TV star and Location Location Location property guru Phil Spencer has explained why South East London is home to the most up-and-coming areas which are the best value for money – and as the cost of living surges and property prices continue to rise, the property expert recommends looking South of the river.
He told MyLondon: “I’m always intrigued by the market anomalies when you’re looking at South East London as opposed to going anywhere else in the city. The fact it’s considerably cheaper in the South East does not make a lot of sense to me when you look at how accessible it is, how much green space there is and there’s the extension of the Bakerloo line, which is going to make a massive difference. ”
The Love It or List It presenter, who has been hosting talks at the Ideal Home Show in Hammersmith this week, has singled out the most up-and-coming areas. “If you look through history, there was a time when Chelsea was lived in by the creators and artists going back a hundred years or more,” said Phil. “Only 20 years ago Earls Court was cheap and Paddington was cheap, they were anomalies – cheap areas, surrounded by expensive areas.
READ MORE: Phil Spencer jokes that ‘other wife’ Kirstie Allsop has ‘not killed me… yet’
“More recently it has happened to Forest Hill, and massively in places like Shoreditch and Hoxton. But the latest example is New Cross and Deptford, where all the cool young trends and artists and creatives are moving to, and you can see why; there are boutiques shops and independent bars and the area is taking off. ”
According to Rightmove, the average price for a flat in New Cross last year was £ 389,061, and £ 736,436 for a terraced property, while the average price in Deptford was £ 397,718 for a flat and £ 636,291 for a terraced property. That is still considerably higher than the UK house price, which was recorded this month as being £ 354,564.
“Well it’s one of the greatest cities on earth,” said Phil. “Lots of people want to live here so it’s expensive. It’s about supply and demand. It’s always in demand and it always will be, it’s a great city, and there are all the reasons people flock to London from around the world, so it’s never going to be cheap. ”
Are there any areas of London you can grab a bargain? Phil replied, tongue in cheek: “Belgravia” – Referring to the empty oligarch’s mansions. “There’s a lot of mansions over there that might not be worth quite what they normally are. If you’re looking for a house that’s collapsed in value, then you should go looking in Belgravia. ”
In 2015, Phil left London and relocated with his family to a reported £ 3.3m six-bedroom country house in Hampshire. He said: “For me personally, I absolutely loved it. I have not had one backwards glance. I had a very happy 25 years in London but I was very happy to leave. I love greenery, privacy and nature. I can walk to the pub, walk to the shop and it’s an hour into Waterloo, so if and when I need to come into London it’s super possible. ”
The 52-year-old father-of-two mostly only returns to London when he needs to shoot his TV programs. He said: “Kirsite and I are always anxious when we come to work in London. It has its own unique set of challenges, with the competitiveness of the housing market and the fast pace of it.
“It happened twice in London where we’ve shown a couple a house to clients and they’ve gone, ‘right, this is excellent – I want it now’, and we say, ‘hang on we’ve got a couple more days filming our program? ‘ It’s always entertaining, Kirstie and I love it, but it makes the production company apocalyptic.
“On one show we had a competitive situation in London where we went to see a flat and agreed the price and all of a sudden the price went up £ 25k. We called the agent’s saying what’s going on here? We’ve been gazumped.
“A meeting followed in the estate agent, where we said to them, ‘We’ve got two ends to this program, one is a happy ending where the deal happens, there’s a happy buyer and everyone walks away looking good. The other ending is you as Mr Agent look like an absolute charlatan, you’ve stuffed us and our clients when we’d already agreed a price. Which end would you like? ‘ And we got the deal. ”
The Ideal Home Show, in partnership with NatWest, the world’s longest-running home and interiors exhibition, is currently on at Olympia London until Sunday 27th March 2022. For more information and tickets, please visit the website here.
Want more from MyLondon? Sign up to our daily newsletters for all the latest and greatest from across London here.