The 10 new ‘Waitrose effects’ impacting house prices and demand

Q4 2017

Research shows that the “Waitrose effect” can help add over £36,000 to a property price, compared to £22,000 added by living near any national supermarket. But this isn’t the only indicator that a down-and-out area is turning into an up-and-coming neighbourhood.

James Mackenzie

Senior Director, National Country House Department

+44 20 7318 5190

Timing is everything when investing in an area on the brink of a boom. Ideally, you want to buy before the big supermarkets move in, but there are other signs that an area is on the up.

1.Independent cinemas

The opening of an independent cinema is a sure sign that the arty types have arrived, meaning the area is about to get a lot trendier. The art community need the cheap and flexible accommodation options that less desirable areas offer, and it won’t be long before others follow suit.

2.Co-working hubs

Places like WeWork and Worksapce offer open and collaborative spaces for young creatives to come together and innovate. Do your research – if you find a co-working hub, it’s highly likely that the young professionals are already living in the area, and house prices will be increasing.

3.Gentrified social clubs

With the influx of creatives to an area, the social scene changes too. But it won’t be working men’s clubs with karaoke that draw in this creative crowd. A search for more obscure activities such as foraging and film clubs will be a good indicator of the presence of younger creatives living in the area.

4.Vape shops

It’s not just predictable coffee chains and retail shops to look out for. Take a closer look at the high street – if you find vape shops, they’ll be catering for the younger health-conscious professionals, already living nearby.

5.The Ivy effect

The restaurant favoured by the rich and famous is no longer confined to London’s West End. The Ivy has branched out into a collection of cafés, grills and brasseries, opening in a number of locations across the UK. The restaurant is now becoming a benchmark for a fashionable area, which inevitably drives prices up quickly.

6.Almond milk: the new Cappuccino Index

An unlikely hint that an area is on the rise, is almond milk. As James Mackenzie, Head of Country Homes at Strutt & Parker says:

“Owners will only serve on-trend items such as non-dairy alternatives, or vegan or gluten-free food, if they know the demand is there,” he says. “The almond milk index is the new Cappuccino Index.”

7.Farmers' markets

Farmers' markets give a neighbourhood the foodie factor; great news for existing homeowners, and a fantastic way to support your local community. What can better than local home-grown produce. Plus, these markets can also attract local craftsman and other quirky pop-ups.

8.Gluten-free bakeries

When specialised shops like these bakeries with a niche audience begin to outnumber the local kebab houses, you know you’re onto a winner.

9.Craft beer

If the high street is already awash with craft beer shops, you can assume that hipsters have already moved into the area and prices are on an upward trajectory.

10. Aldi, the new Waitrose

Aldi is overtaking Waitrose as Britain’s sixth largest retailer, with ambitious expansion plans to open more stores than Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons combined. This is spiking a trend of homebuyers focusing their search near an Aldi for the convenience of living near a supermarket without the big price premium of Waitrose.

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