London’s Olympic Park leaves property legacy
London’s East End, so long a neglected backwater, has enjoyed a remarkable renaissance over the past five years following the successful 2012 Olympics as this week’s World Athletics Championships has reminded us.
Property values have risen by 128 per cent since 2005, compared with 106 per cent for London as a whole. And in areas surrounding the Olympic Park, prices have surged by 64 per cent since 2012.
Some locations have experienced even more dramatic increases: in the leafy residential district of Walthamstow, average home values have doubled from £238,000 to £479,000. And in Leyton, there has been a 93 per cent price rise since 2012.
‘Hosting the 2012 Games welcomed major regeneration to boost areas close to the Olympic Park in East London,’ said one property economist. ‘Large scale infrastructure in the existing tube networks, an international rail station and now Crossrail have not only created jobs in the area, but improved options for people to move around the capital.’
Besides the improved connections, buyers are also attracted by the sporting facilities left as a legacy of the Olympics. Swimmers can use the stunning London Aquatics Centre with its 50-meter pool, diving area and play pool. Cyclists can ride along river and canal paths or test themselves in the Velodrome. And runners can go for miles without crossing roads, in parks and along towpaths.
The overall effect has been to shift London’s centre of gravity further east, correcting a bias towards the West and making the city more balanced and in tune with itself.