CHECK THE SCHOOLS
Buying near or in the catchment area of an outstanding local school is the safest way to invest in London market. In a city where children education represents major part of parents concern and budget, you surely decide for a wise and safe option.
If you prefer to opt for an attractive international school, you can investigate around St John’s Wood area who hosts the American School of London. You would at the same time reach very easily Lycee International de Londres in Wembley, only 2 tube stations away from Baker Street with Metropolitan Line. West Hampstead offers direct and quick access to both CFBL in Kentish Town (via Overground) and Lycee International de Londres (via Jubilee Line). You can also consider to invest in Richmond or Chiswick for their green open spaces and the quality of life they provide with easy access for Deutsche Schule in Richmond and International School of London (IB Program) near Chiswick. Stanmore and Harrow on the Hill are more remote but with easy access to Wembley (Lycee International de Londres) and you will get more for your money with nice semi-detached houses in a safe and family friendly environment.
Always check out your transport options. All of London, including the suburbs, is covered by the tube. For your comfort but also to secure the value of your investment, try not to buy a property located more than 10 minute walk from a tube station. However, properties that don’t hit this mark are likely to be cheaper. Overground connections or a bus route can see you saving thousands on the price of a property. In that case, negotiate to pay the right price.
Do not hesitate to test by yourself and at many times of the day (and night) the public transportation that you will use on a daily basis for your future commute. Northern Line is reliable and fast, but crowded during peak hours. Jubilee Line, Victoria Line, Central Line, Northern Line and Picadilly Line all run a 24 hours service on Fridays and Saturdays. Elizabeth Line (although delayed) will allow a quick 15 mns commute from Ealing to Central London.
These criteria will certainly have an impact on your property value and your ability to sell it rapidly in the future.
AREAS ON THE RISE
Cheap areas surrounded by expensive areas are likely to gentrify, unless there is a particularly powerful reason they are cheap, such as bad housing, motorways… Beware of fashionable areas that everyone is talking about, they may well have topped out, and have lower growth afterwards. Process of gentrifying is more or less always the same. Artists move to a cheap and not residential area, which turned cool or trendy due to their presence and makes it an attractive place to live. Students show up, then young professionals followed by young families. The area is officially gentrified when Starbucks, Gail’s and Mark’s & Spencer show up. Try to invest before them!
CHECK COMPETITION ON THE MARKET
Try to avoid areas with massive regeneration projects including a huge quantity of new building programmes. An important number of available properties will lead to stagnating or even decreasing prices. Rather select areas with mainly ancient housing, prices are more likely to keep up in the future.