Walthamstow loft to let? ‘Awesomestow’ is London’s new artist colony

Walthamstow loft

Illustration by Linda Hughes

Artists have proverbially starved in garrets, and the availability of cheap studio space has been the driving force in the creation of artists’ colonies since the Belle Epoque of Chelsea and Montmartre.  And where bohemia has led, new money has swiftly followed, as the history of London’s property market proves.

Look, for example, at what has happened to Hoxton since Damien Hurst and the YBAs colonised it in the Nineties.  Café society has moved in, property prices have soared, and the art crowd have migrated to humbler accommodation in Shoreditch, Hackney and Bow, where the cycle begins again.

A similar wave of transformation is taking place in Walthamstow – rechristened ‘Awesomestow’ by the movers and shakers, which plays host to the E17 Art Trail festival from 30th May to 14th June 2015, an epic event of 250 exhibitions, including over 100 artists’ open studios to explore.

It’s a festival that’s been gathering momentum for some years now, thanks to Walthamstow’s growing artists’ colony, which has been snapping up all available studio space, putting a premium on properties with spacious, light-filled lofts.

So if you’re a Walthamstow homeowner who wants to ride the boom – or pick up your palate and paint yourself – there’s never been a better time for a Walthamstow loft conversion, especially of those characterful Victorian properties in the avenues towards Epping Forest or the 1930s semis and detached in Highams Park.

If your canvases don’t appreciate at the same rate as Damien Hurst’s, you can still expect to see a healthy profit on your property investment.  Over the past five years, average house prices in Walthamstow have risen by 70%.  A loft conversion would typically add a further 20% to the value of your property. (See chart below for a detailed breakdown by property type).

Whichever way you play it, ‘Awesomestow’ is certainly living up to its name!

Walthamstow Property Values 2010 – 2015

Property Type                   2010                       2015                       With Loft Conversion

Detached                            –                           £577,000              £692,400
Semi                                    £273,200              £467,500              £561,000
Terraced                             £155,071               £469,303              £563,164
Flat                                      £155,071               £260,002              –
All                                        £229,017               £385,621              £462745

* The E17 Art Trail runs from 30 May to 14 June. 4,000 creative residents will show their work to the public in open houses, studios, galleries and streets. Festival highlights include: Gnome House, We Love LEGO, The Hoe Street Trail, From Poland to Waltham Forest and You’re Beautiful, Walthamstow!

For more information, visit www.e17arttrail.co.uk or contact Laura Kelly at laura@artillery.org.uk

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