A new generation of stamp duty-free hotspots is emerging across London as buyers respond to the Government’s tax amnesty on homes costing less than £500,000.
From fashionable central locations such as Bow, to good-value suburbs including Harrow and regeneration zones like Woolwich, buyers are focusing on postcodes where they can buy below the new threshold.
Research by Rightmove, published today, reveals the locations where property searches are booming – and where average asking prices are around, or below, the magic £500,000 mark. Buyers can potentially save a cool £15,000 during the stamp duty “holiday”, which continues until the end of next March.
Top spot: Deptford, south-east London
Top of the list is Deptford, in south-east London, where the average asking price stands at £465,670 and the number of property searches has gone up by a thumping 75 per cent. Becky Munday, managing director of Munday’s estate agents, believes the area is benefiting from a ripple of buyers priced out of Peckham.
“It does have a very cool, young, hip and trendy thing going on,” she said. “There are all these cute little bars and cafes on the high street.”
Transport links are strong, with trains to London Bridge in just seven minutes, and there is also a DLR station, while Greenwich Park and Blackheath are within walking distance.
Most homes in the area are purpose-built flats – expect to pay around £550,000 for a two-bedroom property, which Munday points out is £100,000 less than in Peckham. But just to the south of the A2, in St John’s, there are also some streets of pretty three-bedroom period houses.
Post-lockdown buyers are also keen on locations where it is possible to buy a three-bedroom family home for less than £500,000. Harrow, north-west London; East Ham, in east London; Edmonton in north London and Morden in south London, are all seeing big spikes in interest.
Why buyers are heading to Bow, east London
For buyers interested in a central location, Bow, just south of Victoria Park, is a smart option. It is far cheaper than Victoria Park village and you can get off the Tube and cycle to Canary Wharf or the City in about half an hour.
Average prices stand at £517,419, according to Rightmove, and the number of searches is up almost 50 per cent.
Laura Stronghill, senior branch manager of Hamptons International, rates Bow for its great range of property – from Georgian and Victorian houses and flats, to purpose-built apartments. “It is still better value than if you were looking in, say, Hackney, and we also get people coming from Islington. A lot of our buyers are young couples, often first-time buyers. The stamp duty holiday has opened things up for them.”
A two-bedroom period conversion flat in Bow would cost from about £550,000. Stronghill estimates that a resale purpose-built flat in Canary Wharf could cost £700,000 to £1million. In trendy Victoria Park, a two-bedroom period flat would cost £650,000 to £750,000.
What Bow does lack, however, is a thriving high street. “The only thing that is missing is that it has not got a core,” agreed Stronghill. “Roman Road Market is coming up a lot and there are some really cool independent shops starting to open, but if you want to eat or go shopping, most people go to Stratford.”
Regeneration zones are also attracting interest according to today’s report. Stratford in east London, Wood Green in north London, and Lewisham and Woolwich, which are both in south-east London, are all in line for billions of pounds of new investment over the next few years and all make the top 10.
Stamp duty savings in Lewisham
In Lewisham a massive programme of housebuilding has been triggered by the possibility of the Bakerloo line being extended to the area, led by the massive £350million Lewisham Gateway – work on its second phase, 649 rental flats, shops, restaurants, bars and a multiplex cinema, is due to complete in 2023.
This is another good option for City workers – trains to London Bridge take less than 10 minutes. And although Lewisham’s shopping centre is desperately shabby, there are signs of regeneration in new(ish) restaurants such as Sparrow, the Model Market street food pop-up, and foodie-friendly Brockley Market, where you can buy sourdough starter kits, seasonal veg boxes, vegan cinnamon buns at £6 for three, and all sorts of other hipster-friendly treats (www.brockleymarket.com).
“I am really excited about Lewisham,” said Becky Munday. “There is a real growing sense of community there, Ladywell Fields is massive and beautiful, and you can still buy a two-bedroom Victorian flat for around £500,000.”