New homes in Westminster

Jul 25, 2017
Why Buy New Homes in Westminster

Spotlight on Westminster

Home to some of London's most famous addresses, the City of Westminster has prestige, history and charm in abundance. While its neighbours have suffered price slumps following a change to property tax[1], this borough is enjoying a resurgence in popularity[2]. Buying now in this superbly central location could be a very sound investment. Tottenham Court Road – Crossrail's epicentre Tottenham Court Road is to become the central hub for the Capital's newest railway. In December 2018, Crossrail's Elizabeth line will run through here on its way from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. And Crossrail 2, due for completion around 2033, will intersect with the Elizabeth line at Tottenham Court Road on its way from Hertfordshire in the north to Surrey in the south.[3] Costing an estimated £15bn[4], Crossrail is the largest construction project in Europe. At its centre, Tottenham Court Road station is getting a £1bn revamp with a larger ticket hall, a new station entrance and a new public plaza.[5] The development above the station and the regeneration of the wider area has also been drawing attention – Facebook recently snapped up over 225,000 sq ft of office space here for its new UK headquarters.[6] Soho – reinventing 'Midtown' Once well-known for its wild nightlife, Soho has been quietly transforming itself into a rather fashionable place to live. In an area with a limited residential market, a crop of luxury residences have started to appear, offering young, time-poor Londoners the ultimate in urban living.[7] As well as having the best of the Capital's cultural, retail and leisure destinations on their doorstep, Soho residents will soon be able to jump on an Elizabeth line train and get to Canary Wharf in 12 minutes and Heathrow in just half an hour.[8] Since Crossrail was given the go-ahead in 2008, Soho has seen average prices rise by 61%.[9] Despite this, it's still relatively affordable by prime central London standards. Decent properties are hard to find due to the shortage of supply, and there's a low turnover as people tend to hang on to their homes.[10] As a place to live, Soho's always been somewhat underrated. Thanks to the Crossrail effect, now could be a great time to invest in the area. Victoria – a new luxury destination In a bid to transform Victoria into a luxury destination, this formerly rather drab district of transport hubs is receiving a £4 billion capital injection. Around 1.8 million square feet of office space should be completed by 2019, attracting an impressive list of commercial tenants such as Burberry, Tom Ford, Jimmy Choo, Giorgio Armani, Microsoft and Channel Four.[11] As part of the project, Victoria station is currently undergoing a £700m upgrade to increase capacity by up to 50%[12], and Victoria's transport provision will get a further boost by 2030 when Crossrail 2 arrives, allowing up to 24,000 more passengers to use the station at peak times – and accommodating even more residential and commercial development. [13] Westminster – defying the trend Spurred on by the regeneration of Victoria, Westminster is experiencing an influx of new development. Many of the area's post-war government buildings are being converted into luxury homes, which is bringing more diverse opportunities to a scarce residential market. The neighbourhood of Westminster offers a more affordable alternative to Kensington and Mayfair, which is perhaps why in the year up to December 2016 Westminster defied the prime central London trend of falling house prices. In contrast, Kensington and Chelsea have experienced losses of up to 14.7%.[14] Pimlico – great value for a central location Another neighbourhood often overshadowed by its richer neighbours is Pimlico. Although it's just a five-minute walk from Belgravia, Pimlico's properties are usually 40 to 50% cheaper. But things are changing. The redevelopment of Victoria station and the massive investment flowing into Victoria Street have enhanced Pimlico’s appeal.[15]And buyers will soon realise they can get a lot for their money in this leafy Westminster backwater. Current asking prices and rental yields As of January 2017, the average value of properties in the City of Westminster is £1,428,160 This has seen an decrease of 1.09% in the last 12 months and an increase of 45.27% in the last five years. For a two-bedroom apartment, the average asking price is £1,409,906 and the average asking rent is £3,940pcm, which means the gross rental yield is currently 3.40%.[16] This content is correct as of January 2017