Anne Currell, CEO of family-run estate agent Currell’s, talks about Hackney’s vibrancy and the options that exist for households to move into the area – even for first time buyers.
Why is Hackney so popular?
It offers the perfect mix of inner city living – vibrant, eclectic, highly creative and very green and young, with so many parks and open spaces and plenty of young people. It has a diverse and vibrant population, too. Housing is good value relative to its west London counterparts, public transport is excellent following the extension of the Overground network, and it has an edgy go-getting vibe and excellent schools.
Can you sum up Hackney in three words?
Connected, creative, exciting
What’s the supply and demand like?
Substantial family houses are always popular with demand outstripping supply. People who move to Hackney want to stay and so they move from flat to small house, small house to large house.
Historically demand has been increasing over the last couple of decades, and Hackney has risen from being 28th (out of 33) in terms of average property price per London borough to 9th.
One of the reasons for this price outperformance – Hackney has outperformed all other London boroughs over the last 20 years – is the relatively limited supply. Although many new build developments have been delivered, a relatively high proportion of the housing stock is social housing and therefore not available for private sale. Nearly 45% of all households in Hackney rent from a social landlord. Demand is expected to increase, with the population forecast to grow from circa 270,000 today to over 300,000 by 2027.
“HACKNEY HISTORICALLY WAS KNOWN FOR THE TEXTILE AND SHOE INDUSTRY – JIMMY CHOO HAD HIS FIRST STUDIO ON KINGSLAND ROAD.”
What sort of property is available?
To buy and rent privately, there is a wide selection of property, mostly Victorian stock with some Georgian – Cassland Road E9 has the longest unbroken terrace of Georgian houses in London – to warehouse conversions and contemporary new build apartments.
The new build properties include shared ownership homes, of which 3,500 are currently being delivered across the borough.
There is also some ex-local authority housing available to purchase privately, and existing local authority property can be bought by eligible social housing tenants via Right to Buy.
Any local celebrities?
London Fields is home to Michael Fassbender and Kirsten Dunst, while Gavin Turk and Jake & Dinos Chapman live in the Victoria Park area.
What is the smartest address here?
Albion Square. Will Young used to live there.
How are these new developments affecting Hackney?
In an entirely positive way, usually transforming unused ex-industrial sites into new homes, which encourages the development and growth of new communities. This is particularly true of London Fields and Hackney Wick. The infrastructure around the developments and subsequent increase in population is also hugely beneficial: there are some great shops, mostly independents. London Fields is a haven for beer drinkers; Beavertown Brewery started in Downham Road. Broadway Market is the must-do destination event at weekends, there is such a positive culture of creativity. Hackney historically was known for the textile and shoe industry: Jimmy Choo had his first studio on Kingsland Road.
What are your predictions for the 2019 rental and sales market in Hackney?
Demand for property, both for purchase and rental, should remain strong, although price levels will depend on whether the government is able to offer sufficient measures to boost confidence in the property market and to offset Brexit uncertainty. Help to Buy has been a huge boost for first time buyers and with a price cap of up to £600,000 it is applicable to a large number of properties in Hackney.