Romford, home to a Balgores Property Group sales and lettings branch, is next up for our lowdown treatment. So, without further ado…
A large commuter town in East London, Romford has a population of just over 95,000. It was once a market town in Essex, but has been part of Greater London since 1965.
In recent years the town has expanded significantly, with a population increase to match this.
One of the town’s most iconic and popular landmarks is Romford Market, a large, open-air street market with more than 270 stalls selling everything from food, electricals and household goods to jewellery, flowers and upholstery.
As one of London’s oldest street markets (dating back to 1247), it attracts visitors from all over the capital, the country and the world. If you’re looking for fresh meat and fish, fruit & veg, a great cup of tea and low-priced goods, Romford Market is pretty hard to beat. It’s open every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday (and every day in the run-up to Christmas).
In fact, Romford is something of a shopper’s paradise. Liberty Shopping Centre is home to all the usual high-street favourites and coffee chains, as well as a wide range of independent offerings.
Romford Shopping Hall, meanwhile, has a wide range of shops, gift stores and eateries to keep visitors happy.
From a sporting point of view, Romford F.C. join near neighbours A.F.C Hornchurch in the Ryman League Division One North. The area also has a high concentration of West Ham fans, with the town home to its very own West Ham United Store.
Those keen on green space will enjoy Cottons Park, King George’s Playing Fields and Raphael Park, which provides plenty of opportunities for exercise and leisure activities.
Culture vultures, on the other hand, will love the Brookside Theatre, a small, intimate venue in the heart of Romford that puts on a varied range of musicals, live music, plays, stand-up comedies and tribute acts.
A wide range of cuisines are on offer in Romford. Stand-out restaurants include Ciao Bella (a lovely old-fashioned Italian with great-value dishes and excellent service) and Mangal Meze (which, as the name suggests, is a Turkish restaurant with huge portion sizes for reasonable prices).
One of the best watering holes in town is trendy gastropub Shepherd & Dog, which does excellent 'posh pub grub' in family-friendly surroundings.
There are too many restaurants, cafés and pubs to list here, so it’s best to discover as you go. In Romford, you’re never far away from a hidden gem.
The sales market
A key commuter hub thanks to its close proximity to London and its excellent transport links – Romford station has Overground, National Rail and TfL services, while a number of District Line Tube stations are also fairly close by – Romford’s current average asking price is around the £310,000 mark.
While property sellers will be pleased with this, so will buyers as it’s still one of London's more affordable locations, with demand high from young professionals, families and commuters.
Sellers will also be pleased to know that prices in Romford have risen by 12% in the last year (Rightmove) and have increased by a massive 37% since 2013, when the average price was only £226,865. With demand continuing to outstrip supply, such impressive price rises are expected to continue for the foreseeable future.
With London’s population set to swell in the coming decade, expect more and more people to head eastwards – which will be to the benefit of places like Romford. The town has many of the attributes desirable to buyers – family friendly, easy access to London, green space, good local schools – so it is unlikely that demand will be retracting anytime soon.
The rental market
Demand is also high when it comes to private rented properties in Romford. Local landlords will be pleased to hear that the average rent in the town is currently around £1,200 pcm – and, as we've mentioned before, yields are generally higher in East London than the rest of the capital.
This is mostly because properties tend to be a bit cheaper in our neck of the woods, which means yields aren’t so squeezed. What's more, a good return on your investment – should you ever sell in the future – is pretty much guaranteed, given the high demand for homes in this area.
With the number of people privately renting set to rise significantly over the next decade, landlords should also feel confident in their ability to fill their rental properties with ease.
Romford town centre is already one of London and the South East’s largest retail and shopping hubs, more than holding its own against the likes of Bluewater and Lakeside. It also has thriving nightlife, good transport links (rail, road and bus) and a large catchment area, extending from Central London to Essex.
The Urban Strategy for Romford aims to build on the town’s existing attributes, while making it better-connected, more commercial and more residential. Improved transport links and new housing developments will help to aid this vision.
To find out more about selling in Romford, contact our sales team on: 01708 755507; or for lettings call: 01708 755508.
You can also request a free instant online valuation to see how much your property could be worth in the current market.