main engines of economic growth.
· Do the bars and cafes have outside seating in the summer? It sounds a trivial thing, but wide pavements, and a thriving café society, are signs of a community at ease with itself and where it is going.
· Are the schools good and improving or okay but going nowhere? Parents will scour league tables and OFSTED reports like hawks, and they are right to do so. An area is more likely to catch on if it passes the education test. Wood Green in North London, where the St Thomas More Catholic School is one of the most rapidly improving schools in the country, is a good example of an area worth watching for this reason.
· What’s next door? Areas that have seen significant price growth in recent months and that are becoming increasingly popular can be a good sign for neighbouring areas. It’s often the case that once one area has increased significantly in price, those who can no longer afford to live there look to areas close by and this in turn becomes a desirable place to move to, so pre-empting this could mean you make a good return.
Don’t expect an area to tick every box. But look at areas as a whole – the amenities they offer, the neighbours you are going to have, the place – and take a bit of a risk and you could be onto a winner.
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