These scientists can predict where London's next up-and-coming neighbourhoods will be

Emma Haslett
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Back in 2010, Hackney was seen as deprived - but it's now enjoying a renaissance (Source: Getty)

Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing. In hindsight, we would all have taken a punt on Jeremy Corbyn's Labour leadership triumph in May last year.

We would also probably have invested in a little pied-a-terre in Hackney back in 2010, when it was listed as the area with the second-highest level of deprivation. Fast forward six years, and the average house price has leaped from about £300,000 to well over £500,000.

But now scientists at Cambridge University reckon they've come up with a formula to predict up-and-coming neighbourhoods in the capital. According to the researchers, areas of high deprivation that also have high social diversity are ripe for gentrification.

The study suggested that of the capital's 32 boroughs, the area with the highest deprivation but most social diversity was – you guessed it – Hackney. By 2015, it had experienced the most improvement on the UK Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) list.

"[Hackney] is now an area undergoing intense gentrification, with house prices rising far above the London average, fast-decreasing crime rate and a highly diverse population," the researchers said.

Likewise, Tower Hamlets, Greenwich, Hammersmith and Lambeth were all listed as having high deprivation and high social diversity in 2010 - and are now undergoing rapid gentrification.

Here's what that means for future up-and-coming areas (the higher up, the more deprived they were in 2010. The further to the right, the more socially diverse they are).

“We understand that people who diversify their contacts socially and geographically have high social capital, but what about places?” said Desislava Hristova, the study's lead author.

“We all have a general notion of the social diversity of places and the people that visit them, but we’ve attempted to formalise this – it could even be used as a specialised local search engine.”

It's not the first attempt at working out where will be London's next up-and-coming area based on its social makeup: last year, one Londoner used a similar algorithm - although this time, it was based on the ratio of chicken shops to artisanal coffee sellers.

Sam Floy, the creator of the ranking, told City A.M. it the idea had started out as a gag - but he had quickly realised it was actually useful.

"Getting a sense of how local amenities interact with house prices is a nice, quick way to evaluate where to look," he said. Kind of the same as the Cambridge lot.

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