As we move into the new year, London’s housing market is beginning to thaw from the freeze brought about by Brexit and last year’s General Election. Although it’s still early days, properties are changing hands as investment is being freed up. So, how do you know where to buy in the capital during this time of transition? Here’s our guide to the top five up-and-coming areas to live in London in 2020.
Some of the cheapest properties in central London with a buzzing cultural scene, and close to hipster Shoreditch.
For years, Whitechapel has had an unsavory reputation as a crowded and run-down area. This might be because of the Jack the Ripper myth, which evokes images of the squalid conditions of 19th century London.
Although there’s still some stigma around the area, its reputation has improved a lot. Just a stone’s throw from Brick Lane, Whitechapel is now seen as a zone of rich cultural diversity and a cheaper alternative to its trendy neighbour, Shoreditch.
Tower Hamlets council certainly sees the potential of the area, as they’ve embarked on an ambitious development programme called Whitechapel Vision, which aims to have 3,500 new homes built in the next 15 year, as well as seven new squares and open spaces.
Relatively cheap period properties in an area undergoing rapid regeneration
On the other side of the city is Brentford. Once considered an industrial backwater, the area is undergoing a phase of redevelopment. New properties are being built alongside the zone’s three waterways – the Thames, the Grand Union Canal, and the River Brent, as well as a host of new shops, restaurants, and sports facilities.
For those who prefer perhaps more characterful properties, the town even has a fair selection of Georgian houses. These have all the period features you’d expect but come at a lower price than similar properties in neighbouring Chiswick.
Cheap, incredibly diverse, and lots of cultural activities
Another location for the thrifty is Kilburn. Sitting between Maida Vale and Hampstead Heath, the area is thought to give a ‘real’ view of London. Whilst Kilburn lacks the grand houses and leafy streets of its neighbouring boroughs, it more than makes up for it with a lively cultural scene.
With a strong Irish and Caribbean presence, Kilburn’s streets are scattered with a dizzying array of small restaurants and bars. There’s also a good number of theatres and galleries – Kiln Theatre (formerly Tricycle theatre), for instance, is a local arts centre with an international reputation.
In terms of the properties available, the south mostly consists of large Victorian, red brick houses, whilst the west has more tall rows of Victorian Houses. The area surrounding Kilburn High Road, on the other hand, has a few modern apartment blocks and smaller rows of terraced housing.
A strong community feel, good transport links, and family-friendly
Charlton is often ignored – overshadowed by its neighbours, Greenwich and Blackheath. With property prices up to a third cheaper though, people are beginning to pay attention to this former industrial zone.
And it’s not only the prices which are luring new buyers in. The area’s warehouses are being earmarked by property developers to transform into new residential blocks – it’s estimated that over 5,000 homes will be built over the next 25 years, along with shops, bars, and restaurants. A ‘creative quarter’ has also been envisioned – supposedly to cater for a large number of resident artists.
What’s particularly interesting about Charlton is that, in contrast to other areas undergoing regeneration, it has a good supply of houses. This makes it a family-friendly option – especially given that the area has a number of high-performing schools, and is known to have strong neighbourhood relationships.
Arty, foodie, and full of community-led initiatives
Peckham might be best summed up by a former multi-story car park. Bold Tendencies is a community-driven creative hub that showcases local art, hosts classical music concerts, and puts on a variety of artistic workshops. It even has a rooftop bar with stunning views over the rest of London.
The spirit of this project seems to encapsulate the area as a whole. What was once a deprived quarter of the city with a myriad of social problems is now an edgy, culturally-aware corner of the capital. With many touting it as the new Shoreditch, Peckham is fast becoming the default home to artists, fashion designers, and photographers.
Although it’s becoming more popular, Peckham remains a cost-effective choice for those wanting to live in one of London’s creative quarters. Those wanting to buy or rent here will find different types of property to suit varying budgets – from grand Georgian houses to warehouse conversions.
As London’s housing market is starting to recover from the uncertainty caused by Brexit, the capital is opening up to new opportunities. From the homely feel of Charlton to the thriving art scene of Peckham, make sure to consider our up-and-coming London areas for 2020.
James Anderson operates in the South West of London. If you’re looking for a property in Barnes, Putney, of East Sheen, get in contact with us and our expert advisors will be able to help you.