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Investment Market Report: East London

Mark Hempshell reports

Capital values in some parts of London seem to have softened somewhat over the last year. With that in mind we will look at the market and prospects for it in what has historically been a lower-priced area of the capital – East London.

Background and economy
Although there is some debate about the exact definition of East London it is usually thought to comprise the six boroughs east of the city of London and north of the River Thames. These are Barking and Dagenham, Havering (centred around Romford), Newham (Stratford), Redbridge (Ilford), Waltham Forest (Walthamstow), Tower Hamlets, plus part of Hackney.

The population of east London is approximately 1.51m, around 18% of the total Greater London area. The area population declined considerably in the second half of the twentieth century due to rehousing schemes, which relocated residents outside London and as traditional labour-intensive industries declined. It has been growing fast since: ONS projections suggest the East London boroughs have some of London (and the UK’s) fastest growing populations. Tower Hamlets will rise in population by 20.2% and Barking and Dagenham by 18% by 2026.

East London, particularly the inner boroughs, has been a hotspot for immigration for decades. Newham has a non-British born population of 63.3%, the second highest figure in any London borough after Brent.

East London was historically a heavy industrial area with very extensive docks and heavy manufacturing. It now has a more diverse economy orientated around services. In Tower Hamlets for example, 30% of jobs are provided by the financial services hub at Canary Wharf which employs 12,000 people.

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