Published in City A.M., September 2019
When Taylor Swift released her latest album, Londoners were surprised to find she had penned an ode to our city in a track called London Boy.
In the song, she travels around the capital using routes that anyone with a cursory knowledge of the transport system would find completely illogical, such as going from Shoreditch to Highgate then back to Hackney.
She also describes her love for having high tea, browsing in Camden Market and watching rugby in the pub with her boyfriend, British actor Joe Alwyn.
So if Tay-tay decided she liked London enough to buy a pad here, which of the locations in the song would be her best bet? Researchers at Savills have totted up the totals and say Shoreditch represents the best value, with the average second-hand home coming in at just £516,250 in the year to May.Taylor sings about spending time in Camden – and it has seen property prices increase in recent years
In the song Swift expresses a penchant for hanging out in Hackney over Louis Vuitton on Bond Street – and she could pick up a tidy bargain there too, with the average sale price in Hackney Central sitting at £576,339. This is the third-cheapest location after Shoreditch and Brixton, which comes in at £539,433. If she’s looking for an investment, though, Camden might be a good shout.
It is the only area that has seen house prices go up, rather than down, in the year to May, and by a not-insignificant 8.4 per cent. In the last five years, the average sale price has increased by 35.1 per cent – again the highest on the list, and compared to a London average of 22.3 per cent.
The West End (which takes in Soho and Bond Street, both mentioned in the song) is unurprisingly the priciest location at £2.08m.
While the pop star won’t have any problem handing over that kind of cash, she might want to consider that the sale price of homes in the area fell by 37.1 per cent in the last year.
It is the also the only London Boy location where the average sale price is lower now than it was five years ago. Nick Verdi, head of Savills Shoreditch, says: “Shoreditch is home to some of London’s coolest bars and restaurants, Brixton is renowned for its food markets and the woods in Highgate provide some quiet space in the city. It’s great to be able to draw attention to some of London’s well-loved areas and all that they offer.”