Known as the Garden of England, Kent offers an abundance of rolling countryside, coastal charm and historical high streets, making it a desirable place to live. It is also one of the South East’s top business location thanks to great transport links to London, the rest of the UK and Europe.
As our Managing Director revealed at the end of 2020, the South East and more specifically Kent is one to watch in 2021: “The region offers the near-perfect package of high-quality, affordable homes in popular regeneration areas with excellent connectivity to London. Demand here is currently outstripping supply, which is something we intend to continue to address as we head into 2021.”
Below, we have outlined the top three factors that make Kent a strong investment opportunity for investors looking to grow their property portfolio.
Owing to the completion of the HS1 rail service in 2007, the county benefits from an unrivalled rail network. The high-speed service means commuters can reach St Pancras International from Ebbsfleet in only 17 minutes. Likewise, the service reduced travel time from Ashford to central London from 84 minutes to 37 minutes.
Kent also benefits from a strong road network with easy access to the capital via the M2 and M25 as well as the M20 towards the coast. In fact, it ‘has more motorways by distance than any other county in the UK’. Two Eurostar stations, Eurotunnel Le Shuttle at Folkestone and The Port of Dover are also major transport hubs to the continent.
Investment and regeneration projects
There are a number of major projects changing the face of the county, but the ones that really stand out include the Thames Estuary Production Corridor, Newtown Works and London Resort.
Launched by the Mayor of London in 2017, the Thames Estuary Production Corridor seeks to unite East London, North Kent and South Kent to create ‘a world class centre for creative and cultural production and leading global innovation’. Having already unlocked over £4.6 million of central government investment, the programme will support job creation, the growth of the creative economy and develop local talent.
The planned Lower Thames Crossing is another major project, which will divert traffic away from the Dartford Crossing and provide a road tunnel under the River Thames between Chalk and East Tilbury. It is set to ‘give a significant employment boost to Kent and Essex, with more than 22,000 people expected to work on the UK’s largest road scheme since the building of the M25.’
Newtown Works is an £250 million upcoming development in Ashford which will deliver state-of-the-art TV and film studios. Granted planning permission in April 2020, the project will create up to 2,000 jobs and create a new hub for the creative industries.
Located on the Swanscombe Peninsula of North Kent, The London Resort is a proposed ‘world-class, sustainable, next generation entertainment resort’. Having recently submitted a planning application, it predicts £50bn of gross economic activity in its first 25 years and construction will begin as early as 2022 if granted approval.
A strong property market
GRE Assets has championed property investment opportunities offering affordability and connectivity since our inception, which is exactly why we chose to launch our Riverside Park project in Ashford in 2017. Analysis by real estate company, Zoopla in the Kent Property Market Report 2020 supports this, having found that house prices have shown growth, especially in the areas which offer both affordability and access to London by high-speed rail.
The report also recognised that despite the Covid-19 pandemic ‘the new homes market continued with relatively few lost sales’, showing the resilience of the residential property market in Kent.
GRE Assets is currently delivering Riverside Park, a major residential development in Ashford, Kent.