How to know if where you live is “up and coming”: fried chicken vs. coffee shops

Whilst searching for a flat in London, I lamented to hear my estate agent described the area we were in as “up and coming”.

Rather than believe the phrase was merely plucked out of the air, I struck upon a theory that future house prices could be explained by looking at the relative number of coffee shops and fried chickens in the area.

Enlisting the help of data scientists*, three ‘heatmaps’ of London were created to visualise where the coffee shops, chicken shops, and expensive houses were in the city.

Chicken nuggets

This shows parts of the city with the highest density of fried chicken shops. Holloway is particularly flush with the stuff, whereas Canary Wharf has little to offer…

Caffeine hits

Westminster and Hampstead have evolved to serve more macchiatos than their neighbours in Kilburn and Stratford.

Hot houses

The brighter areas correspond to more zeroes on the mortgage. Kensington is the beacon.

Calculating “up and coming”

With this data it became possible to make an estimate of which areas on London are on the rise.

With the assumption that the ratio of coffee shops to chicken shops is an indication of future prosperity (with a resultant uplift in house prices), then the following characteristics make an area “legitimately” up and coming:

  • High density of coffee shops
  • Low density of chicken shops
  • Low house prices

And the results say…

Move to Peckham!

The data suggests that one of the places we should all be upping sticks and moving to is SE15

There is a good selection of coffee shops in the area…

Not many outlets selling fried chicken…

And fairly low house prices

Though Peckham is not alone…

Where to move that’s up and coming?

By displaying the data in a slightly different way, it is possible to get a birds eye of view of the areas of London that are up and coming.

This furnishes the discernible property investor with a guide of where to purchase higher yielding houses, and that can also provide her with a decent flat white.

First, the areas of “London” that have an average house price of below £500,000 are shown on a map. Quite frankly, anything above has probably “made it” by estate agent parlance.

Next, taking the ratio of coffee shop to chicken shop, one is able to visualise the parts of the city where Costa is beating the Colonel

And then by combining the two, a purple haze appears. The areas of intense purple more weighted towards coffee than chicken and so, this theory would suggest, are most aptly categorised as “up and coming”

As well as Peckham, other areas of interest for property buyers on the hunt for the next best thing are: Southwark, Woolwich, Isle of Dogs, Colliers Wood, and Willesden Junction.

With the first report into how to predict London house prices complete, further investigation into other factors can duly follow.

Currently in the pipeline, are studies of the ratio of £1 stores: bicycle repair shops, fluctuations in the street price of coriander, and the density of shops selling quinoa

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I would like to thank Chris Davie and Nathan Kettle from The ASI for their fantastic work creating the heatmaps.

If you’re interested in hearing more, please send me an email at: samuel.floy@gmail.com