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Borough by borough 2016: Richmond upon Thames
An affluent, mature, beautiful borough in London’s far south west, Richmond offers its residents the best of both worlds: good proximity to central London and a village lifestyle.
There is something rather magical about the leafy, affluent borough of Richmond. Perhaps it is the wide expanse of river it contains, or the picturesque riverside full of bars and restaurants that has consequently built up around it. Or maybe it is beautiful Richmond Park, home to 630 Red and Fallow deer that roam freely and have done so since 1529. Essentially, Richmond marries the charm of country life with the convenience and culture of the city.
It is not surprising, therefore, that the residents of Richmond have consistently been listed as some of the happiest people in London with the best quality of life. It is equally unsurprising that at £630,500, average house prices in Richmond are the highest of any Outer London borough. Looking over the longer term, Richmond had the highest house price growth for any Outer borough over the last decade. This strength extends to the rental market, where average rents currently sit at £1,755, the highest in Outer London.
At the core, Richmond is an affluent, mature, economically stable borough. It has the third highest salary in London and the lowest unemployment rate of 4%. Many residents have settled there as a place to raise a family without having to make the move to the country, thereby avoiding the obligatory long commutes to the city for work. Richmond is only a 28 minute journey to Waterloo, 35 minutes from Oxford Circus and a 40 minute journey from Liverpool Street. As a result, the population is expected to increase by 13,227 over the next decade.
Richmond has 67 primary schools (one of which is listed as outstanding) and with the fourth lowest crime rate in London provides a remarkably safe family environment. Aside from Richmond per se, the borough also encompasses areas such as Barnes, St Margaret’s, Cambridge Park, parts of Twickenham and much of East Sheen.
However, despite the undeniably sunny picture, there is very little residential development underway. It had the lowest number of completions in 2014 of any London borough and only 192 units are currently under construction (the third lowest level in the whole of London). Of those schemes that are in development, those of note include Royal Star and Garter Home which will provide 86 units (this will be the first of its kind here with great views and amenity offer, as a result pricing is expected to be much higher than the competition). Also under construction are Brewery Wharf with 71 apartments and 28 houses and Ondon Square in Teddington which is selling at an average of £730 psf.