Luton predicted as the next property hotspot from the ripple effect of the capital
Luton is a large town, situated alongside the M1 motorway in Bedfordshire. It has a current population of just under 260,000 people, and with a growth of around 21% over the last ten years.
Luton has been tipped by Rightmove, a leading property website, as one of three hottest locations for future housing demands over the next five years.
House price in Luton are currently around 27% below the national average and whilst asking prices across the country have risen by around 7.5% annually, in Luton, they have increased by around 10% in the last year.
It has been suggested that prices are rising faster in Luton than in London, partly because of the ripple made as Londoners move out of the capital seeking better value for their money. There is seen to be a real need for further housing in the district, and the town’s Housing Development and Enabling Team, as well as the Homes and Communities Agency and housing associations are all working together to develop new housing projects.
The area surrounding Luton was dominated by agriculture, but that changed with the development of the brick making industry in the 16th Century. The hat making industry arrived in the 17th. Century, which eventually dominated the town; even to this day, a small number of hats are produced there. In 1905 Vauxhall Motors opened their factory in the town it was the largest car plant in the UK. Car production ceased in 2002, but the van and light commercial vehicle production continue, and the company still have their headquarters there. That means Luton property investment is ideal commuter belt property.
Economy & Employment
Luton’s economy lies in the airport along with aerospace technology.
London Luton Airport is a major employer in the town, there is also a thriving retail sector, this being backed up by the rental levels within the existing facilities, which are ripe for refurbishment. There is a booming buy-to-let market in the area, which has been boosted by the demands of the commuter.
Many well-known businesses are based here; Ernst Young, Experian, Whitbread, Anritsu and Siemens AG in the electronics industry, and Selex Galileo and AstraZeneca in the aerospace and pharmaceuticals industries respectively. These and other housing developments, as well as those in infrastructure and amenities, means that there can only be an improvement in employment in the entire area.
Luton is at the forefront of dwellings construction to satisfy the growing demand locally.
The Purley Mall Shopping Centre site is set to be redeveloped providing some 115 additional new homes. In addition to this, two out of town sites have been identified as new homes locations.
Plans are also being considered for developments to two car parks, along with the relocation of both the bus and railways stations, allowing for the redevelopment of their current sites for housing.
The future vision is for Luton to be an ‘attractive focal point’ locally, and accessible to the ‘wider community.’ Their plans are, that the area must be efficiently and effectively used, and any new development must create new ‘spaces and places’ enhancing the area whilst complementing the existing structure of the township.
Air: London Luton Airport is under two miles away by bus or car. The airport offers daily domestic international flights to over 50 destinations.
Rail: Luton, Luton Airport Parkway, and Leagrave are the three stations on the Midland Mainline Railway that serve the town. There are regular rail services from these stations, with journey times to central London in just 23 minutes, making Luton ideal for commuters. Services north head to Nottingham and Sheffield.
Bus: There is an excellent network of bus services provided by both Arriva and Centrebus.
Road: Being less than 30 miles north of London, Luton is conveniently situated next to the M1 motorway. South of the town is junction 10/10A with its link to the airport, whilst junction 11 serves the northern part of the town. The A6 and A505 also offers great access to the UK road network.
Cycling: The National Cycle Network Route 6 (NCN 6) goes through Luton. The Council provides free cycle route maps and signed up to the Park that Bike scheme, allowing businesses and other organisations to apply for freecycle parking stands.
Schools: 70 primary, 13 secondary and nine independent operate in the catchment area.
Notable institutions include King’s House Preparatory School Nursery, situated to the north of the town on Leagrave High Street, taking children aged as young as two years.
The Government’s ‘Building Schools for the Future’ scheme earmarked Luton’s schools and colleges for major investment with work starting in 2009. The initiative was scrapped by the coalition government, but not before some schools had already been rebuilt.
Further & Higher Education: Luton is home to the University of Bedfordshire, Barnfield College and Luton 6th Form College who all have local campuses. The latter two both hold Learning Skills Beacon Status as awarded by the Department for Children, Schools Families. Other campuses are located in nearby Bedford.
Shops & Leisure
Shopping: Shopping as it should be is the slogan of The Mall Luton, a 70,000 sqm former Arndale Centre in the middle of town. It houses 128 retail unit over two floors. Built in the 1970s, and evolving constantly, it now hosts many familiar names.
The town boasts a fine variety of cafe’s and restaurants, with something to suit most cultural tastes. Notably the Wernher Restaurant, with its two coveted AA Rosettes, and Adam’s Brasserie, which is both situated at nearby Luton Hoo.
Sports Culture: Lying just outside Luton, to the south, is the magnificent Luton Hoo, a mansion house designed by Robert Adam, but with later additions and remodelling. Now a renowned Golf Hotel and Spa, with walled garden and history as a film location, it is worthy of a visit.
Green Spaces: The Upper Lea Valley Walk passes through the town & surrounding green areas, providing spectacular views along the way.