Over many decades, the value of space in London has risen and is continuing to rise. The real costs and benefits of developing a basement in London depend substantially on how market values per square metre continue to change, so developers need to keep an eye on how trends vary from area to area.
Regeneration plans, transport improvements, social fashions and even the economic effects of Brexit and other international conditions all influence property movements in different parts of the capital. Some are easier to predict than others.
Most promising London boroughs
An agreement to finance the High Road West regeneration project in Tottenham was signed in 2017 and will certainly make the area a more desirable place to live, work or operate a business. The plans include creating an entirely new public square of shops and restaurants, new community facilities, and upgraded open spaces. Haringey council is also committed to finding 2,500 new homes in the area, while Tottenham Hotspur will have a new stadium. A Crossrail extension is likely to improve transport connections with other areas for commuters.
Notting Hill and Holland Park have both already enjoyed rising living standards and property values, so it is a fairly safe bet that nearby White City will follow suit. Some big investments will lead the way, including 950 new homes, to build the new Westfield shopping centre, and a new research campus for Imperial College. Other investments raising values in the area include new developments around the area of the old BBC Centre and new uses for the 31 railway arches near Wood Lane tube station.
The Elephant and Castle and Old Kent Road have been steadily improving in quality of life and property values for some time. Elephant and Castle alone is enjoying a input for regeneration aimed at boosting the entire Southwark economy and bringing major new businesses into the area. In addition to a new shopping centre and 979 new homes, major transport improvements are being considered. A possible extension to the Bakerloo line may eventually add new stations further down the Old Kent Road, improving land values all the way towards New Cross.
Similarly, while Hampstead has been a desirable area for many years, neighbouring Cricklewood has, for some reason, been waiting its turn. It has some beautiful period properties, ample parkland and excellent transport links – into Farrington and Kings Cross – so surely needs just a small push to become a new boom area. A not-so-small push is now coming from the Brent Cross and Cricklewood regeneration programme and the new Thameslink station due to open in 2022.
New development opportunities
Major capital influxes such as these virtually guarantee an increase in the value of space in these boroughs. For those who already have property there or who are looking to make new investments, basement developments are often an excellent way to create additional retail space, office space or living space. Foreseeing the trends early gives you an opportunity to watch the value of your investment grow as these regeneration schemes bear fruit in future years.