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UK Croydon: London's Latest Investment Hotspot

Property Here - Thursday, October 24, 2013

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Located just 13 minutes from London Bridge, the once rejected South London area of Croydon is entering a new era and rapidly becoming one of the UK capital’s most sought-after locations for property buyers.

A major regeneration plan is set to improve transport links, improve public spaces and transform Croydon into a retail and commercial hub capable of challenging its more established Zone 1 and 2 neighbours. Commenting on Croydon’s investment prospects, Charles Townsend, Business Development Manager at UK developer Sloane International, said: “High demand for Zone 1 and 2 properties has meant that many developments in central London are simply unaffordable for the average investor. It is clear that London workers have to look further afield for affordable rental accommodation and therefore we believe that high growth areas outside these zones, such as Croydon, offer investors higher potential returns at a more realistic price point.”
 
The regeneration plan was announced last year with Mayor Boris Johnson confirming a £1bn investment to transform the area’s economy and drive employment. It recently was enhanced further with Hammerson and Westfields’s decision to enter a 50/50 £1bn partnership to build Europe’s largest shopping centre in Croydon town centre (Figure 1). Overall, there is over £3.5bn of commercial investment underway or in the pipeline. 

Croydon has long been known as an employment centre, with 24 of the UK’s largest companies choosing to locate their head offices in the local area. More than 50,000 people travel to work there each day and with the white-collar workforce growing and Westfield expected to attract big spenders, developers have responded by creating a number of swanky aspirational apartments. 

One such development is Sloane International’s The Edridge. Located in the heart of the regeneration area, the mixed-use development will provide Croydon town centre with luxury accommodation and world-class facilities such as a 24 hour concierge, residents-only gym and landscaped roof gardens. 

Croydon’s close proximity to central London has also led to it becoming a popular commuter hotspot with many London-based professionals now choosing to rent or buy there. A trip from Croydon to London Victoria station takes under 20 minutes, which is no longer than many trips within the Zone 1 and 2 catchment areas. The extension of the Overground line to West Croydon allows for easy access around the whole perimeter of London too. 

As far as house prices are concerned, Croydon is already showing a lot of potential. According to the February edition of the Rightmove House Price Index, it is the fifth best-performing borough in London, with house prices rising by 7.5 percent in February this year compared to the same period last year. But unlike central London, prices are still accessible, making it the perfect place to invest now given the predicted rise in property prices.