The Times on the East London Line effect

Those cats at the Times' property section Bricks & Mortar cannot get enough of Brockley's good stuff.

In "the first of a two-part special" they look at the impact of the East London Line, predicting that the main beneficiaries in terms of house prices will be south, rather than north of the river.

Here's the map of the route they provide, with quotes from a Forest Hill estate agent claiming it is having a major impact on the market and a New Cross agent playing down the likely impact, on the basis that the East London Line is not a new idea in New Cross.

They claim that the average price of a two-bed flat near Brockley station is £325,000, compared with an average of £250,000 for Honor Oak and £240,000 for Forest Hill, which seems to tally with the experiences of a few BC readers we know, who have have had to move further south in search of a larger property.

88 comments:

Monkeyboy said...

I know I should feel dirty but i am slightly smug that I bought in 2002.

Hugh said...

May I share your dirt? I bought later but early enough to be sitting on some distended gains.

Monkeyboy said...

No, get your own dirt. What are you, some kind of socialist?

Lou Baker said...

How have so many people been duped by this marketing campaign?

All that's happened for south London is that they've built us a bridge - clearly a commuter's wet dream - and have added an orange line to the tube map.

Everything else is the same. The track, the stations - nothing changes.

There will be some extra trains - but they're short ones and go to places like West Croydon and Dalston.

Still, if this almighty con convinces enough people maybe my house will go up enough for me to be able to afford to go west. There are restaurants there.

Anonymous said...

And an enormous new depot, complete new signaling system and extra trains into London. Why is using an existing route a bad thing? You really have no idea what you're talking about. My journey into town will be much improved. The dlr has been extended using the route of an old railway, the m1 follows the route of an old roman road -clever eh?

Tressillian James said...

But Lou - no-one is being duped - a 'bridge' is exactly what we want.

MB said...

I work in victoria. My journey in the morning is to wait for a train at brockley, travel into London Bridge, keep my fingers crossed that the gate line is open at LB underground, sclep down to the Jubilee platform, change at westminster. It's OK, I'm used to it.

Now (concentrate here Lou, REALLY concentrate)I'll wait at Brockley, repeat the above or get an ELL train, go to Canada water, pick up the jubilee line etc... works for me.

Also, don;t know if you get out much, but there is plenty of fun stuff to do north on the ELL.

Honestly, you're determined not to admit any advantages.. We loose a couple of off peak trains but for me it makes little difference. Net change is positive.

M said...

Give Shoreditch a go Lou. I know you think the Kings Rd is the last word in sophistication but things have moved on since 1986. There are good restaurants in the east end now!

Steve said...

"I work in victoria."

Pity the Crofton park to Victoria proposals didn't go through. I use this train when it runs late at night and on weekends - only takes about 15mins.

Cherry Darling said...

325k seems like hell of a lot for a two-bed in Brockley - from my experience of buying a flat last year, I'd have thought 250k would be much more realistic

Tamsin said...

Well Jim Power's comments reflect the reality. Those who happily were in the know in New Cross Gate for years will be worse off because the trains we used to be able to take to Canada Water and Shoreditch starting off empty will now be too full to get on. They are only four carriages.

But I was at a meeting of the various societies and tfl and Lorol yesterday and the chap from Sydenham says that the auction prices for the area - always apparently a good touchstone - are indeed now going sky-high.

But if these incomers from the North and West stay with their families and put down roots and walk and play in our local parks that's fine. We just don't want to be a dormitory.

EllFreak said...

Lou, I'll offer what you paid for your property... prior to the announcement of the useless extention on the ELL.

dubious said...

£325k for a 2-bed flat near Brockley station? It's just a made up number! Where's the evidence? Looking at the properties on the market at the moment, 2 bedders in the conservation area range from £210k to just shy of £300k. And those are likely to be slightly aspirational prices given how slow-moving the market is.

Don't get me wrong; I'd like it to be true. I bought a wonderful 1100 sq ft, 3 bed flat in the Cons area in 2002 for less than £200k. I daresay the Times reporter would be telling me it's worth about £500k now!

mintness said...

Average price, or average asking price?

Brockley Nick said...

@Lou - they managed to spend £1bn pounds on nothing more than a little bridge?! This is an outrage!

I hope you've alerted the authorities, this could be the greatest public spending scandal since Y2K.

When will the world open its eyes!?

Danja said...

Go west, not so young miserabilist - as soon as you like.

What a rubbish estate agent Mr Power is as well - 'oh won't do nothing for the area, no, its the same old rubbish as it ever was around here it is'.

He's supposed to be full of puff and flannel, not wet blanket.

Another small reason never to give Peter James any of my business.

Tamsin said...

I don't know - I quite like the notion of an Estate Agent not being all puff and flannel for once.

And he's been a loyal and regular sponsor of the Festival for years.

dubious said...

@mintness

Either way it's pure fantasy.

Anonymous said...

@ Tamsin in response to:

"Those who happily were in the know in New Cross Gate for years will be worse off because the trains we used to be able to take to Canada Water and Shoreditch starting off empty will now be too full to get on. They are only four carriages."

As the situation currently stands, the Southern trains that stop at New Cross Gate in morning peak times from West Croydon are bursting, so people aren't getting on anyway!

Surely, if you've got more trains per hour (LO and Southern) passing through NXG from West Croydon, than it should lessen the load somewhat as people will have more choice in getting to their destination.

Tamsin said...

The wider choice of destination is West Croydon (when we could always able to get to East Croydon anyway - now fewer trains to this more useful destination) and Dalston etc. (which unless like Nick you have a parent there is hardly high on many people's priorities). The old East London Line, the little forgotten appendix to the Metropolitan Line, used to go to Canada Water (as an interchange ever since the Jubilee line extension came through)and has always gone to Shoreditch and Whitechapel - now being touted as the new way for City workers. And we had it to ourselves. Which was brilliant. Now the trains will be full by the time they leave Honor Oak Park and we'll need Japanese style people pushers to get on.

New Cross Gate and the northern side of Telegraph Hill was always going to be worse off with the ELL (apart from the intangible benefit of being on a map that looks like something the ingnoramuses north of the Thames understand).

I would not have minded so much if this was acknowledged at the outset - we can accept that the transport authorities might want to sacrifice us for the greater good - just they shouldn't insult our intelligence while doing so.

Anonymous said...

well I think global advertising for the Brockley area - which is what being on the Tube map will provide - can only be good news.

City and Wharf workers will look at it and think - if I want to cut my commute down and actually see my family - then I could look at SE London. I wonder what there is thgere...

as opposed to currnetly with a massive quarter of the entire map looking completely empty as if nothing goes on here. arguably the housing stock in the area is fundamentally better than eg the CLaphams or Fulhams of the world... we are additionally much better located and connected to the major global financial centre than those two areas.

Brockley Nick said...

Tamsin, in fewer than 80 days, we'll know whether the trains are full to bursting or not. Bet they're not.

Tamsin said...

I'm just slightly worried about too much happening all at once - and my children being priced out of the area.

Brockley Nick said...

Maybe your children will want to move to Dalston. And you'll be able to visit them.

Anonymous said...

My brother, Tamsin, hasjust bought a flat in the conservation area for his child. He'll rent it out now and hand it over to her when she needs it. She's only 7 right now - so I think he belives in the long term potential of Brockley.

Tamsin said...

Yes, something we should probably have done a while back. Maybe we should see if we can still snap up a bargain from the gloomy Mr Power, but it does complicate life.

Anonymous said...

In what sense is it 'for his child' if the child is 7? Surely just a general investment.

Tamsin said...

Lay you a bet, Nick, not immediately, but by this time next year they will be.

Anonymous said...

Not sure I get the logic..... We shouldn't build a line that will prove popular because people will use it and it will be crowded. Presumably we don't want the high street smartened up because people will move here thus increasing prices and stretching local services? Jesus wept (except he isn't, I'm an atheiest)

mintness said...

I suppose it's only another five minutes' walk to New Cross if you want to get on an empty train at the start of its journey. At least I assume there'll be a few an hour starting from there.

Anonymous said...

From one Anon to another @Anon:

I don't get Tamsin's logic either. This should be an exciting time for Brockley and the wider ELL Lewisham area.

Jesus said...

I love atheism and crowded trains.

Tamnsin said...

No, it is great for Brockley and points south. You are getting a service you did not get before. My logic is very parochial. Those who commute from New Cross Gate will, on balance, be worse off. In return for being able to get to West Croydon and Dalston their trains to Canada Water and the docklands will be crowded, rather than us still being in the privileged position of being the southern terminus of the ELL. We are also less likely to get seats or even onto the trains going into London Bridge. Previously trains would come in packed to the gills, but then significant numbers of people would get off to move across to the East London Line. So if you were able at leasdt to get on and, if you were nippy and/lor lucky, even able to get a seat. This, I suspect, will no longer happen as those who want to go to Canada Water, Docklands and Shoreditch will, for preference, have got onto the Overground (saves the complexities of shared Oyser payments) at their home station.

But this only relates to Telegraph Hill and NXG so I should probably shut up.

Monkeyboy said...

No don't shut up your arguments are much better constructed than most (including mine). As you say, most schemes in a crowded, cash strapped city like ours are a compromise. For me and my commuting pattern it's clearly a net gain but I agree that they were not as honest as they should have been about the downsides - reduced of peak etc.

Danja said...

In pure commuting terms, we get more tph and a faster service, and a proper service to Shoreditch (it was thin, and part time before) for those on the Eastern edge of the City. As well as a direct connection to the home of football.

I think it will benefit the area greatly in other ways, perception counts.

Anonymous said...

Sample £325 2-bed.
http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/3592943

Anonymous said...

To be fair to the reporter he doesn't say £325k for 'a flat'.

John said...

I personally would have preferred the East London Line to the London Overground Service but then I don't live next to Brockley Station. I suspect it will soon be overcrowded during peak periods but I'd rather have the service and stand than nothing at all. I was in Beijing last year and was amazed at how overcrowded their new underground lines were at all times of the day. They were built for the Olympics!

One complaint of the new service is that it won't bring me back from Shoreditch particularly late and the N21 leaves from Trafalgar Square instead of Shoreditch unlike the 21. I'm not interested in house prices or flower markets.

Anonymous said...

They were talking about 'average' prices, weren't they? An average 2-bed flat in Brockley will set you back around £230k, I reckon (not very scientifically, but I'd bet everything I own that it's closer to reality than £325k).

There are a few 2 bed houses in the region of £325k, but Nick referred to flats near the station.

Anonymous said...

CONSERVATION AREA PRICING.

Anonymous said...

"In what sense is it 'for his child' if the child is 7? Surely just a general investment"

No, not just a general investment because the spur to get a flat in Brockley was so that his daughter would have the option to live here later in life. He believes that by the time his daughter gets to 20 or so, house prices will be out of her reach in Brockley.

Henry said...

Dalston may not be the most useful destination (great Turkish grills, still) but when the line is extended to Islington even the moaners here might see the point.

Anonymous said...

Well Lou will no doubt say that it's actually Highbury & Islington which is not the poshest bit so it's rubbish.

ppp said...

In which I make an obvious point: "Areas change". I'm done.

Tressilliana said...

Yes indeed. I can remember back in 1980 when I was first living in London hearing a woman who lived in Chiswick discussing with a friend whether it would be a good idea to move to Islington. She was trying to decide whether the area was on its way up or not.

Zoe said...

I agree with the Times (and Nick's general tally) of the average 2 bed flat in Brockley being around £325k. We've just moved to Honor Oak Park for that very reason. We found it impossible to find anything suitably sized for a young family - in any part of SE4 - below the 250k stamp duty threshold. Prices have shot up even in the economic downturn. I'm particularly envious of the commenter who paid less than 200k for his 3 bed 1100 sq ft conservation area flat! Those of you feeling smug/ dirty about your purchases 8+ years ago have every right in my opinion.
Brockley (and HOP) are lovely areas and I have seen them going from strength to strength over the last 5 years. I also agree with the commenter who said that hopefully any newcomers to the area will lay down roots and make positive contributions to the area.

ppp said...

the 2 bed flats going for that price will be done up to the nines, top spec, and massive, high ceiled jobs, often with gardens and drives, so whilst not a bargain, still good value, in and of themselves not because of the oncoming Overground (which should be renamed IMNVHO).

Anonymous said...

You can get good 2 bedders for under 300k. My neighbours just sold a huge 3 bed flat (with garden) on Adelaide for 320k. Nicely done out too.

property anorak said...

@Zoe (and others who think an average 2-bed flat will set them back £325k), just looking now at findaproperty.com, there are only 3 2-bedders in the Cons area over £300k, and about 15 between £230-300k. There are only two which are over £325k, and they have been given the full treatment by property developers by the looks of things. The prices appear to have dropped radically since you bought, if what you say is accurate.

http://www.findaproperty.com/searchresults.aspx?edid=00&salerent=0&areaid=7128&sp=2

NB quite a bit of duplication due to people listing with more than one agent.

Headhunter said...

325k for a 2 bedder? Didn't one of the recent Guardian or Times articles quote something like 359k? That was only about a month ago - prices seem to have dropped dramatically!

Anonymous said...

...there is more in today's Times about the ELL.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know anything about London Bridge station closing at the end of the year? Apparently businesses near the station have been briefed about the closure. If this were to happen (& hopefully it's just a rumour) what are the chances trains will be routed through to Waterloo (all those spare platforms) or CXR instead.

Anonymous said...

I REALLY doubt that. Possibly some limited closures for work related to the shard and Thameslink related work.

Hugh said...

Am I the only one who thinks the ELL will have no effect on either house prices or migration to the neighbourhood? Sure, it will trigger a rash of articles in the property press but even Woolwich Arsenal has had those. Brockley reached stasis long ago, as a zone 2 steppingg stone for young professionals and a left-field stopping place for a relatively small number of professional families. That's about yer lot.

And I ent knocking the Brox. It's good for what it is and I've spent several useful and pleasant years here.

But the hood is what it is, yeh. Neither more nor less.

Anonymous said...

Hugh, It puts SE London on the map and that HAS to be a good thing. Before I moved here, I genuinely thought there was nothing going on in this area save factories. I laugh now but I had no idea of the amazing architecture and wonderful Victorian villas, to my shame as I now admit. But, with the line representing the area on the tube map, it will be clear that there is life and very nice life too thanks, in this quarter/quartier.

Hugh said...

Anon, it was already on the map, if we include the train map and the street map. Sevenoaks isn't on the tube either but plenty of professionals seem willing to move there. I might be wrong but I think people overestimate the importance of a tube connection.

Graham said...

I really like this blog, but I find the obsession with house prices a little grating. For existing owners in family accommodation, more often than not, you will never appreciate this increase and it only means that your children will struggle to pay the inheritance tax to keep the property! I much prefer the conversations about the local area. I went to Browns yesterday for a flat white and it was amazing. Oh and I can't wait for the ELL, it will be great for the area and my commute. Couldn't give a stuff about how it affects prices, but I do hope that Brockley keeps the 'feel' it has at the moment. That was why we moved here. If higher prices brings a more atomised and greedy community then it will be a loss to Brockley.

Anonymous said...

Sunday Times article - Homes and Prop - page 8.

Anonymous said...

Graham, agreed. however, if the ELL brings more businesses like Browns and the Orchard, then all power to it.

Anonymous said...

I think most opinion - 'expert' or otherwise is that it will bring an increase in business, buyers and house prices. It's not rocket science though - it seems obvious to me - another type of train service on top of the existing one brings options, and so much of London's house prices depends on it's transport options. Take the tube away from any given place in zone two and watch the prices plummet. Brixton without the tube would be a hard sell, but young professionals with money to spend are willing to move there.

ppp said...

If a swathe of grasping types moved here, into Brockley off the back of a few Times articles could they really damage this feel and community spirit of this area? If so how? Surely they'll want what a lot of us want, a pleasant, neighbourhood.

Graham take me through your concerns.

Graham said...

PPP - Supporting and creating new businesses through an area's improvement, either through transport or other regenerative (if that is a word) measures is a great thing - don't get me wrong on that. I love getting my bread from the French Deli and my meat from the Butchers and a coffee from Browns and the more options the better.

With rising property prices, you get property location pricing bubbles and I wonder whether Brockley could well become the next East Dulwich or Clapham. High street shops following affluent new arrivals, stereotypical well off london families everywhere - that's not a diverse and friendly community. It's keeping up with the Jones armed with designer buggies, coffee and organic lobster. I don't want that for Brockley and I hope it doesn't happen, if loads of people move to the area not following a Times Article or too, but the arrival of the tube or overground, or whatever it is. I just hope Brockley stays how it is.

Anonymous said...

It seems the closer you live to the station the dearer the property,dont anybody walk anymore.

Anonymous said...

Eh? Obviously. Would you prefer a 20 or 5 min walk to the station?

Jerry Leadbetter said...

Hugh, I live on a road where you can hardly move for professionals, some of whom have lived here for 15+ years. In recent years most properties have been sold to 30-something professional couples with small children or who were/are planning families.

It was certainly a 'left-field stopping place' 15 years ago, but I don't think you could say that now. There must be many hundreds of households in Brockley with a six figure income. It is a sensible choice for professionals not afflicted by geographical snobbery and who want a decent sized property without a 90 minute commute.

Brockley Nick said...

Graham, the way you talk about people from East Dulwich and Clapham is worryingly similar to the way in which people dismiss a large swathe of people in Brockley with the "mung" brush.

On the one hand you want a "diverse and friendly" community, on the other hand you offer hostility to people who aren't like you?

As Jerry points out, Brockley already contains many that you might put in the "stereotypical well off London families" category. I might even fall in to that bracket myself (depending on where you draw the line on being well-off), although I think oversized buggies are one of the stupidest innovations of the last decade, I'm not much of a coffee drinker and I think lobster is massively over-rated.

Inverted snobbery is no better than snobbery.

Anonymous said...

Can I say the unsable? Dulwich has some great places to eat and shop. I'd love some more of that here, the Broca, Browns etc. All very Dulwich, there's still plenty of room for a little more without Brockley becoming Surrey

Anonymous said...

On a purely practical note, aren't most of the retail units available in Brockley too small to attract high street chains?

love detective said...

snobbery of both sorts aside, it's interesting to note the testimony on here of existing residents of brockley who are starting to be priced out of the immediate area and having to move elsewhere in order to start families

Brockley Nick said...

@Love Detective - possibly due to house price change, may also be that Brockley has a lot of flats and some very big houses, but relatively few small / medium houses on quiet streets, which a lot of young families want. Compared to - say - East Dulwich, which has street after street of 3-bed terraced houses, on quiet roads.

Graham said...

Nick - no hostility here and certainly no snobbery, inverted or otherwise. I think that's a long way from what is essentially a hope for Brockley in the future. People who live in Clapham and East Dulwich no doubt love where they live, and that's great for them. Just saying what I like about the area, that's all and the amount of comments and threads about house prices that all. When the thread gets full of people being happy about how much their house is now worth, it gets a little repetitive, that's all. Viva Brockley.

Brockley Nick said...

@Graham - good :)

Although your comments and Love Detective's have illustrated why - rightly or wrongly - house prices are a very important subject, not just an excuse for homeowners to pat themselves on the back (not that there's anything wrong with people taking an interest in what amounts to the biggest single financial investment they will ever make).

Graham said...

How many that's all were in that post? Obviously on the defensive. That's all.

Anonymous said...

It's something thats in built to the way the UK works. An area with poor transport, limited shopping options, poor schools etc will be unattractive hence cheap. Increase that provision and you attract buyers so prices go up - market forces. That problem is a bit out of the range of this innocent little blog. It will take a fairly fundamental change in the political system to change that one.

Better social housing (without the cretins that sometimes post assuming that you are lazy and/or somekind of scrounging criminal for living in it) or more inovative ways of buying?

No easy answers there.

Brockley Nick said...

@Graham - sorry, I didn't understand your last comment?

Graham said...

Sorry Nick - timing thing. Was re-reading my last post and it had about 200 that's all in it.

Well designed social housing is crucial, (as an affordable housing professional) but its in very short supply (which will only shorten more in the next few years) for both low and middle income households. In London it tends to be in flatted accomodation as pressures on land prices make anything else unviable. This adds additional pressure on housing for families who no longer qualify for either social rented and shared ownership accomodation. The lack of supply of three and four bedroom houses means that prices are pushed up. Its a vicious cycle thats ends with families moving to lower priced areas, an increase in houses turning to flats and a shift in the demographic profile of an area. Somehow in London we need to build family houses, but I can't see how that can happen unless the local authority or central government (through the Homes and Communities Agency) gives Housing Associations the land for free and 'best value' really restricts the ability to do that.

Anonymous said...

Nick - in regards to accommodation look Westside of the station for decent sized 3 or 4 bed family homes. The prices are still within reach of many, but they're of really good stock - high ceilings, spacious rooms, 35-40ft gardens. Close to the station too.

Brockley Nick said...

Agreed, but still relatively few compared with E Dulwich.

Anonymous said...

People being priced out of their local area is unfortunate, but is neither new nor something specific to Brockley. I'd be surprised if it wan't common to the whole of zones 1 and 2.

I was with a big city firm for many years, and there was a very common pattern to people's lives: they rent centrally when they first come to London, then in their mid-twenties to early thirties they buy their first property a little further out (or something tiny in the centre), and assuming they didn't move for job reasons they'd stay there unless they married and started a family, in which case they'd move to commuter-land (anywhere from zone 2 to 50 miles away), because there was no way they could afford a family home where they were already living.

I dare say it's been that way for a long long time, not just in Brockley but pretty much everywhere else too.

PS interesting analysis Graham, sounds like the profile of housing stock is also a key factor, and the pattern I describe above (combined with a big influx of people to London during the boom of the last 15 years or so) would certainly have contributed to conversions of period properties into flats - all part of the same picture.

Brockley Nick said...

Anon - you're right of course, but one of the things that is nice about SE London is that the pattern is a little different - or at least feels that way. Because property prices have historically been lower, people lay down roots for longer.

It's all a question of balance, I guess. So far, I don't see how anyone could reasonably argue that the balance is wrong. And I don't think there is "enough" in Brockley (too small a high street) to ever turn it in to East Dulwich or Clapham. They are fundamentally different areas from Brockley.

anon @11.41 said...

Nick, I think it IS different, but the same forces are at work, just possibly to a lesser degree.

Barring something totally unexpected, property prices here will always be broadly where they are in relation to other areas. The differentials may be eroded a little (due to ELL or other factors), but that's as far as it'll go.

It's great to live in an area that can accommodate people at all stages of their life, and across numerous demographic groups. Long may it stay that way.

Tamsin said...

Isn't this what the powers that be are at last waking up to - in theory at least - with the "Homes for Life". Whether theory turns into practice when it comes to impact on the bottom line is, of course, another matter.

Hugh said...

Laughable how most of the comments that follow the Times article are from Honor Oak lifers acting like anyone would ever want to live down there.

Anonymous said...

The Ubertroll returns.

SortoutBrockleyRd said...

HOP has a much better looking high street than SE4 however it does seem slightly dull for some reason.

If Brockley Rd/Brockley Cross was scrubbed up a bit the area would be so much more attractive and many more people would consider moving here. But at the moment it looks rough as a bag of nails so anyone driving through steps on it to get out as quickly as possible... A friend of mine recently said her cousin was moving to the area but he wanted SE3 or SE10 and he wouldnt consider SE4 as not enough bars and nightlife etc... I know of at least three couples who bought in Eltham direction as they felt SE4 was a bit too unsafe for the female of the relationship to walk home alone at night (despite my reassurances). Seems old opinions are hard to change.

I would like to see some of the new retail improvements by the station to start to make a dent in the earsore of Brockley Road. Harefield and Coulgate are so much nicer now so hopefully with the Mess and Magi, Brock Rd will get some more decent shops/restaurants as it present its horrible.

Tamsin said...

People's preconceptions are very hard to change, despite Stephen Lawrence being murdered in Eltham and the BMP hanging out in Welling and the whole place being ruined by the Rochester Way Relief Road.

stuck in the middle said...

Mid-town Brockley does need smartening up. It needs a decent mini-supermarket for a start. "Best-One" is a terrible misnomer and it's staffed by people who seem to think it would kill them if they cracked a smile.

Anonymous said...

What?£325,000,of a two-bed flat.That is over pricing my goodness..!!I am sure that only few are interested on that flat!!


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