When London secured the bid to host the Olympics a tad more than half a decade ago, estate agents who invested much time in marketing the East End, (foreseeing a future of high profit sales) as a result of the surging interest were bitterly disappointed when reports released by Hometrack (13 Mar 2012) confirmed that property in the area had depreciated in value despite the generous investments to build the Olympic stadium, the Village and surrounding contemporary homes.
“An analysis of the relative performance of London’s housing markets shows that the area around the Olympic site has under-performed despite high expectations and new investment. There has been surprisingly little impact on house prices across the area.” states Richard Donnell, Director of Research at Hometrack.
To date, the regeneration has cost more than half a billion pounds, whilst – mind you – the nation is still in debt, with a second recession reportedly to follow. The confidence of the young, wealthy professionals with a desire to migrate from the west to invest in more space and in favor of smaller mortgages has begun to waver with concerns about the interest and legacy of Stratford once the Olympics comes to an end. This essentially deters any potential buyer of property to part with their hard earned cash in this dire economy.
However, not all faith or sense of optimism is lost for the home sector of the market, as Yolande Barnes of Savills Residential Research explains: “I don’t think there has been an ‘Olympic boom’ in the Stratford property market. Transactions in the London Borough of Newham are running among the lowest in the country. It is difficult to discern any price rises above and beyond the background rises in London as a whole – the real legacy will start after the Olympics.“
With plans to build a further 2,000 new homes in the area and with a beneficiary yet to take the stadium off our hands we are for now left to wonder whether the East will have earned its stripes, as the new West or recoil to a midway state, as just another once poorly reputed area of London that didn’t quite match the epitome of the Olympics.