Excitement builds in Olympic year
Many say the Olympics will be a boon for the UK's property market as wealthy sports fans sign up for luxury properties to rent near the main event sites in East London, Weymouth, Greenwich and beyond.
But the property market already has its own Olympic race under way, it was revealed this week, and the starting gun has already been fired.
Research from Zoopla.co.uk, which provides free house value estimates for every British home, reveals that the average property value on streets in Britain with 'Gold' in the name currently stands at £280,114, compared to £224,786 for streets with 'Silver' and £198,537 for 'Bronze'.
'Gold' streets tend to be in more up-market areas of the country and are rarer – like the precious metal – while 'Silver' streets are more numerous and in less expensive places, perhaps reflecting an original silversmithing (and therefore industrial) local history.
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'Bronze' streets are in third place and by quite a losing margin – the most expensive street in the UK which includes the name has an average house price of £324,535 (in Wigston, Leicestershire) while a step up the podium, the most expensive silver street is £1,774,563 (in Purley, Surrey).
But other sporting themes have also established themselves in the nation's A-Z of streets over the years.
The most valuable are roads with 'Badminton' in the title – at £400,664 – followed by 'Shooting' (£318,305), 'Archery' (£285,558), 'Football' (£282,676) and 'Horse' (£282,676). And 'Olympic', of which there are surprisingly few given the 2012 games are the second hosted by the UK, squeezes in at No.10 with an average property value of £160,202.
But it's in the Olympic rental market that many experts have been predicting a boom. Houses have been offered for rent at up to £30,000 a week near to more upmarket Olympic sports venues – such as horse jumping, rowing and sailing – although apartments are still available to rent near the Stratford sites for £200 a week – reasonable by London standards in normal times.
Overall some 1,000 properties have come on to the market in recent months targeted at Olympics fans and, on Zoopla.co.uk, searches for Olympic property have jumped by 161% in recent months.