- Tower Hamlets
The promise of rocketing house prices in the areas surrounding the Olympic site have not been fulfilled. In fact, according to housing market analysts Hometrack,the housing market in the area, particularly around Stratford to the east, has: “under-performed despite high expectations and new investment.”
However, the report underlines a stark difference between house prices in Hackney and parts of Tower Hamlets, to the west of the Games site (coloured orange in the graphic above), and far lower prices around Newham, to the east (coloured green).
There is a much greater density of higher priced homes to the west, increasing in number closer to Islington. East of the Lea Valley, the number of higher priced homes is far more thinly spread.
The report says that prices to the West are registering average prices in excess of £600 per sq ft compared to Stratford and West Ham, where values are at £250-£350 per sq ft.
The report says: “In 2001, average values in Stratford (E15) stood at a 30-35% discount to Greater London. In 2006, the year London secured the Olympic Games – the discount had narrowed to between 10-20%. Today the discount has widened to 35%.”
The report adds: ”With the Games just a matter of months away there has been surprisingly little impact on house prices across the area.”
Many local estate agents have also noticed the lack of an Olympic effect on the property market. A spokesman at Stirling Ackroyd said: “A lot of people are buying in Hackney but that would have happened regardless. Hackney is an up and coming area that has a lot going for it, so people are buying because of that not because of the Olympics.”
“Bow prices actually took a tumble this year.
“Some estate agents have gone full steam ahead with short term lets for the Olympics and are asking ridiculous prices but people simply aren’t paying it.
“There will be no long term effect on rent prices in the area,” he said.
Nirmal Kalirai a consultant from Victoria Knight estate agents, based in Stratford, said that when it was first announced that London was to host the Olympic Games the company was inundated with people who wanted to invest money into property in Stratford and landlords who wanted to sell their houses in the area.
Then the economic recession in 2007/8 caused many more people to begin renting property as opposed to buying it. The spokesman said: “Rent has gone up because of a shortage of property not because of the Olympics.
“People certainly aren’t spending ten times the normal rent price as had been suggested by some agents from the companies involved with the Olympics have limited budgets . There is property available for Olympic lets but we’re just not getting the enquiries.
“We’ve had landlord’s who gave their tenants notices with the hope of renting out the properties for the Olympics but they actually lost money and we’ve ended up re-renting them with one year contracts.”
He agreed that the property market in Hackney has soared, he said: “I think the Olympics has given it a boost.”
By Louisa Plumstead