The surprise London areas where disposable income's rising fastest

Lynsey Barber
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Regeneration Of Elephant And Castle In South London
Regeneration is pushing up income in south London (Source: Getty)

Did someone say gentrification?

Any resident of south London knows the area's on the rise, but now new figures reveal just how much that's happening: disposable incomes in some of the hottest areas south of the Thames are rising more than 10 times faster than the rest of the UK.

Lewisham and Southwark experienced a 5.3 per cent rise in cash in people's pockets that's free to spend, growing faster than anywhere else in the country and compared to the UK average of 0.5 per cent.

The rising incomes are a sign of redevelopment in the areas attracting more and more young professionals, said UHY Hacker Young which collected the figures.

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The firm identified Elephant & Castle, Peckham and Bermondsey in particular, where there have been multibillion pound regenerations and an influx of hipster coffee shops, eateries, craft breweries, and markets – think Frank's rooftop bar, the Bermondsey beer mile or the recently opened Flat Iron Square market in Borough (and if you're not familiar, probably time to pay a visit).

"The rapid gentrification of Elephant and Castle, Bermondsey and Peckham is drawing in a wave of young professionals who now see them as exciting places to live," said Colin Jones, partner at UHY Hacker Young.

“Borough Market is bursting at the seams with visitors and has led to the creation of numerous other trendy markets across the area, such as the Druid Street Market and Peckham Farmer’s Market. These attractions and the opening of new restaurants and music venues have transformed these areas into genuine alternatives to already fashionable places like Hoxton and Shoreditch where real estate prices have already soared.”

Who are the winners and losers?

It's clearly good news for homeowners and businesses in the area, perhaps less so for those who aren't yet on the property ladder.

And, of course, as well as the influx of people, there's also an outflow of people on lower incomes as a result, the research notes, most notably with the relocation of people from the Heygate estate.

“The arrival of more people with healthy incomes is good news for local businesses, but it has driven up property prices which is putting pressure on lower income residents to cash out if they are homeowners. Those longstanding locals who are in the private rental sector are likely to see their rents pushed up," said Jones.

Elsewhere in London, areas which have already peaked in terms of development continue to rise.

The west London enclaves of both Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham were found to have experienced the second biggest increase, 4.7 per cent, putting annual disposable income at just shy of £46,000.

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And although Lewisham and Southwark are rising fast, the average disposable income is far lower than that (though not insignificant) at £20,756, and of Ealing, which was the third fastest rising place in the UK.

But it's not just London that dominates the fastest rising ranking – take a look at the ranking below to see where else across the country disposable incomes are on the rise. The average disposable income in the UK is £17,965.

Rank Location 2014 price Annual growth
1 Lewisham and Southwark £20,756 5.3%
2 Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham £45,988 4.7%
3 Ealing £22,089 4.4%
4 Nottingham £12,702 4.3%
5 South Hampshire £19,932 4.2%
6 Swansea £15,186 4.1%
7 North Hampshire £15,186 3.9%
8 Cheshire East £20,330 3.7%
9 Central Bedfordshire £20,553 3.6%
10 Walsall £20,036 3.5%

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