What Price Protest?
We reveal what really affects local property prices
Estate Agents will be rubbing their hands in glee at the news that Chiswick has officially become the dining destination of the capital thanks to the Which? Good Food Guide 2007, perhaps more so if La Trompette receives the Michelin star it’s so hotly tipped to. For, according to house-price analysts Hometrack, having a renowned restaurant in the vicinity could add 5% to the value of your home, times that by the number of award winning establishments scattered across Chiswick and it’s smiles all round for agents and homeowners alike.
But it’s not just restaurants that have moved Chiswick forward in the style stakes and subsequently up the house price ladder. According to one local estate agent, local celebrities also have a part to play “While Chiswick has always been popular, over the last 18 months it has become one of the most sought after residential areas in the capital. New boutiques, cafes and bars have opened and with them, high profile residents have been drawn here and, as a result, there is strong demand for large family homes.”
According to Hometrack, easy access to tube and main-line railway stations and top state schools can add up to 15% to the value of your property. Both vendors and buyers within the catchment areas of Chiswick's universally excellent primaries will attest to the fact that having such a sought after school on your doorstep does much to enhance a property’s attraction, especially for those moving into the area with young families.
Whilst the council cannot control much of the bigger picture, they do hold the key to a number of other elements that affect property prices namely granting or refusing planning applications. Having a mobile phone mast positioned close by your property can devalue it by 3%, a poorly rated comprehensive by 10%, airport flight path by 15% and run-down or derelict houses by 18%. Hounslow Council estimates there are approximately 558 properties that have been vacant for a long time in the borough and many of these homes they need repairs or renovation to make them habitable. Under the Housing Act 2004, which came into force in April this year, local authorities have the ability to repossess properties that have been uninhabited for six months or more.
And residents are not helpless in the planning process if they choose to take decisive, and often successful action, to prevent unwanted developments going ahead and even those who abhor nimbyism would be wise to keep abreast of local developments via this site and council websites. And remember that there is influence in numbers. Councillors rejected an application to create a new independent school on the site of the Old Vicarage in Grove Park not only because of the traffic issues that it would present, but also because of the strength of feeling from local residents who had organised themselves into a cohesive group and elected an articulate spokesperson. Had the development gone ahead, the residents would have been the ones to suffer both on their roads and in their pockets.
The council are planning to hold a special area committee meeting to discuss the hotly debated issues of parking in Chiswick which certainly affects local businesses if not property prices directly. The meeting to be held on Wednesday 18th October at a time to be confirmed will be open to the public.
October 6, 2006