17th May 2016
‘Croydon brand’ boom behind price surge says Streets Ahead director
First time buyers flocking to Croydon have pushed the average asking price of starter homes up faster in the borough than anywhere else in the country.
Prices surged by 18.6% in Croydon over the past year to an average of £297,770, making it the nation’s top hotspot for first time buyer homes according to online property portal Rightmove.
And property experts say the town’s ongoing regeneration, fast rail links to the City and value for money are behind the record-breaking increase. Croydon also has the fastest growing tech-cluster in London, thanks to rents being 30% per square foot than in central London.
“Having worked as an estate agent in Croydon for 30 years, it is great to see the Croydon brand finally in so much demand and appreciated for the great place that it is,” commented Gary O’Hare, Director of Streets Ahead Estate Agents
“Everybody is talking about Croydon. Suddenly at the MIPIM international property show in Cannes in March, there was real confidence and interest from the press from around the world in Croydon as a town of opportunity for the future.
“I think for the first time, with all the exciting development in East Croydon including Ruskin Square and the Redrow/Menta development, people can actually see that the town’s dreams are actually coming to fruition.”
In the Rightmove survey, Croydon narrowly beat Dartford in Kent, who saw an 18.5% price rise, and Luton in Bedfordshire, with an 18.4% rise in first time buyer home prices since May 2015. Croydon’s neighbour Sutton, came in at ninth place on the FTB hotspot league with a 15.7% increase in property prices.
Rightmove found the average price England and Wales for a two bedroom or fewer home rose by £11,298 in the last month alone, to reach £194,224. Homes in this bracket are typically popular with both first-time buyers and buy-to-let investors.
The price rises come despite a three percentage stamp duty hike for buy-to-let investors, imposed from April 1, which it was thought would slow the market.
However Rightmove said the rush of buy-to-let investors snapping up properties before the stamp duty deadline had resulted in ‘a famine of suitable property and higher prices’. The net effect had pushed up starter home prices in many places, including Croydon.