Paddington regeneration: affordable waterfront living in Central London
Low prices that are expected to increase faster than the Central London average are making Paddington a new favourite for overseas buyers.
With local house prices skyrocketing, more Hong Kong buyers are looking to overseas property to get a bigger return on their investments – especially in London. The UK capital currently offers substantial discounts on real estate, thanks to the weakened pound. But with prices expected to recover in 2018, the window of opportunity is closing fast.
One of the most appealing areas for buyers looking for residential property in the heart of the city is Paddington. Currently undergoing a major £1 billion (HK$10 billion) regeneration, Paddington offers lower house prices than its surrounding neighbourhoods, but is predicted to enjoy substantial price growth in the next few years.
So what makes Paddington, which was formerly best known for its transport links and eponymous bear, one of London's most appealing new residential districts?
A vibrant community emerges
Paddington's infrastructure and amenities have developed at a steady pace over the last 20 years, with the launch of the Heathrow Express fast rail link in 1998 and many large businesses setting up shop in the area. However, the regeneration shifted gears following the announcement of the arrival of Crossrail – the high-capacity rail network that will connect destinations across London and the South East – with a major station in Paddington.
When it opens in 2018, Crossrail will enhance Paddington's reputation as a highly connected transport hub, leading to increased demand from buyers and renters. Developers such as European Land are already working to meet this demand with a number of residential projects under construction in the Paddington Basin. These include the luxury residential tower No. 3 Canalside Walk in the 11-acre Merchant Square estate, which promises affordable waterfront living in Central London.
Combined with new amenities such as the redevelopment of Whiteleys shopping centre and striking new architecture to rival the best in the capital, W2 is on the verge of becoming London's most desirable postcode.
Waterfront living with outstanding connections
Surrounded by the upmarket neighbourhoods of Mayfair and Knightsbridge, Paddington hasn't traditionally been viewed as a residential location in its own right. However, the extensive transformation of waterfront Paddington is turning that around, with many people discovering the charms of this prime Zone 1 locale for the first time.
Just north of Paddington station is Little Venice, where waterside pubs and cafes overlook canals. The fine eateries of Connaught Village such as steakhouse Casa Malevo also offer a wider gourmet selection to foodies who can later stop for a pint at The Victoria, the famous pub on Strathearn Place where famous patrons such as Charles Dickens and even Queen Victoria once visited.
Paddington also puts you within walking distance of the high-end retailers of Bond Street and between the green expanses of Hyde Park and Regent's Park, while it's only a little farther to the shops and entertainment of Oxford Street and the West End. You can take advantage of one of the best-connected spots in London to travel all over the city by Tube, road or canal.
Last chance for housing bargains
The opening of the Crossrail station next year will see house prices and rents in Paddington soar, according to JLL UK. In 2018, JLL expects Paddington’s sales prices to increase by 4 percent compared to Central London’s 1 percent, while rental prices in Paddington are expected to grow by 6 percent compared to 1 percent in Central London and the West End.
JLL UK Head of Residential Development Sales, Diana Alam, says: “The residential markets in Paddington are crying out for new supply. It is on its way, propelled by the upcoming opening of Crossrail, but buyers and renters are now lying in wait.
“We expect fervent demand when the new schemes come to market. The next few years promise to be exciting times for Paddington.”