Head to Newham if you are looking for space

Amongst London Boroughs, Newham offers highest percentage of apartments for sale that fall within the Greater London Authority guidelines for minimum space.

Propcision analysed the marketing materials for apartments listed for sale in London over the past year. Algorithms compared the size of each apartment against the minimum requirements for space put forward by Greater London Authority in their Housing Space Standards.

A whopping 72 pct of apartments in Newham either met or exceeded London’s space standards. Westminster came in a close second with 71 pct of properties above the minimum space standards and Kensington and Chelsea was third with 68 pct.

It may appears that Newham is a far cry from Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea as far as house prices are concerned. However, when it comes to space, the three boroughs stack-up offering larger 1 and 2 bedroom apartments.

New builds in Newham such as the Royal Gateway development and various Stratford developments have helped to push average size of properties for sale over the past year. Likewise for Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea.

On the other side of the coin, Croydon was the worst borough for space as only 30pct of apartments fell within the minimum space standards. Data for Croydon suggested that smaller flats in new housing developments pushed down the average size flat in the borough. Merton and Ealing were neck to neck with only 35 pct and 34pct, respectively, of properties for sale meeting or exceeding London space guidelines.

Interestingly, it was observed that marketing materials in Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Havering, Redbridge, Sutton, and Waltham Forest had a poor track record when it came to stating the square footage of properties for sale as less than 25% of listings had included this information. This means only 1 in 4 apartments being sold in these boroughs clearly advertised the overall size of the property. For our analysis, it was deemed that these boroughs offered too little data on which to draw a reliable analysis and were therefore excluded from the results.

Whilst these figures represent apartments listed for sale and not the entire London landscape of existing properties, they do provide us with a snapshot of modern London from which we can start to analyse.

So how does London as a whole stack up?

Overall, 55pct of London's apartments listed for sale in the past year were within the Greater London Authority minimum space requirements. Thinking of it differently, this means that 45pct did not meet the requirements. If we defined a “cramped space” as a property being 25% under the minimum space requirement, then approximately 8% of London’s apartments fall into this category. This is pretty confined space and the trend is pointing towards smaller spaces in the future. In 2 years, we are expecting to see 1 in 10 London apartments being defined as “cramped spaces”.

For now, Newham is looking pretty big compared to what’s on offer in other Boroughs. With property prices around £600 per square foot, Newham may offer the desired combination of affordability and space.