Arts and house price growth go hand in hand in east London's Waltham Forest, which was recently named the capital's first Borough of Culture.
The local authority beat 22 others to win £1.35m funding for cultural activities, including a proposed laser light installation, a solar powered light show and an Alfred Hitchcock Festival.
But the borough is also beating the competition in other arenas. Exclusive research from Savills reveals the average house price in Waltham Forest, which stretches from Leytonstone to Chingford via Walthamstow, is now £462,000, a rise of 82 per cent in the last decade.
This is almost 20 per cent faster than the average price growth for Greater London average and four times greater than the average across England and Wales.
-out Londoners are now looking further afield for better value housing and good commuter links," says Savills research analyst, Frances Clacy.
Waltham Forest was named one of the four boroughs hosting the 2012 Olympics, which led to huge investment in the area, with regeneration schemes and improved transport links.
"During this time, neighbourhoods within the borough have seen a new wave of shops, bars and cafes which in turn have provided the amenities that people seek to have as part of the fabric of their local community,” says Clacy.
A NEW ARTISTIC HUB
The borough has also built a reputation for culture as artists priced out of such inner London areas as Islington and Hackney target further flung areas to buy homes in, cementing the legacy of East 17 who put Walthamstow on the map in the Nineties.
The council-owned Grade II-listed William Morris Gallery was named Museum of the Year in 2013 and the borough is also home to a regular art trail where residents transform their homes into galleries and open them up to visitors.
Its bid to become the Borough of Culture was supported by choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne, who grew up in Walthamstow, and Blur frontman Damon Albarn, who lived in Leytonstone until he was 10 in a house now marked by a blue plaque.
“Its new status helps cements Waltham Forest as being a well-rounded London borough," says Clacy.
"While buyers have long recognised its merits such as good transport link and quality housing stock, in becoming the first London borough of culture it highlights other lifestyle aspects that the area has to offer for those thinking of moving there.”
BEST PERFORMING AREAS IN THE BOROUGH
Waltham Forest is divided into 20 electoral wards, which are used for council elections.
The best-performing ward in Waltham Forest was Hoe Street, home to Walthamstow Village, which has seen price growth of 122 per cent price growth in a decade with average property values rising from £248,000 to £552,000.
"With its attractive period cottages, boutique shops, bars and cafes and a community feel, Walthamstow Village has become a popular destination which is underpinned by its strong connectivity via the Victoria line," says David Bloomfield director of Savills Loughton.
Sought-after smart red brick Victorian housing in the William Morris ward, which takes in the Lloyd Park Conversation area, has also more than doubled in value, with prices rising from £230,000 to £510,000 over the same time period.
Increasingly popular Leytonstone, which east London buyers target thanks to its Central line links, is now the fifth most expensive district in the borough with prices rising by £220,000 to an average £500,000.
Even the the areas with the lowest price growth, Valley and Chingford Green have seen their house prices rise by around 55pc.
Average house price growth (excluding new builds) across Walthamstow:
|Ward name||Average second hand sale price, 2007||Average second hand sale price, 2017||10 year change in average second hand sale price|
|Hale End and Highams Park||£283,607||£501,291||76.80%|