Richmond Property Investment Guide

A desirable, in-demand & affluent area with high employment

Richmond upon Thames is a prime investment option. Located astride the River Thames in the south-west of the outer London region, it is a prosperous and affluent area close enough to central London to reap the benefits, yet surrounded by many acres of natural parkland.

The population of the borough currently stands at around 187,500 and this has risen at about 8.5% over the last ten years. Richmond has a higher than average number of people rating their overall health as very good and had the highest life expectancy for women in London in 2010-2012. Richmond is prime commuter territory with trains to Waterloo taking only 19 minutes so employment figures across the region are excellent. In 2013 the borough had the lowest unemployment rate, highest male employment rate & the 3rd highest gross annual pay.

Around 72% of the borough’s population work in managerial, professional and technical positions, compared with 48% in outer London as a whole and 44% across the whole of the country.The local residential property market is also thriving. Unsurprisingly with the size of some of the properties in the borough, the average cost in the area is above that of greater London. However there is still a strong market. Prices in Richmond upon Thames have risen at just under 4.9% in 2014-15 and by over 23% in the last five years. With the higher price point, rental yields are typically around 3-4%.

According to research by Knight Frank, property in Richmond outperformed central London’s prime areas in 2014 due to the ‘ripple effect’ of central price rises. Buyers from Notting Hill, Chelsea and Kensington are looking outside the centre for bigger properties, particularly on Richmond Hill  near Richmond Park where prices are at a premium.As well as excellent train connections the area is ideally placed to the sources of both the M3 & M4 Motorways, which link to the M25 London Orbital Motorway. London Heathrow Airport, the UK’s busiest airport, is a also only a half an hour drive away.

Richmond is also UK or European headquarters of several multinational companies including eBay, PayPal and the Securitas Group, as well as head office to a number of national, regional and local businesses. There is also higher than average number of self-employed people in Richmond, reflecting the area’s strong entrepreneurial spirit.These factors will ensure that Richmond grows not just as a commuter region but as an employment hub within its own right.

That means Richmond property investment is right for you if you’re looking for a London property in zone 3,4 or 5.

Economy & Employment

Richmond has been described as ‘the beating heart of London’s growing technology industry’ the Evening Standard newspaper

Richmond is home to major tech companies such as eBay and PayPal, and in late 2014, this area had a higher concentration of tech workers than any other London borough.

In 2015, the borough also had the highest concentration in London of small businesses that use the web to boost trade, and the third highest nationally. Finance, IT, oil and gas are big sectors with large employers including BP. It is also home to Twickenham Television Studios & the National Archives.

Richmond has a higher level of employment (80.1%) than London (73.6%) and the whole of the UK (73.9%), as well as higher salaries. The average weekly salary here from October 2015 to September 2016 was £785, compared to £623 in London as a whole and £541 in the UK.

Richmond also has a significantly higher number of self employed residents, as well as residents in managerial and professional occupations, than London and the UK as a whole.

The creative industries have been identified as an important cluster for growth in The London Plan. The success of internet startups such as Notonthehighstreet.com and the presence of technology giants such as eBay mean these sectors are predicted to go from strength to strength.

Richmond upon Thames is a fairly leisure-based region, with its many attractions making it a popular tourist destination. Kew Gardens was 19th most visited attraction in the UK with nearly 1.4 million visitors in 2014 according to ALVA.

Investment

Richmond Borough Council is investing millions into regeneration the borough

Plans are being considered to redevelop the St. Clare Business Park in Hampton Hill. Up to 116 homes are planned the aim is for a mixed-use scheme, creating 1,790 sq. m of commercial floorspace.

Several areas in Richmond borough are currently undergoing redevelopments or have seen plans made for this type of investment. Richmond Borough Council has allocated £11m across the borough to the Twickenham ‘Uplift’ programme, which aims to revitalise the town centre. The action plan was adopted in 2013 with work expected to take around 15 years to complete.

So far, the programme has seen improvements of the highway and to Twickenham Embankment, with work on Twickenham Station expected to start in 2017. The former Royal Mail Sorting Office is being regenerated into a residential community consisting of 110 apartments, a community building and a public piazza.

It’s part of a wider multi-million investment being made into the Twickenham area. As this is located around 13 minutes from Richmond Chase, it’s expected that this area will too reap the benefits of this major regeneration investment.

Nearby Kingston is also seeing large-scale regeneration investments. Planning approvals have been made to redevelop the Eden Walk area. It will include new office space, a new shopping centre, a cinema, public car parking, as well as public spaces and a remodel of the memorial gardens. The £400m venture also includes plans for 380 new homes.

Transport

Air: Richmond upon Thames is served by London Heathrow Airport, which is half an hour away by road and provides flights to 185 destinations in 84 countries throughout the world, as well as ample road and rail connectivity. Gatwick Airport is around an hour away by road.

Rail: The region is served by a total of 14 rail stations and has links to both the overground and underground rail networks.

Road: The district is located adjacent to both the M3 and M4 Motorways, linking to the M25 London Orbital motorway, providing excellent links with the rest of the country’s road network.

Bus: The region is amply served by a comprehensive network of day and night-time bus services providing transport links throughout the greater London area and beyond.

Education

Richmond upon Thames has 40 primary, nine secondary, 23 independent schools and two further education colleges in its catchment area. The borough is known for its excellent schools and is home to the Royal Ballet lower school, situated in White Lodge in Richmond Park.

Notable schools include:

  •  Hampton School, an independent day school for boys aged 11 to 18 years. Set in 29 acres, it has an Ofsted rating of ‘Outstanding’, and was ranked the 25th best independent secondary school by The Sunday Times in 2015.
  •  Lady Eleanor Holles School, for girls aged seven to 18 years. Equally well regarded by Ofsted inspectors, it was ranked ninth on the Top 424 Independent Secondary Schools list by The Sunday Times in 2015.

Further and Higher Education: Richmond Adult Community College is based opposite the Old Deer Park. Founded in 1895, it offers courses in Art, Business, Humanities, Health & Sciences and Foundation studies.

Around 3,000 students attend Richmond upon Thames College, based in Twickenham. The college offers a range of courses in subjects like Maths, Engineering, Music and Art & Design.

Kingston University is close at hand with campuses in Kingston and Roehampton. Two international educational institutions, The American International University in London, and The German School are located in the area, on Richmond Hill and in Petersham respectively.

Shops & Leisure

Shopping & Dining: Richmond town has a large commercial centre, the largest in the borough, and is considered a major centre. It is an up-market 50,000 sq m retail area, with over 200 shops located around George Street, Hill Street and The Quadrant.

Kingston city centre, also a 13 minute bus journey, offers plenty of shopping opportunities thanks to its two major shopping centres. The Bentall Centre is home to 75 shops and food and drink outlets, while nearby Eden Walk offers another 28 high street stores, covering all of residents’ every shopping need.

Sport & Culture: Whether you’re a spectator or a participant, there is much to enjoy, from Rugby, rowing, canoeing, sailing, swimming, cycling, polo to golf and cricket, which are all popular in the region. Open air pools are available in the summer months. Families will love the Royal Parks, stately homes, theatres, museums and galleries, historic buildings and architecture that fill this attractive borough.

Green Spaces: The people of Richmond upon Thames are spoilt for choice when it comes to the great outdoors, with parkland covering around half of the borough, as well as over 21 miles of prime river frontage. Richmond Park, Kew Gardens, Bushy Park and Old Deer Park are all on your doorstep, and 140 hectares within the borough are designated as part of the Metropolitan Green Belt.

That means Richmond property investment is ideal for you if you’re looking for a thriving London area for your portfolio.

About the Author

Brett has over 20 years experience in all facets of property, he owns various companies centred around property and is the driving force behind the education and training at Gladfish. His companies have sold over £850 million in UK and London property and he manages over 1200 properties through his estate agency chain. Today he shares his time between UK, Australia and Singapore. He is married to Arlene and together they have 4 kids.

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