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How to Find the Next Property Hotspot

Looking to invest? Property investor and mentor Bindar Dosanjh shares her tips on how to spot an up-and-coming area

 

Go for good transport links..
Having a short commute or a tube station in easy walking distance makes
a huge difference to daily life, so it’s hardly surprising that
transport links are the number one factor when it comes to finding a
great area to invest in. Research by Zoopla shows that a home within a
five-minute walk of a tube station can be priced up to 21 per cent
higher than a similar property half an hour away.
Out of London, if you’re keen to make some serious cash, look for areas
where new rail links are planned. The proposed high-speed rail network
known as ‘HS2’ from London to Birmingham (then Manchester and Leeds) has
put all these areas on the property investor’s map. The London to
Birmingham link (phase one) is due for completion in 2026, so you need
to be thinking long-term, as it’s another 10 years before you’ll reap
the benefits. Phase two (the links to Manchester and Leeds) is expected
to finish by 2032-33.

Follow the hipsters..
Places with a high concentration of young professionals in their 20s and
30s are likely to see a good growth in a short space of time. Often
young people are priced out of well established areas so will be looking
for the next big thing. This demographic tends to want good local shops
and restaurants. If there’s a strong demand, it’s likely to draw more
businesses to the area.

Remember the ripple effect..
Consider which postcodes are already highly desirable (aka expensive)
and research the surrounding areas. Chances are, the neighbouring towns
will be next to improve and will eventually become the new hotspot. Get
in there early on.

Check for local amenities..
We’ve all heard of the ‘Waitrose effect’, where house prices soar thanks
to the supermarket’s arrival. Research by leading estate agent Saville’s
shows property prices tend to be 25 per cent higher in areas served by
Waitrose and in London, Waitrose postcodes have a 50 per cent premium.
The secret is to find out early on where Waitrose is setting its sights
next. Check the ‘press area’ of the store’s website to find out new
locations.
Similarly, if a Starbucks or Costa Coffee has already opened in the
area, chances are it’s already peaked.
Check what independent businesses there are. Look out for upmarket
delicatessens and independent cafes, all good indicators of the type of
resident.

Be guided by building works..
If a council invests heavily in regenerating an area, price rises will
usually follow and other businesses will be drawn there. If you can bear
to, attend council meetings to see what developments are being planned.
Take Streatham, in South West London. Streatham High Road was once
dubbed the scruffiest high street in Britain, but thanks to a
multi-million pound regeneration project, which saw a new Tesco super
store, new homes, a new leisure centre, a library and an Olympic-size
ice rink, property prices rocketed by nearly 64 per cent over five years
(from 2010 to 2015).
Also, look out for streets where several houses are being renovated.
It’s a good sign if residents believe it’s worth investing in their
homes, which will of course ultimately boost local property values.

Count the estate agents..
Check how many estate agents there are in the area – more than three
usually indicates it’s tipped for good growth. If you discover several
leading estate agents are planning to open new branches there, even
better, you’re ahead of the pack.

Research local schools..
If you get wind of one or more new schools opening nearby, again this is
a good sign. Families will pounce on houses within the catchment area of
top schools, which gives your property a great saleability factor,
should you want to move. Of course, the performance of a school can
quickly change with a new head teacher, so this can be hard to predict.

Bindar Dosanjh pic

Bindar Dosanjh is an award-winning landlady, property investor, mentor
and lawyer. She started out as a secretary and now has a
multimillion-pound portfolio. See www.smartcorewealth.com

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