Elephant & Castle: Rising property market away from the glitz and glamour

Elephant & Castle: Rising property market away from the glitz and glamour

The strength of the London property market in the last few years has been no secret - in fact, it's been quite the opposite, with many heralding the strength of the sector in the capital. 

Seemingly impervious to the effects of the financial crisis that seriously damaged the real estate sector across the UK, and cementing its place as the most popular area in the world for foreign buyers, according to the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate, London's property prices rose by 9.4 per cent in 2013 according to official government figures.

But while it is prime Central London, and perennially popular areas like Canary Wharf that often get the bulk of the plaudits thanks to the commercial and financial importance they have, places that are perhaps not as trendy are also now starting to come into their own. 

Elephant & Castle is just one area where the property market has been quietly improving in recent times - to the point that the region is now red hot, with prices and valuations having risen substantially in the space of just a year. 

Since 2012, Zoopla statistics show that property valuations in the area have increased by some £35,000 on average, but it has been in the last year where the area has flourished. Nearly £24,000 of this growth has come in the 12 months to March 2014, representing a 12.45 per cent rise year-on-year.

It's clear straight away that this increase in an isolated area is substantially higher than the London growth as a whole, showing just how much it has improved, and with the average asking price in Elephant & Castle in March 2014 now in excess of £1.2 million, it could be about to step up and become one of the main players of the capital's property sector.

Average rental prices in the SE1 zone are also ticking over nicely, with Zoopla stating that asking prices for landlords at the moment are in excess of £2,000 per month, indicative of an area that is in seriously high demand. 

And with applications for tenancies, according to Knight Frank, having been up by nine per cent in 2013, and 2014 rental price increases expected to greatly exceed last year's two per cent, buoyed by ever-increasing demand, Elephant & Castle will be just one of a number of areas of the capital where buy-to-let investors find themselves in a fantastic position looking forward.

So why is Elephant & Castle becoming such a hotspot? Aside from the fantastic transport options that arise from its location, both by road and Underground, it mainly all boils down to regeneration.

The area has managed to shed its reputation as being rather sterile, thanks to the tearing down of former council housing, replaced in large by fantastic new developments and trendy structures. For example, Ruskin Walk won best regeneration project at the New Homes Awards 2013, as well as being named as the best new place to live in London at the London Planning Awards 2013.

It all serves to enhance the reputation of the area, and with property prices and personal finances now meaning more people are making positive lifestyle choices as opposed to just seeking convenience, the future could be bright for one of London's up and coming hubs.