Help me decide where to buy in SE London based on value(4 Posts)
Inspired to start this thread after the Life in Dulwich thread. I have been in a dilemma on whether to buy in Blackheath, Greenwich or Dulwich. All areas I'd consider to be the most desirable in SE London.
I am drawn to East Dulwich as I love the high street and the more 'London' feel you get compared to Blackheath.
However, I honestly think East Dulwich is not a good investment area and I am concerned about the value. I am a FTB with a decent budget, but I will have a very high LTV mortgage so I need to make sure as well as being a home, my first purchase is a good investment.
I will try and give a live example. East Dulwich has experienced great house price growth in 7 years. But has it really? People seem to forget that if you bake in the sheer number of dwellings that have increased square footage via loft/back/side extensions, the house price growth isn't much more than the London average.
People in East Dulwich are fortunate in that the gardens are large by London standards, so there is scope to extend. But I know many people who have spent in excess of £200k doing loft and back extensions and then raving about how they have created £100k equity, when in reality in the period the works took (1yr +), that is just usual London HPI.
Good example here;
Easily £250k spent on kitchen extension, bathrooms and loft. Probably even more given all that glass.
2012 Purchase Price - £875k
London HPI on 2012 Purchase Price - 51%
So without an work, that property may have been worth £1.3m
Not very scientific (double counting of the HPI element), but you get the idea.
Well, we live in Greenwich now but have bought in Blackheath and will be moving there shortly so am biased! Deciding factor for us was proximity to the river and green space (we're runners so this is more important to us than to most people). Blackheath is weird because a lot of the houses there are basically mansions - huge 5-bedroom semi or detached houses that sell for 2 million plus. Greenwich has far more in the way of "ordinary" 2- and 3-bed houses. Greenwich is slightly better for transport because you've got the options of the DLR and Jubilee line as well as SE trains. But Blackheath will improve when (eventually) the Bakerloo line extends to Lewisham. Neither is as good as Dulwich for restaurants/nightlife.
If your main concern is increasing value I'd look at Deptford - fantastic transport links and gentrifying at a dizzying pace. It's the next Shoreditch I reckon.
Blackheath, Dulwich and Greenwich are all lovely areas but as you have already realised, they are not investment areas beyond the usual London effect. If you are looking for additional investment opportunity you will need to head out further east along the new crossrail route, woolwich abbeywood etc. I am guessing you are not really thinking of investing to the extent of sacrificing your local area while you wait for things to up and come... so I would concentrate on choosing the best place for your lifestyle from your prefered areas. They are all lovely established areas so what works best for you and your work and your social life?
I have lived in Greenwich, deptford and easy dulwich. We owned our flat in east dulwich and I'm not sure about the normal London property rise but our flat doubled in value in 6 years (left about 10 months ago) and we didn't add any square footage. To be honest I don't think you could go wrong in any of your preferred areas. My Mum lived in deptford when she was young and was told it was 'up and coming' back then too! I do think it is actually happening though. If I were you I'd consider forest hill, Peckham rye, penge and maybe even catford! Ok terms of which of your three is nicest to live in my vote is hands down east dulwich, but that's just my preference. We only left as we could afford a good size house in Sevenoaks for not much more than the price of our tiny basement flat.
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