Buying in Richmond

Possessing a history littered with Royal patronage, including being the location where Elizabeth I died, Richmond-upon-Thames remains one of the most popular and sought after places to live in London. And yet, deep pockets are required to buy a property in this picturesque, Thames-side town.

According to Zoopla, the average sold price of a property in the area is £443,761, or 178% above the national average. However, in comparison to Prime Central London, where the average selling price is over £1,500,000, Richmond represents an attractive alternative. It isn’t just the (relatively) affordable prices that are luring buyers to Richmond though. With what is generally considered to be one of the best views in London, west over the River Thames, Richmond’s combination of attractive architecture, history, excellent schooling, a varied selection of restaurants & bars, over 200 shops including a Whole Foods Market as well as a Farmers’ market and, according to the CACI Retail Footprint Report in 2011, the most recession proof retail centre nationwide, Richmond is an important conurbation to businesses and residents alike. Although it is on the edge of Greater London, it has tube and rail links to the centre, while being 20 – 30 minutes from Heathrow.

Richmond has a population of over 21,000 in 2 square miles, but the jewel in Richmond’s crown is undoubtedly the 2,400 acres of undulating and stunning parkland known as Richmond Park. Home to over 600 deer, the park is a magnet to locals and visitors from all over London looking for a chance to stretch their legs in magnificent surroundings.

So how does one get to live in Richmond? With property to buy as scarce as anywhere in the capital, it is by no means easy and this has resulted in a strong local rental market. In conducting a recent investment search, Garrington has acquired a 2 bed flat for a client that should achieve a gross rental yield around 4%, which is considerably higher than the average 2.6% yields being achieved closer to the centre of London.

The selling agents are using the market though to their advantage. By creating ‘Open Days’ at the weekends, they drive up the interest in a property and by Monday, they often receive multiple bids, resulting in prices breaching the full asking price, often by some distance. By using Garrington to bring much needed experience and advice to the process, buyers will find they have a far higher chance of securing a property in this frenzied environment and will find a consultant able to cut through the hype being created by canny selling agents and desperate buyers.

I have lived near Richmond for 14 years and despite temptations to move ‘out to the country’ as our family has grown, I cannot think of a nicer place to reside if you want to be close to a city but also enjoy the benefits of green and open space.

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