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You may think your area is thriving. You certainly hope so. But in 2024, there are some new indicators that show where a neighborhood has become or is about to become a hot place to live and where your investment will be rewarded when it’s time to sell.
Fitness-minded young professionals and independent cafes are some of the key signs that a place has arrived, according to Grant Bates of estate agency Hamptons.
He believes an area is on the rise if he sees a lithe, wealthy-looking 30-something mother, dressed in expensive sportswear, pushing a large, expensive all-terrain stroller. He heads to the park, drinking from a mug with the logo of an artisanal coffee shop.
So what other indicators come into play? Here’s what you should keep in mind:
Move over, Waitrose
In the 2010s, when a new Waitrose opened, the owners would turn a profit. They would gain access to what was Britain’s favorite supermarket and, as a result of its proximity to Waitrose, their properties would increase in value. In 2017, it was claimed that the ‘Waitrose effect’, as it was called, gave an automatic boost (an average of £36,000) to nearby properties.
But things are changing, according to Harry Blake of estate agency Prime Collection. He says the Waitrose effect continues, but the chain has expensive and low-cost rivals that also add to the appeal of a neighbourhood.
Britain’s favorite supermarket is now Aldi, and the presence of such a supermarket could boost house prices. Wealthy “Lidl class” shoppers like to show off the seafood, pâtés and award-winning champagne they’ve bought at these discount supermarkets.
At the other end of the spectrum is the American supermarket chain Whole Foods, owned by the tech giant Amazon, and known for its high-quality (and high-priced) organic products and its ban on hydronated fats and hundreds of other colorings, preservatives and sweeteners.
At the height of the post-pandemic house price boom in the summer of 2022, the median price of a property near one of Whole Food Market’s seven exclusive stores was £970,147, 248 per cent above the average United Kingdom at that time. .
Green spaces and good schools can be the basis of an area’s attractiveness. However, families looking for a home this year will also be looking for some important extras.
In London, the Cotswolds and the elite suburbs of Manchester, there is a growing craze for padel tennis, the fastest growing sport in the world. “It’s like tennis, only cooler,” says one real estate agent.
Owners of rural mansions are applying for permits to build paddle tennis courts, and house hunters elsewhere are beginning to ask if there are facilities in the vicinity of a property.
Meanwhile, boutique gyms offering Pilates classes and sessions with chiropractors and physical therapists could be another indicator.
The Pig Hotel in the New Forest. Popular hotels drive up nearby property prices
Independent coffee shops advertising the coffee bean of the day on an outside blackboard are also proof that a neighborhood is getting smarter. Gail’s is famous for its bread and dishes such as beetroot, lentil and goat’s cheese salad and has 100 stores in London and Manchester, often with long queues outside on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Independent bakeries serving sourdough and freshly baked pastries and delicatessens with cold cuts, fresh fruit and vegetables are also indicators that your home is in a trendy neighbourhood, ideally situated on a main street that has been regenerated, rather than derelict. to languish.
James Shaw, director of Prime Purchase, a buying agency that finds places and homes for house-hunters, says: “With the UK full of generic, cloned high streets, people are keen to see a butcher shop or a “A really good local deli, a pub with a serious chef or an independent cafe with a bakery. More and more people are turning to local and personalized products rather than going for brand names.”
Becky Fatemi of Sotheby’s International Realty, the real estate agency, also highlights the importance of the main street. She says just one or two big cafes or shops can spark the renaissance of this thoroughfare, making it a hotspot not just for the billionaires she deals with, but for everyone else as well.
The Ivy near Cambridge Circus in London. Restaurants are another sign of an up-and-coming neighborhood.
Buyers at the upper levels of the market will also be attracted by an Ivy restaurant (the ideal combination of relaxed brasserie and good food) and a Pig Hotel. There are eight hotels from this celebrated shabby-chic brand in England, housed in heritage buildings with orchards and the perfect kind of lush but understated country house décor. Opening a similar hotel or pub, ideally with an aspiring Michelin chef, will increase the appeal of an area.
The cocktail bars are another great advantage. Not all Bar One-style establishments, with their sticky floors and neon signs, but independent bars with framed art on the walls and hip, casually dressed staff serving experimental cocktails in mismatched coupes alongside bowls of green nocellara olives. bright.
Fitness-conscious young professionals dressed in Lululemon activewear could be another sign.
Grant Bates, of Hamptons estate agency, believes an area is on the rise if he sees a lithe, wealthy-looking 30-something mother pushing a large, expensive all-terrain stroller. He heads to the park, drinking from a mug with the logo of an artisanal coffee shop.
In these areas you also regularly see neighbors wearing handbags with the brand of their local fruit shop, cheese shop or cafe.
A good cut of meat
An independent butcher shop is one of the stores that can help achieve this transformation, the model being Ginger Pig, with eight branches in London.
A leading London estate agent says: ‘In my experience, people complain about the prices at the Ginger Pig, and also those at independent butchers everywhere.
“But at the same time, they say they are more than happy to pay those prices because the butcher is a great asset to the neighborhood, helping to keep property prices high and fostering an upwardly mobile vibe.”
When you see a sign on the kiosk advertising dog walkers, you know for sure that the area has become very sought after. Paying someone to walk Fido is a luxury and it doesn’t come cheap. And, ideally, there should be a nice place for the dogs to walk with their companions. Dog day care vans are also regularly seen in these areas picking up dogs for a trip to the countryside.
Yoga for babies
It’s never too early to start practicing yoga. And what baby wouldn’t like a gentle massage, even if she doesn’t realize what’s happening? These classes are a great way for moms to meet each other and share experiences. Of course, a truly luxurious area is the one where the nanny takes Jemima or Wilfred to classes.
Forget a plastic-wrapped bouquet from your local Tesco or even Waitrose. A sure sign of gentrification is an independent florist, whether operating out of a shop or a temporary stall near public transport. Long-stemmed white lilies are a popular choice and say a lot about a neighborhood, as do dried flowers.
Bookstores with events
In an increasingly digital world, a bookstore is a luxury, especially one where browsing is encouraged. An up-and-coming area may have a literary retailer that has installed a coffee machine in a corner. There may be a program of events or special evenings where you can buy a glass or two of wine and toast the neighborhood you call home.
Homes in an up-and-coming neighborhood will, of course, be well maintained. But there are other indicators of trend consciousness, such as potted olive trees placed on either side of the front door, painted in Farrow & Ball Stiffkey blue or a similar shade. Knockers and other door hardware are matte silver or carefully distressed to appear antique.
Plantation wood slat shutters have been an important feature for a while. Some real estate agents consider the blind density of plantings to be a measure of the intelligence of a suburban road. If more than 50 percent of the houses on a street have these blinds installed on the windows, it is a highly sought-after location.
Taylor Howes, the interior decorator, is still installing these blinds in Chelsea, underscoring their staying power as a status symbol. As a plus, they also provide privacy and warmth. After all, trends aren’t just about fashion. They can also improve lives.
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