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Football wins both home and away

The news the nation had been waiting for finally arrived last Wednesday. Not housing minister Yvette Cooper accusing the Tories of siding with the National Association of Estate Agents over its desire to see Home Information Packs scrapped, but the announcement that Wayne Rooney’s fractured metatarsal had healed sufficiently for him to take some part in England’s World Cup campaign.

While this gave a sense of optimism to those hoping that England will emerge triumphant from the tournament there are also football-related reasons to be cheerful about the UK housing market, as our cover story starting on page 40 shows.

A number of housing developments are springing up around redeveloped football stadia in England, offering property opportunities in densely populated areas. This summer Arsenal FC is leaving Highbury – its home for 93 years – with the stadium set to be converted into flats and the pitch into landscaped gardens. As well as the properties made available at the old ground, the new stadium just down the road in Ashburton Grove also incorporates plans for flats. And Leyton Orient, recently promoted to League One, has sold the corner plots of its east London ground to Bellway Homes in a novel bid to secure the club’s financial future.

Last but not least is the never-ending saga that is the construction of the new Wembley Stadium. Given that building the stadium is enough of a challenge, it seems premature to speculate on the effect the regeneration of the area – including 3,700 new homes – will have.

House prices in the areas around sporting grounds can be enhanced by the excellent transport links that serve them, the availability of leisure facilities and the kudos of sharing a postcode with a famous stadium.

If the Three Lions roar in Germany this sum- mer it could have a beneficial effect not only on the mood of the nation but also the regeneration of the Wembley area.


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