‘Golf ball’ venue in Stratford to push up local house prices

Michael Lloyd

February 28, 2018

A huge entertainment venue nicknamed the ‘golf ball’ and planned for London’s East End will be a boost to local house prices as the Capital’s Olympic legacy continues.

The Madison Square Garden Company has bought nearly five acres of land in Stratford to build The MSG Sphere with the scheme set to create 3,200 jobs and contribute £2.7bn to the UK economy during its first 20 years of operation.

The Sphere could stand as tall as 130 metres – 20 metres taller than St Paul’s Cathedral.

Russell Quirk, founder and chief executive of online estate agent Emoov.co.uk, said: “Almost inevitably, we’ll see prices rises.

“Anywhere within a short commute will see a ripple effect too as will parts of Essex. It kind of needs it because house price growth has slowed in Newham.

“Although it’s not a residential development, if you have regeneration there’s more leisure, jobs and a nicer environment, so housing demand follows and therefore prices increase too.

“Anything that creates jobs, housing and demand is great to a degree but mainly transactional increases are good for us and all estate agents.”

Jonathan Burridge, an East London mortgage broker, said: “It will be great. It is very positive for the area and will have an impact on property prices, but it is still in an urban area that needs developing and support.

“It will increase the prices because there’s going to be more reason for people to be in that area and more people being there means the area will have more money.

“I’ll happily take more business if it comes as a result. A developing area attracts people.”

But other brokers were speculative on whether the ‘golf ball’ will have a wholly positive impact.

Andrew Mortlake, director of Coreco, said: “It’s good for the area but some will like and some won’t. It can be either positive or negative.

“It’s all speculation, but anything that improves an area and adds transport links in London that will ultimately improve house prices.

“If more homes are being built there’s more transactions, which is good for us brokers. But it’s about making sure people can afford the prices.”

And David Hollingworth, associate director for L&C Mortgages, said: “I think we’ll have to see how the plans shape up.

“A venue like that could go either way, some prefer to live further away because of massive crowds it brings in, or some find it very desirable with a lot more investment in the area.”

Last August, Halifax’s First-Time Buyer Review found houses prices more than doubled in East London since 2012, when the Olympic Park and then the Olympic Stadium was built.

It led to improved transport links, pushing up house prices, with the property value of 14 areas closest to the Olympic Park increasing by 64% since the end of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Emoov found Newham, in terms of the change between the average house price then and now, has seen huge growth (70.5%), the fifth largest of all boroughs.

More details of the design will be announced in the next few months and the final plans will be subject to a public consultation.

(Pictured is concept art for the Las Vegas Sphere, which will be built ahead of the London Sphere. However the London venue will be based on the same design.)

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