What is it that makes London property so recession proof, particularly if it's a Prime home? We went to meet one woman selling her house in SE London to find out
Latest figures from London’s housing market show that on average asking prices have risen by 0.2% over the past year but that, in some boroughs, prices for prime property have raced away by up to 8% - extraordinary figures given the economic backdrop.
Prices in many areas of London have recovered their 2009 lows and in central London surpassed them, or at least that’s what the data crunchers claim. But what’s it really like on the ground?
Lawyer Jemma Clamp, 33, is a good person to ask. She bought her pretty terraced Victorian house near Greenwich, SE London during April 2007 for £490,500 just a few months before the credit crunch crash.
Since then she's done up the property and estimates the spend has been £65,000 in total including a new side conservatory, an extra bedroom in the loft and a house-wide refurbishment.
So given she had it on the market until recently for £610,000 and has already had an offer she has a reason to expect her investment will be returned, and some.
“The valuations I received from three agents varied from £590,000 to £660,000 which is pretty wide so I put it on at £625,000 and had an offer at £600,00 which, unfortunately, didn’t come to anything,” says Jemma. “So I’ve dropped the asking price to £610,000 and have already had an offer.”
So what does Jemma think has driven her home to have recovered and exceeded its 2007 value?
Her property is one of the many homes built in the area for middle managers working at the nearby former Royal Dockyards and are some of the more desireable homes in the area, which is half way between upmarket Greenwich and much less desirable Woolwich.
Known as Westcombe Park, it’s a mile or so east of central Greenwich and close to the Millennium Dome (which is to be renamed the North Greenwich Arena for the Olympics) and it’s been showing signs of gentrification for some time as Greenwhich has become expensive and locals have begun buying homes further out of town.
“The East Greenwich Conservation Area isn’t far away and there are two railway stations nearby that take you into Charing Cross, London Bridge and Cannon Street, so there’s City money around here,” says Jemma.
Jemma says she is sad to be going, as she thinks the money pouring into the area locally before, during and after the Olympics will give her neighbourhood a boost as well.
“My boyfriend and I are moving in together so we’re merging our assets and buying a place close to his mother in Wimbledon, who isn’t in good health.”