Well known as London’s bailiwick of the rich and famous, West London is culturally and historically rich, with world-renowned neighbourhoods such as Notting Hill, Chelsea, Kensington and Knightsbridge. World-class museums, premium shopping options in Sloane Square and the iconic Kensington Palace complements the affluent and historical neighbourhood, gilding West London an alluring charm irreplaceable in London.
Fig.1: Iconic Locations within West London (Source: HouseofCally)
According to the London Plan, it defines two areas of London as International Centres – the West End and Knightsbridge, which are both in the West of London. Neighbourhoods in West London such as Richmond, Chiswick and Barnes are already experiencing a rising capital value due to the various plans in place for the West. Safe to say that West London plays a one-of-a-kind role in the city’s built environment.
West London is well-served by highly popular public spaces such as Holland Park and Hyde Park, and some neighbourhoods being able to enjoy waterfront living by the iconic River Thames. Due to its natural leafy suburban landscape, and well-connected transportation links, the West has always been deemed to be an ideal living quarter for a well-balanced lifestyle to live, work, play and shop. Based on research, mental and physical wellbeing are increasingly becoming the focal point of the occupants, and intrinsically adds value to the property.
Iconic, Modern, Convenient and Affluent
Heathrow Airport, one of the world’s biggest airports with almost 75,000 employees, is within an easy reach from West London, and serves as a strong catalyst for the extreme West side of London to grow into a highly productive, creative cluster environment.
Another notable creative cluster is Chiswick Business Park, which is one of the biggest business parks within London. It is also a budding location that houses the headquarters of many big and small brands, such as Starbucks, Sony, Walt Disney, IMG and more. In fact, it has been identified as one of the most ideal places for businesses to position themselves and is growing into one of London’s economic powerhouses. To further maximise the innate potential of the rest of West London’s built environment, other neighbourhoods in this region are earmarked to undergo a multibillion-pound regeneration project. A particular initiative, The Great West Road, is a commercial corridor initiative that by-pass in the West of London through Brentford and Hounslow, which has triggered the growth of travel-related businesses due to its geographical location to Heathrow Airport.
Fig.2: Companies located within Chiswick Business Park
Understandably from an investor’s point of view, the next important question is: Where can I safely park my money in a fast-changing West London hub?
Brentford: London’s Next Key Creative Cluster Hub
Focusing on Brentford, a quaint and unassuming neighbourhood located by River Brent, leading towards the iconic River Thames, within the heart of West London. Residents enjoy spectacular river views and convenient access to one of the largest green corridors in London, as well as accessible connectivity to multiple tube stations; Brentford Station, Syon Lane, and Boston Manor. On an average, a 35-minute tube ride would bring you to Heathrow Airport from Brentford Station, making you well connected with the city and the rest of the world. On the other hand, a 13-minute bike ride would bring you straight to Chiswick Business Park. Brentford encompasses a beautifully and uniquely diverse community spirit, where writers, bread makers and music composers’ dwell within the neighbourhood, preserving an authentic, quintessential British lifestyle.
Recognized to be one of London’s next key neighbourhoods, Brentford is expected to grow into the next creative cluster hub with the transformative, multibillion-pound makeover. Thousands of new waterfront homes will be added into the 11,900-acre waterfront development, with a 151,000 square feet of new retail spaces, including restaurants, shops, cultural and sporting facilities, to cater to increasing lifestyle expectations. Brentford is an exceptionally exciting neighbourhood anticipated by the local and foreign community to provide a translated modern interpretation of suburban living in London.
Despite its locked potential for growth, Brentford is still set at a lower capital value as compared to neighbouring locations. In fact, through the regeneration efforts, it is forecasted to grow more than 20% in the coming decade, while employment is forecasted to rise 8%.
Fig. 3: Capital Value for Property Prices across West London Neighbourhoods
Think Local: East Coast Park Regeneration Plan
Similar to the recent local regeneration plans for East Coast Park in Singapore, Brentford is focusing on additional residential projects, enhancing cycling and walking connectivity through road and park connectors, commercial developments, and offering a vibrant waterfront living. Placemaking is deemed as one of the key factors for Brentford to retain its unique flavours, especially by providing common spaces to facilitate social activities around the neighbourhood. Imagine spending lively Friday evenings by the riverside enjoying dinner with your friends, or peaceful Saturday mornings with your family in the parks, all within the comfort of your neighbourhood. This sensitivity can nurture Brentford into the next key neighbourhood in West London. With a large number of global office tenants nearby, and high levels of connectivity with central London and Heathrow, Brentford is becoming a focal point for residential development.
Ballymore, The Big Player
Ballymore, acknowledged as pioneers of Europe’s largest regeneration projects, is the biggest player which aims to build almost 900 homes on a key 12-acre waterside site between High Street and River Brent, namely The Brentford Project (read: article 2). A crucial addition is that the plans include a 175,000 sqft of new shops, a supermarket, gym, leisure centre and an arts centre and cinema to rejuvenate the neighbourhood.
The Irish Home developers have a mature portfolio of past works and have dabbled in complex urban settings to create transformations and opportunity in mixed-use developments, such as sensitive restoration projects in historic cityscapes like Old Spitalfields Market in the City of London. With their well-rounded expertise, they aim to nurture Brentford into a high-quality and holistic place to live, work, play and shop in. Having built a legacy for placemaking in past iconic projects, such as Embassy Gardens, and Royal Wharf, Ballymore qualifies as an indicative cue for Brentford’s expected success. London City Island, one of the more iconic projects of Ballymore, was highly successful and was a project many local Singaporeans profited off from.
Fig.4: London City Island Regeneration Project
Fig.5: Education Map, The Brentford Project
So… What Does This Mean for Me?
Understanding Brentford’s potential for growth is a valuable piece of information for any insightful investor. Past regeneration projects have shown that one positive outcome is that property values increases in the long run, especially when supported by amenities or public spaces in the nearby areas for accessible enjoyment.
With its potential for growth, the demand for quality residential spaces within Brentford would bound to increase within the time, without even accounting for the newly added retail spaces within the area. Connectivity is also a big selling point for Brentford, especially its vicinity to Heathrow Airport, which puts it under international radar, and for it to be an ideal location for small and big businesses alike. For families who are looking to send your child to world-class Universities in London, Imperial College is a quick 20-minute drive from Brentford, along with Prep, Primary and Secondary Schools to choose from, such as The Falcon Pre Prep, Fielding Primary and Brentford School for Girls.
The Early Bird Catches the Worm
Housing values within West London has seen an upward trend over the past years, and is forecasted to grow more than 20% in the coming decade, while employment is forecasted to rise 8%. With the already existing catchment areas in neighbouring Chiswick and Heathrow, new office constructions are underway across Hammersmith and Ealing to accommodate for new businesses moving into the area as well, providing most than one million square feet of new office spaces.
Fig. 6: Largest employers in Brentford and surrounding postal codes
Taking use of this opportunity, interested investors should capitalize on the First Mover Advantage of this lucrative Brentford project, to enjoy the maximum amount of gains from the investment. In summary, first movers of a new regeneration development are able to purchase properties at a much lower price, and create property value through the other measures in place for Brentford.
Fig.7: First Mover Advantage
Be Part of The New and Stylish Way of British Living
Research has shown that wellness-centred considerations serve as one of the upcoming intrinsic value generators for properties, especially if access to clean air, open green spaces, fitness centres, or a lower noise pollution level is observed. Brentford checks off all the boxes by offering a tranquil living space with easy access to green parks, waterfront docks, clean air and with less bustle of a city. Not just that, it offers uncompromised access to the hotspots of London.
Undeniably, West London is bound to experience a significant amount of growth and changes in the next few years, where the modern built environment and demands would have to complement with its history and past.
Neighbourhoods like Brentford would be crucial in playing the part of shifting traditional Victorian British lifestyles into a modern and decentralised way of living that is highly coveted and desirable by locals and foreigners. Complemented by convenience, the scenic waterfront views will catapult Brentford into one of the main living quarters in London.
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