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Restaurants are bumping up house prices

Restaurants are bumping up house prices. A sought after Postcode is no doubt a catalyst for astronomical sale prices, however it’s become apparent that nowadays it’s not just where you live, but where you eat that can drastically up your property kudos. Hard to book a table at your local? Chances are it’s difficult to buy a house, too.

Besides the obvious desire for premier schools, green spaces and a token shopping centre, buyers interested in upmarket properties will want upmarket everything, to match.

Recently, Waitrose hit the headlines when it was reported that residing near the upscale supermarket chain could add 39k to your house value. Facebook groups such as ‘Overheard in Waitrose’ serve to ratify the notion that affluent Londoners wish to buy into the image associated with a wealthy Waitrose shopper. And it doesn’t stop there.

This so-called ‘Waitrose effect’ is perpetuated by London’s food scene revolution; London’s rising property prices and growing restaurant market are as seemingly inexorable as each other. There exists an indisputable link between residing near classy restaurants and the price of your property – living near a popular eatery can up the value of your property by 20 per cent, at least. Unsurprisingly, fast food restaurants have the opposite effect.

Research by Mayfair and West End estate agent Wetherall (in partnership with Dataloft) has shown positively exponential links between dining room openings and house prices in London’s affluent West End. Essentially, the closer you live to a top restaurant, the more sought after, and therefore exorbitant your address becomes.

The research involved comparing house prices of residential property in five out of six districts of London’s west end, with the amount of Michelin star, mediocre, and fast food outlets in said area. Out of 295 restaurants in the west end, 29 of these were Michelin star, and 20 of these were in Mayfair – go figure. Prices have sky rocketed 61% over the last 6 years.

It is argued though that a high calibre offering of restaurants is a given in the aforementioned well-established areas above. Perhaps the real evidence of this property price/ restaurant correlation lies in London’s up and coming city fringe. Investment by retailers and restaurateurs in Farringdon and Borough has led to systematic gentrification – the tangible signs of this being aspirational restaurants and retail. Fine amenities transform an area from merely residential to a sought after ‘destination’, in turn pushing up property prices.

Take ‘The Eagle’ for example, opening in Clerkenwell in 1991 after breweries were forced to sell off tenanted pubs by the Monopolies Commission.  It has been estimated that residential values in Clerkenwell have risen from about £200-300 per sq. ft. to a massive £1000 per sq. ft. since the restaurant opening in 1991. Of course you have to take into account the inevitable price increase over time, but this vast price surge is not mirrored in areas where no retail or restaurant investment was made.

If restaurants are bumping up house prices, who knows whether Londoners will be able to afford Central London prices, without a local eatery price tag.

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