SE17 Elephant & Castle

Earmarked as London’s hottest regeneration project, Elephant & Castle is undergoing a 3 billion restoration that will see the neighborhood transformed into a landmark destination for 21st century living.

Set in the borough of Southwark, just shy of a mile from London’s cultural river-side hotspot The South Bank, and within 15 minutes of Westminster, The West-End and The City, Elephant & Castle enjoys one of the most privileged central locations in London.  Yet despite it’s Zone 1 status, property prices here have remained among the lowest in the capital, averaging  £791 per square foot, compared to a £930 average across Greater London.

While neighboring districts of Kennington, with its lovely terraced houses, and Borough, with its buzzing food scene, have seen a significant transformation over the past decade, Elephant and Castle has lagged behind. Poor urban planning, including a series of giant roundabouts, a drab shopping center and two of London’s roughest council estates have been paramount to hindering its progress.

Now, work has begun on the development of a new town center that will embrace the vibrancy, creativity and diversity that they area is known for.  Key pillars of the project include the conversion of former council estate Heygate estate into a dynamic, eco-conscious development, Elephant Park.  The majority of the area’s new developments offer affordable housing options and are part of the government’s ‘Help to Buy Scheme’, enabling first-time buyers to borrow up to 40% of the value of the property through the  “Help to Buy’ scheme. Designed with young professionals and families in mind, it’s a forward thinking project attracting the sort of buyers who once favored East London.

A cornerstone of the regeneration is the demolition of the former shopping center to make way for a vibrant new town center, combining a new campus for the London College of Arts with 2,500 new houses and apartments, a central shopping street, a 1,000 person cinema and a grass-roots music venue.  While the full project is slated for completion in 2021, a state-of-the art leisure center, The Castle, has already opened in May 2016. Meanwhile, pop-up retail park Art-Works shows a sign of things to come: the innovative space provides a focal point for the neighborhood’s urban creatives, combining start-up spaces, food-stalls and yoga studios with regular live music, beat-box and spoken word events.

The experts say

This is an undiscovered market in central London that is finally beginning to realize its potential. These new developments offer a great opportunity for investors to get in at an early stage and maximize their returns.

The property market in SE17 Elephant & Castle

A neighborhood up-the-up, now is one of the most exciting times to buy a residential property in Elephant & Castle.  Despite property prices in Elephant and Castle rising 27.4% over the past year, they still remain some of the best value options in London, 0.4% below the capital’s average.  As the area’s regeneration project evolves, the value of property here is set to benefit significantly. While traditionally properties for sale in Elephant & Castle were limited to council-house conversions and a handful of period housing, its new developments such as Elephant Park that are offering the most enticing opportunities for investors.   Prices for a one-bedroom studio flat range from £320,000 to 2.5 million for a 4 bedroom terraced house. A 3 bedroom flat with balconies and views is available for £1.7 million. The fully-fitted properties also benefit from the development’s state-of-the-art facilities, including a 24 hour concierge, gymnasium, urban park-land, landscaped courtyards and a central shopping street. With strong transport links and the on-going evolution of the Southwerk, Borough thanks to landmark architectural projects like the Strata building, property in Elephant and Castle has a strong capital growth potential, estimated at 5-7% per year.  The rental yield is currently estimated at 3.4%, although this is set to increase as the regeneration realizes its full fruition.

Three insiders tips for SE17 Elephant & Castle

EAT - mauritian dumplings at Marcel & Sons, one of the street-food stalls at Art-Works
DO - dance the night away at London’s legendary Ministry of Sound nightclub
SEE - the history of cinema from 1809 at the Cinema Museum

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