How to claim a share of the Olympic legacy
Buying a home built for the games may pay off, but be prepared to go the distance
Sunday 12 February 2012
All eyes are on London as the Olympics draw ever closer and although most of us are only interested in the medals, those looking to buy property could have a sporting chance of success too.
Stratford, east London, has a reputation for being rundown and a tad ugly but it has undergone a massive transformation in the past few years, boasting excellent transport links via the Eurostar and extended Docklands Light Railway plus the enormous £1.45bn shopping centre, Stratford City.
Investors and prospective buyers are hoping the Games will add to its appeal as a desirable place to live.
The Olympic Village will be converted into 2,800 flats and houses after the Games, half of which will be "affordable", and over the next 10 years a further 8,000 homes are due to be built around the Olympic Park. More than half the 2,800 prospective homes have been sold to Triathlon Homes, which has announced 675 will be given to councils for social housing, while the rest have been ear-marked as private homes.
Qatari Diar Delancey will own the rest of the homes, most of which are expected to be rented out. The area, to be known as East Village, will even have its own new E20 postcode.
"East Village will be a place for everybody to enjoy the best of city living; new homes will be joined by first-class education, outstanding sports and leisure facilities, local shops, cafes and restaurants, and unrivalled connections to the rest of the capital. This will be one of the most exciting places to live in London," says Stuart Corbyn of QDD.
On paper, the East Village will have a lot to offer, particularly for families, with the Chobham Academy for pupils aged three to 19 and 10 hectares of landscaped gardens, park areas and courtyards. E20 homeowners will also be able to make use of the Olympic facilities; not many Londoners can take a stroll to their local velodrome, or pop into the state-of-the-art medical centre once it has finished providing treatment for athletes.
developers are diving in to stake their claim on the other 8,000 homes. New owners have moved into parts of the Stratford Halo development, which overlooks the Olympic stadium, and there are also 91 apartments available on a shared-ownership basis.
You can buy a 25 per cent share of a one-bed starting from £55,000 (market value £220,000) and £65,000 for a two-bed (market value £260,000). As a buyer you can purchase between 25 and 75 per cent of the property, increasing that share to full ownership at any time. Other private flats in the development will go on sale in the autumn, costing from £260,000.
"As there will be in the stadium, there will be winners and losers with the Olympic property legacy. Canny developers are hoping to ride the 2012 wave and have picked up sites and funding on the back of the London 2012 hype," says housing expert and commentator Henry Pryor.
However, he adds that yields (the returns that letting represents as a percentage of the capital value charged by developers) seem thin. "Prices for second-hand property in the area are trending downwards," he says.
there is a lot of work to do before the village buildings are ready to move into, including fitting kitchens as the athletes dine in a central canteen. only time will tell if the village will become part of a thriving community.
Despite the developments, Stratford is still something of a neglected area. It will be a stretch for some to imagine living in an area associated with high crime and unsightly buildings, even with a sparkly new shopping mall and improved travel links.
Data from estate agents Your Move show prices in the borough of Newham rose by only 2 per cent in the year to December compared with London's overall 3 per cent rise and it comes 31st out of 33 for average prices. It is also questionable whether all the changes will be beneficial. big shopping centres and a football stadium aren't to everyone's liking, with people flooding in causing heavy traffic.
Despite these doubts, regeneration can have a real impact on property prices. The question is whether this will bring about a long-term change. If you buy into the Olympic dream you will be banking on the fact that £9.3bn of public money will have a lasting effect. There is a real danger that this urban regeneration will start to droop soon after. There is also a risk that developers will get ahead of themselves and the market will be flooded with too many new homes, dragging house prices downwards.
It may be prudent to look to other places benefiting from renewed infrastructure in and around the Docklands area. There is a great deal of development in Silvertown, which has seen transport links vastly improved, including Waterside Park (under Barratt Homes), on the Thames Barrier.
A more surprising beneficiary of the Olympics may be Weymouth, Dorset where the athletes' village, near the sailing venue, will be turned into sustainable homes by developer ZeroC, which has set prices at £135,000 for one-beds, £160,000 for three-beds and £260,000 for four-beds, most of which have been sold.
Whatever the location, anyone interested in buying should look back at Olympic sites such as Athens and Beijing, which serve as a stark warning as to how things can turn sour. The same may not be true of London, but it is important to remember that investing in Olympic property is not a sprint. there is no fast buck to be made: you need to be ready for a marathon.
David Cole, 57, Chiswick
Some people are planning to benefit from the Olympics in other ways by renting out their property rather than buying one built for the Games.
David Cole is looking to escape London when the Olympics take place, and will be enjoying a family holiday in Bali instead. While he is away his six-bed home in Bedford Park, Chiswick, will be rented out to a doctor from Seattle, earning David an impressive £940 per night.
"It all came about by accident. We were looking at ways of contributing towards our travel plans now that the kids are off to university and leaving home," says David. Once the Games are over, the rental will fall back to its standard rate, but this is still a very healthy £250 per night.
He and his wife came across One Fine Stay and had a couple of lets with them last year before deciding that they could also make the most of the Games.
David says the process couldn't be easier with One Fine Stay preparing the house before guests arrive and putting it all back in order when they've gone.
"From our perspective having someone in the house while we're away is great. We live in a nice area and it's a regular target for burglaries, plus the money will be put towards going abroad," he says.
Independent Partners: Get fee-free expert mortgage advice and find the right mortgage deal for you.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
iJobs Money & Business
$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer Office...
$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...
Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Day In a Page
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens