Westfield Stratford CrossRail and Hot Locations
I was recently quoted by “The Independent” newspaper in connection with whether Stratford was a potentially good place to buy and let. The article is entitled “East London First Out of the Blocks” if you want to look it up online.
In the piece I said that the key drivers of any area – the things that make a place more attractive as a place to live in – are transport infrastructure, regeneration and jobs.
I also made some negative comments about the “blessed Olympics.” Am I the only one getting fed up with the mantra, “Thou must love the Olympics and all it entails, whatever the cost?” (My partner and her chums love it, but I’ve had enough of Saints Seb & Denise already.)
Big shopping centres, like the new giant Westfield Stratford shopping mall, are OK, as long as they don’t overshadow the area and bring in more traffic (bad) and squash out the smaller independent and interesting retailers out of existence (very bad).
Regular readers of this column will know that I’m no lover of “Big Retail” – which in my opinion has done so much to damage local high streets and turn smaller parades of shops into boarded up crime ridden hang outs. (The worst big example I have seen of this is Manchester’s Trafford Centre, but there are no doubt plenty of others – do please write and send in your suggestions.)
But Westfield is at least well connected on public transport so maybe the road traffic effect will not be that bad. Still, I predict high streets and shopping parades for at least 6 miles around will take a huge hit from lost trade. (For every low paid retail job created in Westfield, “One plus X” will be lost elsewhere.)
Olympic Park Legacy
And I cannot really see how having the Olympic park nearby can really add value unless post-games it genuinely becomes somewhere of real value where someone could walk and socialise.
And more flats – especially if they are of the “me-too identikit” kind can actually drive down values, and particularly if the quality is poor and boring and the product numerous.
In the future, however, the Stratford area will be boosted by Cross Rail – as will many other parts of London too. The boost to house prices and rents will start a year or two before the project is completed and the trains start to run.
All home buyers with a view to the future could do well to look at where the big transport projects like this will be.
Why? Because whilst jobs can be promised and not materialise, small wee tram schemes can be halted and the best regeneration plans of the councils can end up in the bin marked “cuts,” it is always hard to stop a big engineering scheme once it’s already had lots of cash spent on it.
Readers might also be interested in our piece on “Olympic Property Fraud” – see the drop down list over at the Categories section to the top right.
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