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House prices in Newham go through the roof

15:04 29 April 2014

'For Sale' signs in Newham.

Archant

The average price of a house in Newham rocketed by more than £8,000 last month, putting owning a home in the borough beyond the pocket of most first-time buyers.

Estate Agents Jessica Noble, Becky Lamb and Nicki NewtonEstate Agents Jessica Noble, Becky Lamb and Nicki Newton

According to research carried out by property portal Rightmove, house prices in Newham have risen 21.7 per cent in the past year.

In April, the average cost of a house was £297,269 – up 2.6 per cent on the previous month.

Natalya Browning, 30, works in legal regulation as an assessment officer and has been looking to buy in Newham for the past two months.

She wants a two-bed property in Forest Gate but is having trouble beating the crowds to properties within her budget.

Natalya BrowningNatalya Browning

New to the property market and buying on her own, she says she wouldn’t be able to do it without a contribution from her parents.

“I don’t know how anyone can buy on their own around here unless they’re on a huge salary or have some capital,” she said.

“None of my friends are able to buy because they don’t have the support I have from my parents.

“The competition is so huge for any properties in my price range that I’ve often been one of 20 to 50 people viewing the property.”

Michael HarveyMichael Harvey

A man, who chose not to be named, described prices as “rocketing” in Newham and blamed the Olympics for making the borough “impossible” for new buyers.

He used to rent in Newham seven years ago but moved away to pursue a new job outside the capital.

He said: “In the time I’ve been away I can’t believe the difference in house prices around here.

“The market has risen so steeply I’m being forced to look further afield now.

“I’ve found it’s £250,000 to £300,000 minimum around here for a two-bed, so I’m thinking I might have to give up on Newham and consider Chelmsford instead.”

Scott Lewis, of Bairstow Eves estate agents in Stratford, said there has been a lot of investment in this part of east London linked to the opening of Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford and the 2012 Olympic Games.

He added: “Once Crossrail is running we expect to see even more people move into the area, as the rail line will provide a quicker and easier way for people to travel across the city.

“Typically, the borough attracts first-time buyers, young professionals, investors, couples and parents buying for, and with, their children.”

Michael Harvey, 28, of Liberty Bridge Road, recently bought a house in the Olympic Park’s East Village, Stratford.

While searching for his ideal dwelling he watched as the market jumped £10,000 in six months.

But that didn’t deter him from pouncing on an East Village property – a decision he says was the best he ever made.

“At the start of January 2013 I was probably able to just about get on to the property ladder – prices were reasonable enough, I had enough of a deposit and could scrap together an OK mortgage to get a decent one bed,” he said.

“But by the end of 2013, even with a pay rise, I was not able to afford a property.

“I had to use money from relatives and inheritance I wasn’t planning on spending to get the flat I got.

“Though I can afford the monthly payments it was the increase in deposit that was hard.”

Michael was able to afford his property by signing up to the government’s co-ownership scheme.

Shared Ownership allows those who can’t afford to buy outright to part buy and part rent their home.

Despite his struggle to get there Michael is determined that you get value for money buying in Newham.

He said he has friends in other areas of London who would only get a bedsit for the same price, not a large, one-bed new build which he now owns.

However, he explained: “Without co-ownership I would not be able to buy a flat. The ability to buy and rent made it way more affordable for me.

“The full market value of my flat is £300,000. I have a 60 per cent share of that and I put down a very large deposit from savings I had.”

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