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Where To Watch

14.12.21

As the year comes to its end, many of us are looking forward into the new year, and so are UK property market experts. Abode2 reports our top 5 locations to watch in 2022

As we approach the end of 2021, buyers are already starting to look ahead to next year and consider what is important to them in their new home. Location and good potential price growth are two factors playing a central role in buyer’s decision process. Top line information below outlines Abode2’s selection of locations to watch for purchasing and investing in 2022, tied to data from agents and experts.

Watford

A recent, unpublished Savill’s report reveals that Watford has achieved strong price growth, with increases of 59% since 2007/8, and the area is undergoing a transformation, comprising £1.5billion of investment into major infrastructure upgrades and regeneration projects, which will transform the face of Watford.

  • Watford has now become significantly more desirable to aspirational buyers and investors – particularly those from London, with 30% of people moving to Watford have moved from the capital over the last two years. This is largely due to Watford’s commutable distance to London in just 22 minutes.
  • These buyers are changing not just the demographics of the area but the development taking place and built environment too, as the area has attracted interest from central London developers who are seeing buyer interest in Watford. These include Regal London, a premium London residential developer, who has recently launched The Clarendon – the latest and most significant launch in central Watford, offering commercial and residential facilities – as well as St William, part of the Berkeley Group, who has also tapped into the appeal of Watford, with their development, The Arches.
  • Moreover, local employment take-up increased by 46% in 2020. The town, already an employment hub, with the likes of ASOS, KPMG and PwC having bases here, alongside Watford Business Park which currently has over 100 businesses, employing 1,200 people.

Old Kent Road

Old Kent Road is a significant Opportunity Area in the London Plan – completing the SE1 regeneration puzzle of the last 10 years. According to Savills, the Old Kent Road as an area is currently undervalued when comparing to its surroundings. A new area focus guide forecasts a significant value uplift of greater than 35%, due to the large-scale regeneration and the positive impacts it will bring.

  • An estimated £10bn will be invested to improve transport and infrastructure, creating a strategy for growth in business and industry, revitalise the high street creating new shopping and town-centre facilities as well as new pedestrian and cycle links.
  • Over the next 20+ years, this historic road of pilgrimage and procession, originally connecting London and the Kent Coast and the source of inspiration for Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales will benefit from 20,000 new homes, 10,000 new jobs, four new educational facilities and the expansion of nine local schools. There are also plans for three new parks, eight hectares of new green space, an array of community facilities, and an extension of the Bakerloo Line to create three new stations along the Old Kent Road.
  • Representing the first opportunity to buy into this exciting new regeneration, Bermondsey Place will create a new lifestyle quarter in SE1. Berkeley Homes is creating over 1,300 new homes across five acres, along with jobs, improved connectivity, including new pedestrian and cycle routes, plus independent cafes’, boutiques and restaurants and a new, publicly accessible park.

 

Belgravia

Belgravia, which covers both the City of Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea, is poised to undergo significant transformation with several new residential and commercial developments in the pipeline.

  • Belgravia’s housing market has proved more resilient during the pandemic, outperforming Chelsea and Mayfair. Knight Frank data shows that average Belgravia house price grew 1% in August on an annual basis. In contrast, house prices in Chelsea were flat, while those in Mayfair fell 2%
  • One particular new scheme of note is The Peninsula Residences London, Located on the west side of Hyde Park Corner and due to complete in 2022. Once complete, it will be the largest building ever completed in the district, covering a 1.75 acre site and delivering 750,000 sq ft (GIA). With an 80 metre frontage, the scheme will provide 190 hotel rooms, 25 private residences, eight retail units, four restaurants and a café - reflective of the greater mix of property uses being brought to market in Belgravia. With only ten hotels globally, The Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels (HSH) searched for 25 years for a London home. Grosvenor first identified the site for redevelopment back in 2010. In 2012, they joined forces before securing planning in April 2016
  • The area has a further 16 residential and commercial developments in the pipeline including Chelsea Barracks, Knightsbridge Gade and Grosvenor Gardens House
  • With already 4 underground stations – Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge, Victoria and Sloane Square – it is due to benefit from the arrival of a Crossrail 2 station on Lower Belgrave Street

Canary Wharf

Despite the adjacent financial hub and its many thousand job roles, Canary Wharf Group, the privately-owned firm that controls the estate, is now making a concerted effort to shrug off its “all work and no play” reputation, to make it a residential destination rather than the endpoint of a commute.

  • More food, drink and hospitality operators are emerging, giving the area the buzz that is part of the draw of living in London. These include Hawksmoor Wood Wharf, which has just opened, housed in an eco-friendly floating pavilion across three levels; street food market, Mercato Metropolitano, is due to open in the next coming years, and Mediterranean pizza restaurant Gallio opened its first bricks-and-mortar venue, complete with sunshine colours and an olive tree, in Canary Wharf this December
  • Top developers have identified the evolving market in Canary Wharf, launching a number of residential developments, including: One Park Drive - designed by Herzog & de Meuron, Swiss architects and 8 Harbord Square - a collection of 82 open-plan loft style apartments and is the latest scheme by Canary Wharf Group.
  • The estate is home to the largest outdoor art trail in London comprising both stand-alone pieces and those of which have been integrated into the architectural make-up of the area. Currently, there are over 75 sculptures and outdoor art exhibits throughout the estate, which takes 2 and a half hours in total to walk along the water and through the estate
  • Canary Wharf also has its award-winning Winter Lights show which is returning from January 19th 2022 and will leave the dark winter evenings aglow
  • Though Canary Wharf has long been easily accessible via DLR, Jubilee line and many strong bus routes, it is also soon to benefit from the Elizabeth Line due to complete in 2022

 

Brentford

There is so much to say about the area, not least because it’s undergoing somewhat of a transformation. It’s historically been overlooked compared to the likes of Richmond, Chiswick and Kew, but it’s really coming into its own with a thriving creative community and start-up / entrepreneurial scene – with huge long-term potential given its waterfront location, comparative value and ongoing regeneration.

  • It’s often overlooked in favour of its more affluent neighbours like Chiswick and Kew, so offers comparative value, especially for a waterfront location – yet has some beautiful period properties as well as new build opportunities – 3,500 new homes planned, and 20% value added forecast with a 9.2% predicted house price increase by 2023 (stats from Knight Frank)
  • The area has an incredible creative and entrepreneurial community – from the tiny artists collective on Johnson’s Island to Duke of London, a classics and supercar restoration and events hub – an 8% increase in employment forecast over the next decade
  • The town is currently undergoing a real transformation, including major regeneration project, The Brentford Project, which is set revitalise the high street and waterfront - a great example of a fifteen-minute city
  • Premier league, football team, Brentford FC, is a major part of the community, having recently moved into its brand new grounds in the town – another big infrastructure addition to the area
  • This part of London is also a big employment hub with the likes of the Great West Road (the ‘Golden Mile’) home to major global brands like Sky and Disney; there’s also Chiswick Business nearby which has CBS, Paramount and IMG located there – the park is the 1st in Europe to be awarded WiredScore Gold or Platinum for all its buildings

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