Buy-to-let landlords are investing in the Essex commuter town of Romford and have helped to push up property prices by 23% in the last twelve months.
As the arrival of Crossrail draws closer, landlords in Romford are already experiencing the effects of the demand to live in this convenient area. The Essex commuter town is located 18 miles north-east of Central London and has long been an attractive prospect for young professionals and families who have been priced out of the City.
However, with the advent of the £15 billion Crossrail infrastructure on the horizon, house prices in Romford have risen by 23% in the past twelve months. This increase also translates into hikes in rental rates, so those landlords who are already on the property ladder in the area are seriously cashing in.
Why is Crossrail changing market conditions in the area? When the Elizabeth line opens in full in 2019, the journey time from Romford to destinations within Central London will be slashed. For instance, a journey between Romford and Paddington currently takes around 56 minutes, but with Crossrail, passengers will reach their destination in approximately 37 minutes without having to change trains. This ability to get into Central London, for work or entertainment reasons, is an attractive prospect for commuters. Romford has suddenly appeared on their radars as a convenient and affordable location to live.
However, Romford does not just offer a means of getting into London quickly. It also provides many local amenities that rival the capital in terms of shopping and entertainment. Romford’s own town centre attracts 25 million visitors per year and manages to hold its own against the likes of nearby Lakeside and Bluewater as retail centres. Similarly, the nightlife industry within Romford town is thriving.
An estimated 15,000 people party at its bars and pubs or dine out at restaurants on an average weekend. Romford’s market has historically been attracting customers since the 13th century and currently boasts over 150 market stalls which trade on a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Havering Council is committed to the future of Romford and has drawn up a Vision of the Area Action Plan which is designed to promote the town’s position as a thriving East London centre. Ideas to improve the area include the development of two new riverside housing quarters on the north and south banks of the Rom. Enhanced cycling and walking routes around the town and its suburban areas are also suggested.
If you’re considering a buy-to-let investment, either as a second home or as a way to get on the property ladder, then it’s not too late to invest in this prospering area. Town centre apartments will always be popular with both landlords and their potential rental market, due to the proximity of the train station and an easy commute into the capital.
However, property stock in other areas of Romford’s seven postcodes also offer great accommodation for families who are attracted to the town’s good selection of schools, four of which are rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. It is worth knowing the streets that have recently experienced the highest turnover in terms of sales; these include: Oakdene in Harold Wood, Camborne Avenue in Harold Hill, Olive Street in RM7, Market Place in Abridge, and Watermans in Gidea Park. However, it is important to conduct your own research and visit a reputable Romford estate agent for detailed guidance on the area.