Does a local Waitrose hike property prices?

If you want to get ahead in property, snap up a property close to a Waitrose. Failing that, find out where new Waitrose stores are going to open, then make your move.

New research from Savills estate agents claims living close to the upmarket grocer can see house price gains by as much as +50% in London, and +25% in other parts of the UK. But is it really that simple?

Chickpea and coriander mash effect

"Our analysis identifies a very clear house price premium in Waitrose store locations," says Sophie Chick, Savills research analyst. She says it's difficult to state with certainty that a Waitrose store opening will boost prices, but "it's clear that buyers should expect to pay significantly more for their home if they wish to have a Waitrose store on their doorstep."

Nigel Keen, Director of Development at the retailer, says Waitrose looks hard at places where there is a growing crop of shops, restaurants and cafés. "We've also opened new shops in developments that were, at the time, in their infancy, but have grown into thriving communities such as Portishead and new developments such as our shop opening in Greenwich this year."

Where to buy next?

Waitrose plans to open at least 18 branches this year (see list below), including a branch in Stirling; there's also new little Waitrose shops in Vauxhall and Clapham Common, which opened earlier in the year. However, Savills also admits in their research that opening a Waitrose store does not guarantee house price out-performance.

"In London, although Waitrose hotspots are linked to house prices that are 50% higher than the Greater London average, a closer look shows a more diverse picture," Chick says. "Three quarters of the capital's Waitrose stores are located in postcode districts where house prices are significantly higher than the London average."

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Transient shoppers

Then Chick adds: "In the remaining London Waitrose locations there is no identifiable premium. In such cases it is likely that the store has a broad, transient client base (e.g. Westfield Shepherd's Bush and Stratford) and house prices in the local area did not outperform."

So go carefully. Meanwhile, if you've bought recently in Oundle, Northwich, Wootton, Wells or Greenwich (not to mention a few other places) your chances of seeing some early investment gains - and snapping up some goat's cheese frittata - have just increased at least one notch.

Confirmed Waitrose openings so far for the 2013/2014 financial year:

  1. Oakgrove, Milton Keynes (relocating from Milton Keynes) opening - 9th May 2013
  2. Little Waitrose Monument - opening summer 2013
  3. Little Waitrose Victoria - opening summer 2013
  4. Greenwich - opening 20th June 2013
  5. Wells - opening summer 2013
  6. Aylesbury - opening August 2013
  7. Chipping Sodbury - opening by Christmas 2013
  8. Oundle - this financial year
  9. Helensburgh - this financial year
  10. Northwich - this financial year
  11. Wootton - this financial year

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