While Barking & Dagenham is very much an urban centre, it’s also surprisingly scenic, which makes it one of the most sought after places to live outside of Central London. Adorned with historic early 20th century properties, breathtaking mansions and country houses, plenty of green space, and more than its fair share of riding schools and equestrian centres, this London borough really is stunning. It’s really no wonder than Barking & Dagenham, property sales have shot through the roof in recent years following the launch of the exciting regeneration projects that are continuing to be implemented across the area.
There has perhaps never been a better time for Barking & Dagenham property investment. As one of the host boroughs for the London 2012 Olympics, a number of renovation projects have been in place for the past few years which has seen the borough completely transformed. More than 3500 new homes were created at Barking Riverside in 2010, and there are expected to be a further 7000 by 2020. This is a good opportunity for investors to buy ‘off plan’ to get the best locations and the best rates to maximise returns.
Barking & Dagenham is considered to be one of the more elite boroughs of East London, with a large amount of property owned outright by white working and upper classes. There are relatively few ethnic communities within Barking & Dagenham, and certainly much less diversity than in other parts of the city. Employment rates total more than 50 percent, primarily within the service sector, and good salaries mean that rental figures aren’t as high as they are elsewhere. However, this shouldn’t deter from property investment in Barking & Dagenham – with Barking & Dagenham College and the Barking Learning Centre, investors tend to have greatest success when targeting the student population, and around 15 percent of the borough’s population opt to rent privately.
Despite there being a reasonable student population in Barking & Dagenham, reports suggest that nearly 20 percent of residents are aged over 60 years, which is about 3 percent higher than the UK average. Older generations are attracted to Barking & Dagenham for the scenic beauty of the area and the numerous historic sites, including the 16th century Barking Abbey, the 14th Century Parish Church of St Margaret, and the grand and imposing Eastbury Manor House. The area truly is steeped in tradition, and older residents appreciate the quieter, more relaxed atmosphere when compared to some of the more busy and bustling areas of Central London.
The average house price in Barking & Dagenham is currently around £185,460, which is up by 4.5 percent on the past year’s figures. Former council properties can be usually be secured for around £137,000, while larger detached homes average around £263,000. Despite the recent recession, property values have risen steadily in the past 10 years (with the exception of a few dips here and there), and property is now worth an estimated £40,000 more than it was in 2004.
•Late Hollywood superstar Dudley Moore was raised in Dagenham, before making a name for himself stateside by starring in timeless classics such as Bedazzled, Arthur, and Santa Claus: The Movie.
•There are more than 30 listed buildings within Barking & Dagenham, making it one of the most beautiful and scenic of London boroughs. Estate agents in Barking & Dagenham credit this beauty for the rise in local property sales.
•Becontree’s council properties boast quite the history – they were built and designed specifically for military families following WWI. The majority of council-owned properties within Barking & Dagenham stem from this era.