• Kevin Murphy

E1 London Property: Spitalfields

LONDON - In 1197 a hospital founded in east London was named St, Mary’s Spittel which eventually is believed to have made the district known by the name as Spitalfields. For many years the area was derelict with poor neighbourhoods and despair. It was also well known to be the stalking grounds of Victorian killer Jack the Ripper. But what has made this part of London unique is the Victorian market of Old Spitalfields Market built in 1876 and medieval streets that wind through the area. The district was well known for its mix of Huguenots from France in the 1680’s, Irish weavers in the mid-1700’s along with Polish and Russian Jews in the late 1880’s escaping the conditions of their home countries to become merchant residents.

Today this local area is of one of London’s most eclectic, trendy environments and not surprisingly has made its local real estate market a hot one.

The Market

The E1 post code area has seen regeneration public developments in the property sector over the years most notably Bishops Square with 72,000 square meters of offices, apartments and restaurants along with Crispin Place with its links to the old Spitalfields market.

Also in a prime location Spitalfields in the area of Aldgate tube station and Shoreditch is One Commercial Street which has become popular not only for residents but business and leisure travellers as well.

Alex Antzoulatos of Knight Frank told the Financial Times : “Developments like One Commercial Street — all of that was sold far in excess of what the underlying stock in the area was priced at.” Antzoulatos points out that new developments “start at £1,000 per sq ft and can go up to £1,400 per sq ft”, whereas Spitalfields’ older residential Georgian and Victorian housing tend to hover at — or below — £1,000 per sq ft. Savills, for example, is selling a 2,497 sq ft four-bedroom Georgian townhouse on Fournier Street with a garden and external studio for £2.5m. On Brushfield Street, Hamptons is selling a 1,392 sq ft two-bedroom Victorian maisonette with windows looking on to Spitalfields market for £1.325m.’

Savills has reported that property values in Spitalfields have increased ’14.8% this past year making the average home value at £898,625 thus making prices 85.2% higher since precession market averages in 2007.’

Housing Rates

The Land Registry reports that the average sale price in Spitalfields in the 12 months to June 2016 jumped 28 per cent; over a five-year period this rises to 91 per cent.

One attractive incentive for businesses and residents is the borough of Tower Hamlets has one of the lowest council tax rates for housing in London at £2,393.70 for homes valued at more than £320,000.

What your money gets you: 

£500,000, A one-bedroom apartment in a Victorian mansion block close to Liverpool Street Station,

£1m, A two-bedroom apartment in a new development on Commercial Street with a 24- hour concierge,

£2.5m, A four-bedroom Georgian terraced house with a garden and separate artist’s studio.

Battle Field

As usual there has been a clash between conservationists and developers over plans to build a 320,000-square-foot complex with offices, shopping and apartments on Blossom Street. In 2015, the local Tower Hamlets council denied

British Land, one of the Britain’s largest developers the turned a request for building permits because the plans might destroy the character of the area. Then London Mayor Boris Johnson then had this decision reversed. The local Spitalfields Trust made attempts to reverse the Mayors ruling but were unsuccessful with British land winning the right to move forward.

In an interview with Mansion Global in 2016 Matt Powell, assistant manager at Stirling Ackroyd estate agents, attributes the popularity of Spitalfields to three factors: affordability, sociability and walkability.

“It is so close to the City you can walk there,” he said, referring to central London’s main financial district. “And on the flip side, you have got cool and quirky Shoreditch on the other side.”

Pricing is competitive compared with prime central London. “A four-bedroom house in Spitalfields will go for $1,250 to $1,375 per square foot,” Mr. Powell said. In Chelsea, prices range from $5,600 to $6,200 per square foot. “It is absurd,” he said.

By Underground:

Liverpool Street Station on the Central, Hammersmith and City, District, Circle and Metropolitan lines

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