Why is Hayes, West London attracting so much investment?.
The London Commuter Belt is one of the UK’s most interesting property investment markets. As we enter 2022, investors are looking for the best property hotspots for the new year, and the London Commuter Belt is a leading contender.
According to reports, the sharp rise in home working caused by the Covid-19 pandemic led more people than ever before to abandon Central London and look for property elsewhere. The Commuter Belt was the most popular destination, and a record £54.9bn was spent on housing here over 2021 as per data from HM Revenue and Customs.
Reports from local agents in London show that the vast majority of people leaving the Capital (92%) ended up in London Commuter Belt towns. This population growth has put serious pressure on housing markets across the Commuter Belt as there are simply not enough homes to go around.
Almost all Commuter Belt agents surveyed by Savills towards the end of 2021 reported that their available stock had dropped to unprecedented levels. Consequently, Savills has predicted strong house price growth (up to 17.1%) and rental growth (up to 13%) for the Commuter Belt as a whole in the next five years.
However, not all areas of the Commuter Belt are made equal, with some areas proving especially dynamic and popular with new arrivals. One such area is Hayes in West London.
Hayes was once famous for being a major industrial area, but in the 21st century it is busy transforming itself into the picture of a modern neighbourhood which offers all the benefits of suburban life with convenient access to the West End and Central London. Plenty of green space and the Grand Union Canal create an atmosphere of relaxation in a picturesque setting.
The progress made in Hayes has been so impressive that the London Evening Standard has named it one of the top seven key regeneration areas that buyers should watch out for, and described the area in glowing terms as, “fantastic value, future potential, a swift commute and a property market that has remained on the up despite the slowdown across most of the rest of the capital.”
The number one factor which has gone the furthest in turning Hayes into such a successful and popular area is the arrival of Crossrail. While the area already close proximity to the M25 and M4 motorways, the brand new Hayes & Harlington Crossrail station gives direct and fast rail access to both Central London and Heathrow Airport, with trains every five minutes at peak times – making Hayes a perfect spot for young professionals looking to live outside the city. House prices are already rising in line with this new transport infrastructure development, and there is a lot of headroom for more gains in the future.
The effect Crossrail has had on Hayes cannot be underestimated. JLL has cited the area as one of the major beneficiaries of the new rail line, and noted that it is now, “host to the most extensive planning pipeline in West London.”
This pipeline includes a £230m masterplan to remodel the town centre entirely over the next 15 years, providing new housing, infrastructure, community areas and other facilities which will make Hayes one of the most desirable areas to live in West London. This regeneration is smartening up the town centre and promises to deliver economic growth, new jobs and a vibrant economy for Hayes.
And this is on top of the outstanding employment opportunities which already exist in Hayes. Blue chip companies including Amazon, SAP, British Airways, Hewlett Packard, Samsung and more have a significant presence in the town – providing the sort of high quality, professional employment that a successful town is built on.
Hayes is a place that property investors should consider when looking to expand their portfolios. Its position between Heathrow and Central London makes it a natural home for business, and this is even more the case with the new Crossrail line.
Prices are below the London Commuter Belt averages and, consequently, potential yields are higher. Its attractiveness to renters is clear, and it should continue to grow in future thanks to a programme of investment in the town centre.
To learn more about Hayes and investing in the London Commuter Belt, please get in touch with our team today by clicking here.