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Borough by borough 2016: Croydon
Traditionally a somewhat maligned and overlooked borough, Croydon is currently undergoing a major face-lift. A cluster of residential towers and a council led £1 billion rejuvination have seen rental prices jump 12% over the last year and average house prices rise 18%.
Despite being only 20 minutes by train from central London, Croydon has historically been an undervalued area due to its poor reputation. However, council-led regeneration is changing all that with the aim of attracting young professionals to the area. Over £1 billion has been committed to transforming the economy and rejuvenating the town centre. So far, there has been significant improvement in infrastructure with a new tram line and the development of a new station plaza, shops, restaurants, bars and a hotel. This regeneration includes the proposed Westfield and Hammerson shopping centre redevelopment.
As a result Croydon has evolved as one of the four major high-rise clusters in London. The other clusters, comprised of The City, Canary Wharf and Southbank, are all in Inner London and between the four clusters account for around two thirds of all high rise development in London.
Last year, Croydon had the fourth highest number of housing completions. In addition, there are 4,908 units with planning permissions in the borough and a further 2,984 units under construction. However, Croydon has the largest population of any London borough at 378,365. Over the next decade this is expected to increase by a further 31,832 people, meaning supply is still shy of the level required.
Average house prices in Croydon are currently the sixth lowest in London at around £320,110 which, taking into account local salaries, makes it the third most affordable in Outer London and the fourth most affordable in London overall. However, the regeneration has= boosted house prices and Croydon achieved the third highest house price growth of 18% last year. Croydon also experienced the second highest rental growth in London last year.