It's called "The Waitrose Effect". Studies have shown that the average house price gain from properties that are within a reasonable walking distance of the upmarket grocer stand at 25% in the UK, and as much as 50% in London.
Stores such as Tesco and Sainsburys have been taking over traditional small retailers for well over a decade now, providing corner-shop convenience at supermarket prices. Waitrose have muscled in on the action, with the surprising effect of triggering house price rises in the areas in which they open.
So what is the "Waitrose effect"?
In a recent study on house prices, it was found that a house in Amersham which has a nearby Waitrose typically costs £456,000. The average house price for Buckinghamshire is £360,000.
It's unclear whether the opening of a Waitrose triggers this rise in house prices, or that Waitrose simply open stores only in highly-affluent areas, but the direct correlation between the two cannot be ignored.
If you are looking into investing in property, and wish to see a sizeable return from your investment, then finding out which area Waitrose is planning to open new stores in can be a very smart move; but that's not the only consideration.Mike McIntyre, Survey Director of Surveyor Local commented that “Recent coverage in the press has increased consumer awareness to the point where home buyers are asking us to report on the proximity of the nearest Waitrose as part of the home survey.”
In Greater London, having a Waitrose close to a property had no significant impact on property prices.
Get a free, instant conveyancing quote:
Other factors that can affect prices
This is thought to be because of the excellent transport links in the Greater London area.
Of course the effect isn't limited solely to Waitrose. If you can identify an area lacking in local amenities such as transport links and schools, you are likely to see property price increases should these amenities be introduced after you move in.
Schools and transport links will make an area more desirable and the consequent increase in footfall will attract bars, restaurants and shops, increasing house prices still further.
Even if you're not an investor, and are simply looking for somewhere to call home, situating yourself close to a Waitrose is one way of reducing the risk of your property having lost value when you decide to sell.
Keep an eye open for new Waitrose stores
To keep your eye on new Waitrose developments, head over to the Media Centre on the Waitrose website which lists news on Waitrose's plans for the near future. The company says it aims to open ten supermarkets and ten convenience stores per year at the very least.
Despite the recession, the property market can still be a method by which the canny investor can make significant returns if proper investigations are carried out. Keeping an eye on the plans of the upmarket grocer seems to be one way of perhaps making a tidy profit.
Looking for a property? Give Homeward Legal a call on and we'll help you with the conveyancing side of things, whether you're near a Waitrose or not!