Croydon at back of pack in London’s house price boom

Research shows that property prices in Croydon have increased at one of the slowest rates among London boroughs over the last two decades, yet there are still many fewer residential builds going on in the borough than elsewhere in the capital.

Such metrics are unlikely to deter buy-to-let investors from the Far East if a report in the Daily Fail is anything to go by, which has compared “unfashionable” Croydon and “its street gangs and crime-ridden estates”, with the “grim suburbs” of Manchester and Liverpool. The newspaper report shows that flats in Croydon were proving very attractive to prospective buyers at a sales fair in Hong Kong.

London property mapProperty website Rightmove’s latest figures suggest that the average asking price of a property in London has risen by £80,000 since the start of 2014, getting prices to an all-time high.

The report for says that homes in London continue to be beyond affordability for most ordinary Londoners, with houses in Kensington and Chelsea now priced at 32 times average earnings.

Since 1995, when the average house price in Croydon was £82,000, the report says that the average price has risen to £273,000 today – an increase of 232 per cent over two decades of property price increases in the capital, almost uninterrupted even by the global financial meltdown.

But with the housing market close to over-boiling point in London and the south-east, elsewhere house prices have been increasing even more quickly. According to the stats, Croydon is now one of just a hand-full of London’s 32 boroughs where the average house price is less than £300,000.

borough-croydonMany Croydon homeowners will therefore have seen their life’s biggest investment’s value overtaken by similar properties in inner London boroughs such as Lambeth and Hackney, where house prices have increased by 500 per cent or more.

Croydon, with just 627 residential builds underway according to figures from the Land Registry, lags a long way behind other south London boroughs when it comes to adding to local housing stock. In Wandsworth (2,994), there are nearly five times as many new homes being built, while Southwark (1,874) is developing six times as many new homes and Lambeth (1,189) twice as many as Croydon. Only neighbouring Sutton (381) and Bromley (311) make Croydon’s approach to its housing crisis seem in any way urgent.

Delivery Quote Compare collated data from the Land Registry, the London Development Database and the Department for Communities and Local Government for its research, and they say, “The streets of London may be paved with gold, and it looks to be glittering brighter than ever before. But if you’re looking to make your fortune in property, you’d better get in there quickly.”

That holds little encouragement for those Londoners seeking to take a first step on to the property ladder. “Buying your first family home in the capital for less than £100,000 is unheard of nowadays,” the report’s authors say.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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