Property and Tenure
Property value increases affect local demographics. Proprietors across Brick Lane comment on how rentals and rates are high and have significantly impacted street retail. Such impacts extend from shop to neighbourhood, where increases in residential property values have meant that certain customer bases have moved away. One trader in a large convenience store noted that:
‘people have moved to Newham, East Ham and Redbridge. We are an Asian business, so when people move away, we have no business.’
Land Registry Data and Foxton’s Valuation Calculator indicate that average property prices in the Brick Lane area in 2020 are 20% above the London average and continue to rise. Across the area, there is a growing market in short-term rentals, promoted in part by student requirements for limited residential leases, as well as the expansion of tourism, signalled by a growing Airbnb rental market.
Between 2001 and 2011, the most significant change in the borough’s tenure profile was the large increase in the number and proportion of privately rented households: these households more than doubled in number, and by 2011 accounted for 33% of households, up from 17% in 2001.
CHANGING POPULATION AND ETHNIC PROFILES
According to 2011 census data, a high percentage of the residential population of Spitalfields and Banglatown ward is dependent on rental accommodation (only 25.9% of the population live in owner-occupied accommodation, compared with the London average of 49.9%). This makes the ward population particularly susceptible to increases in property and rental values as well as changing population profiles.
Census data shows that the Tower Hamlets population grew significantly – 30%, the largest increase in England – between 2001 and 2011 and that it is becoming more ethnically diverse In line with London trends, reflecting an influx of new residents both from outside the borough and from overseas.
Tower Hamlets Ward Profile data for Spitalfields and Banglatown from 2014, reveals that 7,235 residents in the ward were categorised as ‘Black and Minority Ethnic’ (58%) and residents of Bangladeshi heritage accounted for 41% of the population (5,121 residents). The Bangladeshi population has grown in size since 2001 (by 24%) but because this growth rate is slower than the overall growth rate of 30% in the borough, the proportion of the population who are Bangladeshi fell marginally from 33% in 2001 to 32% in 2011.