With its proximity to central London, cosmopolitan appeal, excellent transport links, numerous green spaces and charming ‘village’ high streets, North London has plenty to offer to young urban renters, making it a very attractive part of London for property investors.
Focusing specifically on the North London boroughs of Hackney, Camden and Highbury & Islington we’ve outlined below why these areas have become some of the most desirable, vibrant and culturally diverse neighbourhoods to live in London over the past decade and why landlords should see a greater return on their investment in these highly-sought after boroughs.
Property prices in North London have doubled over the past decade. The affordability of these postcodes acted as the initial catalyst for millennials to move into these areas, and the result has been an advent of new businesses, shops, restaurants and bars to cater to these young renters. Now popular with young families, couples, affluent students and young professionals, many residents are attracted to the space that these areas offer – both inside and out! After the Covid-19 pandemic, renters are increasingly seeking out spacious homes with outdoor areas and proximity to local parks.
Hackney, in particular, has in the past decade transformed into one of London’s trendiest and most sought-after neighbourhoods. In the past year alone there has been a 900% increase in the number of streets in Hackney where the average house price is £1million (source: Rightmove). The average house price in the borough is £564,000 and in nearby Islington this figure is £727,922 (increasing 13.4% in the past year alone, source: Halifax).
These boroughs continue to offer a lot of investment potential for landlords who want to invest in areas that are committed to improvement, regeneration and new and exciting developments for the future. Both Hackney and Camden have received over £2m from the Mayor’s Regeneration Fund which aims to support sustainable economic growth in areas most affected by the 2011 London riots, and the local councils are committed to delivering new affordable workspace and better public spaces to support local businesses.
The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) – set up after the capital’s 2012 Olympics to promote social, economic and environmental initiatives in the area – is developing three sites near the newly refurbished Hackney Wick Overground station, with plans in place for 190 new homes, 4500sqm of commercial space and a new cycle and pedestrian route. In Camden the Community Investment Programme (CIP) is investing over £1 billion in homes, schools and community spaces. The programme will build 3,050 new homes, including over 1,000 council houses and affordable homes, as well as 48 schools and children’s centres.
As a direct result of both private and public investment in North London, Hackney, Camden and Highbury & Islington have evolved into highly appealing boroughs offering a wonderful mix of open spaces, friendly neighbourhoods, designer shops, independent food stores & boutiques, and an abundance of London’s most renowned restaurant and bars.
Residents are never far from one of North London’s leafy green parks with two of the most famous being London Fields (with its outdoor heated lido) and Victoria Park. In October 2020, six of North London’s parks were awarded Green Flag status (highlighted for being some of the UK’s most beautiful and well-managed green spaces). The list includes Highbury Fields, Caledonian Park, and Fortune Street Park.
Hackney, Camden and Highbury & Islington are all within easy reach of Central London and very well-connected by the local transport system.
The three boroughs are situated just north of London’s King Cross, one of London’s busiest transport hubs (with connections to the North of England, Scotland, the Midlands and the continent via St Pancras). King’s Cross is also one of London’s largest and most exciting redevelopments of recent years. The 67-acre site includes around 50 new buildings, 20 new streets, 10 new major public spaces, the restoration and refurbishment of 20 historic buildings and 2,000 homes. Granary Square and nearby Coals Drop Yard are destinations within themselves offering a fantastic mix of commercial and residential space alongside new restaurants, bars and retail outlets catering for the staff of Google’s nearby UK head-office and the thousands of commuters and students in the area.
With the arrival of HS2 the area around Euston, St Pancras and Kings Cross is set to become an even bigger transport hotspot in the future. Euston St Pancras, will be a new station (set to open in 2030) uniting these two massive transport hubs, as part of the Crossrail 2 network. Euston St Pancras will link Crossrail 2 to the Victoria and Northern lines, as well as provide high speed services to the Midlands and the north.
Locations in North London continue to provide secure investment opportunities for landlords, property developers and commercial outlets, with the last decade seemingly acting only as a precursor to the huge regeneration potential in these areas.