Where to buy in 2022: focus your new year home hunt on the 10 areas surrounding London’s hottest high streets

·6-min read
 (Alamy Stock Photo)
(Alamy Stock Photo)

On a weekend afternoon in Wood Green, bored teenagers browse the rails at Primark while down the hill in Green Lanes the many Turkish restaurants are serving up plates of baba ghanoush and falafel.

On the other side of London, shoppers are filling their bags with heritage apples and artisanal cheeses at Ealing farmers’ market, while south of the river, lockdown dogs are frolicking on Peckham Rye.

These might seem like unremarkable snapshots of Londoners at leisure, but according to a new study, they are among London’s most robust high-street economies. They are also addresses that buyers hoping to end 2022 in a new (or a first) home should get to know.

Analysis of 49 of London’s local high streets, commissioned by regeneration specialist developer U+I, highlights the high streets that have come through the pandemic with flying colours thanks to the shops, restaurants, cafes and bars on the doorstep, driving up demand and, in turn, house prices.

“We have seen a fundamental shift in the way people live, work, shop and spend their leisure time during the pandemic,” explains Mike Hood, the managing director of U+I.

“Local retail centre locations across London have outperformed the rest of the city and the wider UK. This is likely to continue as the pandemic eases further and will benefit these locations going forward.”

Green Lanes

Sophia Butler standing in front of Pride and the Peacock, artwork by James Straffon, in Waldeck Road (Adrian Lourie)
Sophia Butler standing in front of Pride and the Peacock, artwork by James Straffon, in Waldeck Road (Adrian Lourie)

Number of people living within a mile: 116,950

Transport: Piccadilly line, Turnpike Lane (Zone 3) or Manor House (Zone 2)

House prices: By north London standards value for money is a selling point — a three-bedroom terrace would cost about £750,000 to £800,000, while £450,000 would buy a two-bedroom house.

Selling points: “Green Lanes isn’t your typical high street,” says long-time local Sophia Butler, 40.

As the heartland of London’s Turkish community, this north-west London regional stronghold is filled with some of the capital’s best Mediterranean restaurants.

Busy pretty much 24/7, Green Lanes is certainly vibrant, but it has a safe and family friendly feel, too — Butler and her husband, Nick, 38, a product designer, have two girls: Anastasia, six, and Louise, four. “It has a really independent feel,” says Butler. “It feels a bit like being on holiday.”

The couple also run their own business: Sugar Tea Room, delivering and serving afternoon tea and home-made cakes.

Walthamstow

God’s Own Junkyard in Walthamstow (Daniel Lynch)
God’s Own Junkyard in Walthamstow (Daniel Lynch)

Number of people living within a mile: 124,883

Transport: Victoria line, Zone 3

House prices: Family-sized houses come with seven-figure price tags, but three-bedroom terraces (away from the premium prices in Walthamstow Village) change hands for about £650,000 and two-bedroom period flats for less than £400,000.

Selling points: Hoe Street, with its rich mix of discount stores and boutiques, the vibrant market and the boutiques of Walthamstow Village.

Lewisham

Lewisham Market (Alamy Stock Photo)
Lewisham Market (Alamy Stock Photo)

Number of people living within a mile: 75,834

Transport: Overground services to Charing Cross, Cannon Street, Victoria (Zone 2), DLR

House prices: Budget around £425,000 for a two-bedroom flat, £550,000 to £650,000 for three bedrooms.

Selling points: Bakerloo line extension (currently on hold), shopping centre earmarked for redevelopment, plenty of new flats and pubs, cafes, delis and a regular Street Feast takeover at the market.

Wood Green

Shazia Saleem at her shop, Pop London, in Blue House Yard Wood Green (Adrian Lourie)
Shazia Saleem at her shop, Pop London, in Blue House Yard Wood Green (Adrian Lourie)

Number of people living within a mile: 81,729

Transport: Piccadilly line, Zone 3

House prices: Around the high road are streets of Victorian and Edwardian terraces, with three-bedroom houses priced at about £600,000 and two-bedroom flats at £400,000.

Selling points: Wood Green’s High Road is packed with a healthy mix of independent and chain stores. A cinema draws people to the area, and there is an indoor shopping mall for rainy days.

 (Adrian Lourie)
(Adrian Lourie)

There are plans to upgrade the High Road with new homes and shops, and there have been new arrivals such as Blue House Yard, an innovative collection of weather-boarded shops that are home to an interesting mix of start-ups and boutiques.

Shazia Saleem, 43, moved to Wood Green two years ago — she was visiting her sister who lived locally when she stumbled across Blue House Yard and realised it was the perfect place to grow her sustainable fashion brand, Pop London.

She likes the busyness and vibrancy of the place, and although she is aware that it has long carried a reputation for being a bit on the gritty side, she says she feels safe in the area. “People are moving in from more expensive areas around it like Alexandra Palace and Muswell Hill. And that does bring opportunities with it,” she says.

Ealing Broadway

Ealing Broadway (Daniel Lynch)
Ealing Broadway (Daniel Lynch)

Number of people living within a mile: 71,968

Transport: Central line, Zone 3

House prices: a two-bedroom Victorian flat would set you back about £600,000, while you’d need at least £800,000 for a three-bedroom house.

Selling points: Crossrail, aspirational leafy streets, ample green space, cinemas and some smashing Indian and Mediterranean restaurants

Bromley

Carved Dive in Bromley (Daniel Lynch)
Carved Dive in Bromley (Daniel Lynch)

Number of people living within a mile: 42,878

Transport: Overground services from Bromley South to Victoria, from 18 minutes; Zone 5

House prices: You could buy a three-bedroom house with change out of £500,000, or a two-bedroom flat for about £350,000.

Selling points: The birthplace of David Bowie, an easy commute and top-performing schools.

Sutton

Sutton High Street (Alamy Stock Photo)
Sutton High Street (Alamy Stock Photo)

Number of people living within a mile: 66,962

Transport: Overground services to London Bridge or Victoria take around 30 minutes; Zone 5

House prices: Buyers should expect to pay about £550,000 to £600,000 for a three-bedroom semi or about £350,000 for a purpose-built, two-bedroom flat.

Selling points: A Marks & Spencer and a cinema — shops are plentiful and convenience levels high.

Croydon

Croydon (Daniel Lynch)
Croydon (Daniel Lynch)

Number of people living within a mile: 74,140

Transport: Overground services to Victoria or London Bridge in under half an hour; Zone 5

House prices: Properties range from 1930s semi-detached houses (budget around £600,000) to purpose-built apartments (£400,000 to £450,000 for two bedrooms).

Selling points: The area has a major suburban shopping centre with plenty of chain stores and restaurants, as well as independent coffee shops, a theatre and lots of parks and open space.

Peckham

Rye Lane in Peckham (Daniel Lynch)
Rye Lane in Peckham (Daniel Lynch)

Number of people living within a mile: 114,277

Transport: Overground trains from Peckham Rye to London Bridge, Victoria or Blackfriars in 15 to 30 minutes; Zone 2

House prices: a three-bedroom period terrace would cost in the region of £1.2 million while a two-bedroom flat would comfortably cost £600,000, less for an ex-local property.

Selling points: One of London’s great hipster-regeneration success stories with a high concentration of cool bars, restaurants and start-ups.

Ilford

The street market on Ilford High Road (Alamy Stock Photo)
The street market on Ilford High Road (Alamy Stock Photo)

Number of people living within a mile: 90,759

Transport: Overground trains to Liverpool in under 20 minutes; Zone 4

House prices: £300,000 will just about secure you a two-bedroom flat, while three-bedroom Victorian terraces are priced at around £500,000.

Selling points: Crossrail, pedestrianised high street, good neighbourhood restaurants and coffee shops are popping up.

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