Brentford is undergoing major modernisation, transforming the town centre with a mix of new shops, cafés, restaurants, offices and community spaces, as well as delivering new flats and apartments. The existing Market Square on the north side of the High Street will be incorporated into a new larger town square and the river and canal will be opened up with new paths and mooring facilities, while a marina has also been proposed.
Buyer demand was strong throughout 2015 and sales in the first eight months of 2015 were 12% higher than in the corresponding period of 2014. Demand for new homes has been especially strong and, of the homes either completed or under construction, 97% have been sold at Kew Bridge, 98% at Brentford Lock West and 99% at Kew Bridge West (Site 1). Strong buyer demand has driven up prices: The average sale price between January and August last year was 24.5% higher than in the corresponding period in 2014, according to the Land Registry. Current new-build asking prices vary considerably, ranging from £520 per sq ft up to £1,000 per sq ft in the Kew Bridge area.
In addition to these new homes, Brentford offers a good selection of attractive period properties in popular roads such as Church Walk and Braemar Road, while larger period family houses can be found in Clifden Road and Somerset Road and The Butts – a Georgian Square steeped in history.
This new development will create significant opportunities for buyers and landlords. There are currently 424 private homes in five developments under construction and a further 1,365 across six developments with planning consent. The largest single project is Ballymore's Brentford Waterside development. Situated between the High Street and the River Brent it will include around 800 homes available for private sale.
Families with young children have a wide selection of nurseries to choose from, plus the De Lacey Montessori School on the Great West Road. Across the river in Kew, there are several renowned private primary schools, including Kew College, Kew Green Prep School, Kew House and Broomfield House School.
International residents are prominent as Brentford is only 25 minutes by road from Heathrow Airport, while central London is only around 30 minutes away by train via Brentford and Kew Bridges or tube from Boston Manor. The area has also attracted a rising number of "empty nesters" looking to downsize, as well as households seeking better value for money than is readily available in more central locations.
Though the market enjoyed a strong year in 2015, there are signs the wider London slowdown is affecting Brentford. Monthly sales have been slowing since June 2015 and price growth has also slowed. For owners thinking of selling, now might be the time to act.