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What a City worker wants in a home

By Sophia Wood-Burgess

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What do renters and buyers working in the City of London want from their homes? Foxtons Autumn Statement turns to buzzing East London to root out some prominent trends.

In the last 18 months, 34% of renters who worked in the City and moved home chose to rent in East London. Of the rest, 31% stayed closer to work in Central London boroughs while just 15% moved to South London, 13% to West and 7% to North London.

Foxtons London Report - Autumn Statement 2023

When you look outside the most central zones, East is a somewhat overlooked region – as much as any region of the Capital can be overlooked – but the neighbourhoods have big personalities, diverse and loyal communities, great creative presence and an eye on the future. Now with one magic ingredient added to all that, the further reaches of this region are finally coming into the spotlight.

You can clearly see, as we discussed in our London Report in March: where London transport leads, everything else follows. So, with the Elizabeth line among other transport infrastructure changes in East London, comes our story of investors and commuters.

Life on the East side

Savvy renters and buyers on a budget are accustomed to using London’s excellent transportation to support their lifestyles. New transport opens up areas where they can afford whatever they value most in a home and commute quick enough to have a life outside of their careers.

Top developers and savvy investors also monitor upcoming transport closely, following and aiding the large-scale regeneration that comes hand-in-hand. So, they look along the Elizabeth line to say, “Stratford is actually perfect for renters,” and, “more people should know about riverside living in Woolwich,” and these places take off.

A designer warehouse conversion to rent in the heart of Bethnal Green.

We have some truly phenomenal East London listings that tick all the boxes for City workers:

• For the social soul, we have apartments to rent in East London's most exciting communities.

Build to Rent developments, with amenities like a concierge to collect your packages, a gym in the building and spaces for hybrid working, give you back more time to enjoy your daily life.

• Buying a newly built home means everything is brand-new and under warranty, so you’ll spend less of your valuable time and energy on maintaining your home.

Not to mention, the atmosphere in East London is exciting. From trendsetting Hackney to state-of-the-art Stratford, there is so much to love in these neighbourhoods. An injection of new homes and infrastructure brings the spotlight to these communities.

The E in East London

As our Autumn Statement found, not only are City workers primarily moving to East London, but they’re moving into the most energy efficient homes there at a surprising rate. 40% of City workers who rent in East London live in EPC A/B-rated homes, a huge step up from the next highest level, 25% in West London.

Why are East London City workers interested in energy efficient homes? Hard to pin it to one thing, but it could be because A and B-rated homes are more economical to run. According to the Home Builder’s Federation, new build homebuyers will save over £180 per month on energy bills (source: HBF briefing).

Price is an interesting metric in house hunting – especially the kind of house hunting we’ve mentioned in this article. When we talk about the savvy buyers and renters who our Negotiators help search down the transport line to get the home they want, they’re not simply shifting into the cheapest homes and neighbourhoods. For instance, while “two out of every five Foxtons new homes buyers find their new home outside their initial search area,” London’s new-build homes are “achieving an average of 95% of the asking price.”

Instead, these renters and buyers are conscious about finding homes where more of the money they spend goes towards the things they value in a home. So, movers may be interested in areas where newly built homes are cropping up because they can justify spending a bit more in rent or asking price if there’s a gym in the building, an easy commute and exciting residents’ events.

We’re seeing that, for City workers, large monthly bills for an inefficient energy system does not equate to good home value. Lucky for them, East London has a lot more to offer.

If you’re looking to buy an investment in East London, get in touch with our New Homes teams.

If you’re looking to buy or rent, register your search on My Foxtons and we’ll help you find your perfect home.

Trying to reach our buyers and renters with your East London property? Book a valuation and we’ll get the right deal done for you.

Still have questions? Here's some more insight into these topics:

Could energy efficiency sway buyers towards new-build homes?

Spotlight on Canary Wharf: a hidden gem that’s starting to shine

Your guide to buying and investing along the new Elizabeth line

7 areas with easy commutes into Central London

The Elizabeth line is coming (at last!)

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