WESTFIELD Shopping Centre is being heralded as the cause of a house price boom in Shepherd's Bush.
Estate agents Winkworth's, in Uxbridge Road, has published an in-depth report on the property market in W12 with the average cost of a home in the area up to £529,762.
That is five per cent higher than the peak seen in 2007, and up from £435,063 in May last year, while the price of houses in Greater London as a whole has dipped by just over two per cent from 2007.
New buyers in Shepherd's Bush are up by 13 per cent year-on-year, according to the report, while sales last month were 50 per cent higher than January 2011.
Large-scale development in Shepherd's Bush often follows concerns from residents on the impact on the area.
But Winkworth's believe the hike in prices is down to the opening of Westfield in 2008 which, they say, has made the area a lot more desirable for house-buyers.
Its report said: “Shepherd's Bush was once overlooked as a long-term residential option, particular by families who often decided to move to areas like Barnes and Chiswick as their families grew, but are now happy to stay in the area.
“This shift in popularity has meant that properties in the area, particularly large family homes, are in serious demand. And this has helped boost local average prices. Westfield has also made people more inclined to work in the area because of the new retail and social facilities available.”
Carl Burgess, of Winkworth's, said: “Home-owners seldom relocate to an area because of a specific retail outlet. It is the overall outlook for an area, including transport, schools, retail and leisure that ultimately persuades an individual or a family to move.
“However, our research has shown a marked rise in the number of applicants seeking property in Shepherd's Bush and nearby since Westfield opened.
“Furthermore, the upcoming regeneration of Shepherd's Bush Market and the Wood Lane Studios development will strengthen interest in this sought-after area for families and professionals alike.”
A Nationwide survey released last month showed house prices across Hammersmith and Fulham rose by 12 per cent last year and now stands at £541,883.
With City of London and Kensington and Chelsea excluded from the study, it makes the borough the second most expensive area in London to buy a home behind Westminster.
And Barry Kearney, of Barnard Marcus estate agents, in King Street, Hammersmith, said the area is also one of the most desirable.
“A lot of people want to come to the area,” he said. “We put a property on the market in Goldhawk Road last month. We had four buyers competing for it and we sold it for £2.75m within a weeks.
“Westfield, and other big developments like it, inevitably have a major impact on house prices. People see that type of investment in an area and it attracts a different kind of buyer.
“Shepherd's Bush is still considered to be quite affordable compared with Hammersmith and Fulham but even those two areas are seeing steady rises in sales.”
Plans to expand Westfield were approved by Hammersmith and Fulham Council last week.