In this article, we explore a few different areas in London that are well established with easy transport links to the London city centre. Since 2019, many families from Hong Kong have emigrated to the UK. The UK government launched the BNO visa scheme on 31 Jan 2021. The visa is valid for 5 years and applicants can apply for UK permanent residency after staying for 5 years. There were over 123,000 applications for BNO visas between Jan 2021 and Mar 2022 and a survey shows that over 42% of potential movers to the UK would choose to settle in London. So where in London would be a great place for these newcomers to start their new life?
The borough of Barnet
Hendon and Colindale in the Borough of Barnet are some of the best locations in London for Hong Kongers to settle in. Barnet covers an area of 87 square kilometres, with 385,000 inhabitants, making it the largest borough in London.
Hendon & Colindale offers excellent transportation links including the Northern Line and Thameslink which take you to London’s city centre within 20-30 minutes.
A huge shopping mall Brent Cross is located within this area, with over 120 shops and 30 cafes. A £1.4 billion redevelopment of the existing shopping mall will revitalize the retail offer with over 200 brands, a new cinema complex and 40 new restaurants.
Asian supermarkets and food halls are within easy reach, including Loon Fung Supermarket, Wing Yip Supermarket and Bang Bang Oriental Foodhall with over 26 kiosks serving East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine.
Barnet is one of the best school areas in London, with over 96.7% of primary and secondary schools rated as “Outstanding” or “Good” in 2019-2020, placing Barnet in the top 10% of the country. Ten “Outstanding” or “Good” OFSTED-rated schools within Hendon. There are also excellent private schools in this borough that are on the 2022 GCSE Top 20 List including North London Collegiate School and Haberdashers’ Boys School.
According to UK Home Price Index, prices in Barnet have risen from £367,000 in 2012 to £609,000 in 2022, representing a total increase of 65%, or an increase of 5.2% per year.
The Borough of Greenwich
The Borough of Greenwich in southeast London is a popular choice amongst newcomers. Greenwich offers modern shopping malls, convenient transportation links to city centre and historical sites such as Greenwich Park. The park forms a part of the UNESCO world heritage site of Maritime Greenwich, along with the Old Royal Naval College, the Royal Observatory and the Queen’s House. Take a stroll near the Old Greenwich Market which was first opened in the 1700s, and admire the Georgian and Victorian architecture in the nearby Old Greenwich town centre. Home prices in Greenwich have risen from £240,000 in 2012 to £447,000 in 2022, representing a total increase of 86%, or an increase of 6.5% per year.
The borough of Ealing
The Borough of Ealing is the third largest borough in London with a population of 367,000 inhabitants. Ealing has some of London’s finest private schools with excellent state and independent schools for all ages, with all of Ealing’s Secondary schools considered either good or outstanding by OFSTED. Ealing is one of London’s greenest boroughs, with more than 100 parks and open spaces. A shopping centre is located near Ealing Broadway Station with 85 stores, restaurants, and a cinema. Ealing also has the largest East Asian community in London, with some of the best Japanese & Korean restaurants in London. Home prices in Ealing have risen from £326,000 in 2012 to £545,000 in 2022, representing a total increase of 67%, or an increase of 5.3% per year.
Hammersmith has one of the best school areas in London. There are 3 schools in this area that are on the 2022 Top 20 Independent Schools by A-Level list, including St Paul’s School at #1, St Paul’s Girls School at #2 and Godolphin & Latymer School at #12, making Hammersmith one of the best school areas. There are four lines at Hammersmith that connects you with the rest of London, including District, Hammersmith & City, Piccadilly, and Circle Line.
Overall Barnet, Greenwich, Ealing and Hammersmith are the best boroughs that Hong Kongers could consider when they emigrate to London. Each of them has a good school catchment area, convenient amenities, accessible transportation, and plenty of green spaces. If you would like to learn more about these areas, please do not hesitate to contact Benham & Reeves Hong Kong.
About the Author
Alvin graduated from the University of Auckland in New Zealand with a degree in Marketing and Finance and is fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin and English. Having lived and worked in London in 2020 for Imperial Dragon Property, Alvin is well-acquainted with the Capital’s property market and brings energy, insight and a keen understanding of what motivates our international clients. Alvin works in both our sales and rental operations and is keen to support our Hong Kong business within these sectors.