If you look at the official website for the London 2012 Olympics, you will see that is says that the Olympic and Paralympics have been the catalyst in East London’s physical transformation, this raising the areas profile and bringing to the world’s attention.
Wihilst improved local amenities, shopping facilities and transport links, and large scale projects on infrastructure have undoubtedly much improved neighbourhoods that had been previously neglected and made them, on the whole, more desirable, what effect has the Olympics actually had on the property market both in the East End and London on the whole?
It would seem logical that house prices in the East End in the run up to the Olympics would show a significant increase, but this doesn’t seem to be the case everywhere. Take Newham for example, it is one of the 6 boroughs in East London designated as an Olympic host, yet in the past 4 years house prices here have fallen by 3.8%, according to Zoopla, the property website.
There is a similar tale to tell in Hackney,which has seen house prices fall by 2.25% and although Tower Hamlets saw an increase, it was only by 1.79%. This is comparable with London as a whole which saw an average increase of 1.79%.
Areas such as Kensington (up 5% on Zoopla), Islington (up 3.16% on Zoopla) and Camden (up 3 viagra officiel.37% on Zoopla) have performed better over the same time scale and remain popular with buyers and particularly with overseas investors who view London as a safe investment in volatile European and World Markets.
Notable, is an increase in sales activity specifically during the Olympic period. Estate agency Marsh & Parsons reported an increase in property sales activity throughout London, up 23% on last year’s figures and 35% on the same 16 day period in 2010.
Looking to the future and the legacy of the Games, CEO of Marsh & Parsons, Peter Rollings predicts the Olympics ‘will have a significant long-term impact on London’s appeal as a place to live for both domestic and international buyers.’
In contrast, it is the lettings market where the Olympic effect has had greatest significance. According to Property Wire, a supplier of global property news, average rents grew by nearly 40% in Newham over last year with significant growth in East London boroughs such as Greenwich (up 24.1%) and Tower Hamlets (up 18.5%) as well.
The London average across all property types has increased by 22% in the same period. However, some property experts are now predicting a decline in rental rates, with an increase in supply for the lettings market this Autumn as properties with Olympic tenants and short let tenancies now enter the market.
The role of Short Lets during the Olympics has been a significant one. Specialist home rental companies such as Vive Unique have helped pave the way for London homeowners to earn money from their homes by letting them out whilst they are away.
Vive Unique Co-Founder and Director Claire Whisker commented, ‘The Olympics has raised awareness of the potential and demand for short lets in London and has given rise to an increasing number of entrepreneurial homeowners renting out their homes.
It is a growing industry and one that we have helped make more secure with the development of a bespoke insurance policy to cover our homeowners while they’re away. We expect continued interest from homeowners who can earn a considerable boost to their disposable income.’