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Borough by borough: Kingston upon Thames
Bordering Richmond and unsurprisingly as the name suggests, on the bank of the river, Kingston upon Thames is like a little medieval English village, fully equipped with an ancient market under Royal Charter. While light years removed in style, it is just 12 miles from central London and only 25 minutes by train to Waterloo Station.
Once the ancient market town where Saxon kings were crowned, Kingston upon Thames is now a colourful little riverside borough lined with unique shops, themed markets, street performances and numerous cafés, bars and restaurants. It currently has the third lowest population in all of London and the lowest population of any Outer London borough. While projections suggest this will rise by 8.8% over the next decade, it will remain the least populated borough.
Kingston upon Thames is also home to the anti-minimalist sculpture by David Mach entitled ‘Out of Order’, commissioned in 1988 as part of the landscaping for the new Relief Road. It sees a series of iconic red London telephone boxes tipped over to lean against one another in an arrangement resembling dominoes.
All of these aspects, in conjunction with the borough’s access to the attractions such as the river and the neighbouring borough’s Richmond Park, render Kingston upon Thames inarguably charming. This is why Kingston upon Thames has the sixth highest rate of owner occupiers in London at 65%; this is a place people buy a home and settle down to raise a family. Despite this there is a very little construction in the area, with just two schemes completed last year. However, Redrow’s Kingston Riverside has paved the way for new developments, with proposed schemes from Berkeley and British Land.
Kingston has the sixth highest average house price in Outer London at £416,960, the sixth highest average house price growth in Outer London over the last decade at 63% and the joint fourth highest growth over the last year at 17%.
Within Kingston prices vary greatly depending upon exact location. As expected, those areas bordering the affluent borough of Richmond achieve the highest prices of £623,055 while those in the south of the borough are achieving far lower prices of under £400,000. However, some of these lower value areas share a border with Elmbridge, an area that, like Richmond, is achieving far higher average house prices of nearer £800,000. This suggests there is room for growth in these undervalued areas.