Property Investment Guide Watford

A thriving town with all the benefits of a capital city

The population of the region currently stands at around 93,500. Rising fast, it’s grown at about 3.5% over the last three years and around 8.7% over the last ten year period.

Watford really is at the heart of prime commuter belt territory. Employment figures across the region are very encouraging, with unemployment figures have fallen by a massive 34% recently.

Watford has a catchment of around 1.3 million people and is a key location for businesses. It’s currently home to the head offices of a number of well-known household names such as lottery operator Camelot.

The local residential property market is booming. Although the average cost in the area is somewhere around 50% above the national average, there is still a strong demand.

Prices in Watford have risen around 5.9% in the last year and by just shy of 20% in the last five years.

Major development projects include

A 140 unit, 1 million sq ft multi-level retail centre, with over 2,000 parking space. The Charter Place regeneration scheme is a £100-million project set to include a leisure complex with 9-screen cinema, public square and a vibrant new restaurant hub.

Around 1,125 new jobs are expected to be created across the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors as well as up to 500 temporary construction jobs. This should be completed in 2017. That means Watford property investment is ideal for you if you're looking for a commuter belt property.

Economy & Employment

Watford general Hospital improvements have created 160 new nursing posts.

Expansion at Watford General Hospital has provided the region with an additional 26 new beds. £3.9 million is also being spent by the hospital on recruiting an additional 160 nurses. This is in addition to the recent grant to fund a new Birthing Centre.

Major employers in the Watford area include the UK lottery operator Camelot, who have their head office here, as do construction company Taylor Woodrow and Bathstore.

Other multi-national companies with their UK headquarters here are Costco, TK Maxx and Total Oil.

The expansion and refurbishment of into Watford shopping centre and the redevelopment of Charter Place is due for completion in 2017, and will also create around 1,125 new jobs.

Watford is also a large scale commuter town, with excellent rail and road access to London Euston taking just under twenty minutes by train. That means Watford property investment is right for you if you're looking for a commuter belt property for your portfolio.


Large scale railway works and the creation of two new stations will take Watford’s connectivity to another level.

The Croxley Rail Link has secured Government funding. The Metropolitan Line’s extension to Watford Junction will include two new stations. The increase in rail capacity and frequency of service will massively benefit the region, this is expected to complete in 2020.

With the possibility of the new Crossrail service coming to Watford, work is underway to secure funding for improvements to Watford Junction station.

Over £200-million funding has recently been secured by the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, to be invested in infrastructure, businesses and skills in the county by 2021.

It is estimated that this funding, which is part of the Government’s Growth Deal, will help deliver 16,000 additional homes, and around 13,000 new jobs.


Air: London Heathrow Airport is only 20 miles away by road giving superb worldwide connectivity to the region. Luton Airport is a mere 18 miles away, and Stansted and Gatwick Airports are 46 and 59 miles, respectively.

Rail: Watford is served by two Metropolitan line services, 3 Overground stations and fast national rail services from Watford Junction and Bushey to London Euston in 18-21 minutes. Services also extend to St Albans, BirminghamWolverhamptonManchester and Scotland. Once the Metropolitan line moves to Watford Junction in 2020 the area will be even more connected to London and the UK.

Bus: Operators including Arriva London, Arriva Shires Essex, Uno and Carousel all operate regular bus services to and from the region.

Road: The district is located just minutes from both the M1 and M25 Motorways, giving excellent connectivity with the whole of the UK.


Watford has 21 primary schools, 7 secondary schools, 2 special schools, 3 independent schools and 1 college.

Thanks to recent Government investment in buildings and new schools, over 2,500 new school places have been created in Watford. Improvements include 120 extra primary places at Ascot Road and Lanchester schools and the new UTC Secondary School was also opened. Central Watford Primary is planned and the Westfield Academy is to receive a £20 million rebuild.

Further Education: West Herts College offers a great range of qualifications to choose from. These include full-time career-focused courses, in-demand apprenticeships, foundation degrees HNDs.

Higher Education: The Hertfordshire Higher Education Consortium is a partnership between local education institutions that will provide high-quality courses that support vocational higher education.

Shops & Leisure

Shopping & Dining: into Watford is a shopaholic’s dream. With its glass roof and a large number of outlets, it is a popular destination. For food-lovers, there is something to tempt everyone’s taste buds, with a wide selection of restaurants, cafes, bars and gastropubs.

Sport & Culture: There is much to keep your interest during leisure time, from the Watford Palace Theatre and The Pumphouse Theatre and Arts Centre to Cassiobury Park & Watford Colosseum. The town also hosts events throughout the year such as outdoor film screening on an artificial beach or ice skating in winter.

Green Spaces: The people of Watford are spoiled for choice when it comes to green spaces. There’s Leavesden Country Park, Garston Park, Cassiobury Park with its 190 acres of open grassland, woodland and nature reserve to name a few of Hertfordshire’s outdoor treasures.

Brett Alegre-Wood
July 5, 2016

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