The Effect of the Olympic and Paralympics on London’s Property.

by Mark Johnston

The Effect of the Olympic and Paralympics on London’s Property.

The official London 2012 website states that “the Olympic and Paralympics games have been the catalyst for the physical transformation of east London, raising the profile of the area and bringing it to the attention of the world”.

Duncan Innes, executive director of real estate at London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) said “a key issue for the Olympic park itself is to provide family homes and the social infrastructure that goes with them”.

It is reported that 40 per cent of the houses planned in the legacy communities’ scheme are intended to be affordable housing especially for families.

 Many experts believe that recent improvements to transport links, shopping facilities and local amenities may have transformed neglected neighbourhoods and this therefore may have in turn more desirable places to live.

Peter Rollings. Chief executive officer (CEO) of Marsh and Parsons, the London estate agent, suggested that “the Olympics will have a significant long term impact on London’s appeal as a place to live”.

Research conducted by Lloyds TSB has revealed that many home owners living close to the main site of the games appear to have seen the value of their homes rise by nearly £70,000 since London’s winning bid was announced in 2005.

A house price index showed that in March 2012 the average house price across 14 postal districts which are closest to the main site of the games stood at £273,157; this shows an increase of around 33 per cent.

Estate agents Marsh and Parsons have also reported that sales activity through out London is currently up 23 per cent on last year’s figures and 35 per cent on the same 16 day period in 2010.

However zoopla.co.uk, the property website, showed that some property in east London has actually decreased in value by 3.8 per cent in the last 4 years.

Rightmove.co.uk, another property website, director and housing market analysts, Miles Shipside also added that “in spite of Newham being home to most of the Olympic park and the games venue, intriguingly it has not even fared half as well in property price performance terms compared to the London average”.

Although what has become apparent is that it is the lettings market that has significantly been affected by the Olympics.

According to Property Wire, which is a supplier of global property news, average rents in London boroughs have grown by nearly 40 per cent over the last year alone.

 It seems then that hard evidence of the ‘Olympic effect’ is thin on the ground at the moment and some experts feel that the expectation of a big boost should be down graded as the feel good factor seems to have failed so far to bring in the hard cash.

However, Suren Thiru, housing economist at Lloyds TSB, stated “the real Olympic legacy for the east London property market may only be seen after the closing ceremony as the dramatic transformation of this part of the capital is completed”.



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