Have you noticed fewer chicken shops down your road? Maybe they've been replaced by estate agents or trendy cafés? It can only mean one thing: the G-word. But how exactly does gentrification creep in and take over whole swathes of London?
New research by Hamptons International has identified a four-step gentrification (and 'de-gentrification') process that takes place over a ten year time period.
Step one is 'closures', when, unsurprisingly, businesses like takeaways, pawn shops and internet cafes start to close down.
Then step two sees telltale 'early entrants' move in, as coffee shops, bakeries and 'microchains' (businesses with a handful of locations) start popping up.
By step three it's too late: we're talking Tesco Express, Pret and Nando's pushing out cool pubs, live music venues and independent restaurants, as late-to-the-scene middle-class residents want their edgy new locale firmly rounded with reassuringly familiar chain shops.
Prams, bankers and yoga classes sound the death knell for any cool neighbourhood, as step four 'cementers' like banks, baby shops and organic health food stores cater to yummy mummies and high-flying professionals existing exclusively on blended kale, chia seeds and artisan bread.
This process can be difficult to accept especially for long-standing local residents. 'Change, particularly when it happens quickly, can leave some in the neighbourhood feeling alienated. Places where people have shopped for years disappear as their customer base vanishes' says the report.
In London, it's easy to point to 'up and coming' neighbourhoods like Peckham and Hackney Wick as sure-fire gentrification hotspots. But de-gentrification doesn't seem to have arrived yet. You never hear anyone say, 'Ooh Knightsbridge is really going down the drain, rents are plummeting!' or 'Get in! That Franco Manca on Broadway Market is now a Dixy Chicken'. But after the year we've had, who knows what could happen in 2017?
In other news, moped crime in London has risen 600 percent in two years.Share the story