Will Crime Mapping Impact On Chiswick Property Prices?

New website enables residents to spot W4’s street-by-street crime statistics

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A newly launched Home Office website enables residents to spot Chiswick’s street-by-street crime statistics. A simple W4 postcode search throws up the number and type of crime in your postcode area and within the local neighbourhood wards of Turnham Green, Chiswick Riverside, Chiswick Homefields and Southfield. The Chiswick wards all show an average crime rate relative to the rest of London.

The figures are categorised by the type of offence including burglary, robbery, vehicle crime, violence and anti-social behaviour and are to be updated monthly. The Government says crime mapping enables local communities to engage with the police but will it also have a knock-on effect on Chiswick property prices?

Value of Chiswick property

It will have more of an influence on lettings rather than sales, says Christian Harper of Oliver Finn. “Seventy five per cent of people buying a property in Chiswick already live in W4, so any data relating to crime is less relevant. The three main considerations for buyers are still the same. Is it a nice street, are there good schools nearby and how close are the transport links? This being the case there will be little impact on Chiswick property values.”

Good properties will always be popular and if buyers are attracted to the street as well, other objections become less important, says Harper. “I think it will be more of a determining factor for lettings as people tend to have less knowledge of the area they’re targeting.

“For overseas homehunters looking to re-locate to Chiswick I can see that crime mapping could become part of the decision-making process in the same way as school league tables. If the site really takes off and the data is linked to property portals such as UpMyStreet, then it will be influential to people new to the area.”

If entire neighbourhoods start to become known as crime hotspots then the effect on property prices will be more apparent. One consequence could be a street-by-street postcode selection by insurance companies using the data.

However, knowledge is power and if the data is used sensibly, it could work in favour of Chiswick property owners, buyers and tenants alike.

Oliver Finn

February 18, 2011