With rapid house price growth, many property owners, landlords and developers are capitalising on the rising values by extending their properties downwards.
The craze of ‘downward digging’ has spread across West London and is slowly spreading to the London suburbs. In Hammersmith and Fulham, planning applications involving basements have increased 42 per cent in the past 2 years and by 34 per cent in Wandsworth.
“The trend has taken hold in an area where a square foot of a basement is worth the same as a square foot above ground. That valuation method has spread beyond prime central areas like Kensington & Chelsea and into Wandsworth, Battersea and Clapham over the last 12 to 18 months”, says Tom Bill, residential research expert at Knight Frank.
As property owners continue to see the value below the ground, demand for contractors is set to increase. London councils have already prepared themselves for increases in demand for planning permissions, and a spokeswomen from Barnet Council said that “permissions for basement extensions have risen in recent years”.
Contractors in the London area should prepare themselves for the potential increase of large-scale projects, and start making links with property managers.
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