Soccer club Tottenham Hotspur may have narrowly missed out on clinching the English Premier League (EPL) title, but the club has taken home an unlikely consolation prize.
A new study tracking residential price performance around the home grounds of 20 EPL clubs revealed the area surrounding Spurs' home stadium, White Hart Lane in north London, recorded the greatest gains in 2015 with an 18.4 percent annual uptick.
Undertaken by property consultancy firm Knight Frank, the study said Crossrail, a new high-frequency railway line currently under construction, has already boosted home prices in the area and the proposed Crossrail 2, a line that would connect north and south London, is expected to magnify these gains.
The Boleyn Ground, West Ham United's stadium in east London, saw the second highest price increase at 13.2 percent, although the team are in the process of moving to the former Olympic stadium this summer in Stratford. Watford's Vicarage Road stadium followed in third with a 10.6 percentage gain.
It's no coincidence that three of the top five performers are clubs based in or around the Greater London area, a region that has logged astounding price growth in recent years. The average London house price in February this year was £524,000 ($756,844), an annual rise of 9.7 percent, according to official data released last month. Meanwhile, the average house price in England rose 8.2 percent to £298,000.
EPL champions Leicester City came in seventh place, with home prices around the King Power Stadium climbing 6.6 percent.
"Leicester has taken a long time to recover from the global financial crisis.....however, the local economy can expect a marginal boost following the Premier League win as the profile of the city is raised," noted Oliver Knight, senior analyst of residential research at Knight Frank.
Commercial revenue, television rights and entry into the European Champions League tournament is also set to the boost the city's coffers, he added.
Clubs popular with Asian fans, notably Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool, saw mixed results.
Residential property around the Old Trafford stadium of Manchester United recorded 8.7 percent growth, taking the sixth spot on Knight Frank's study. Arsenal, who entered this year's Champions League for a 19th consecutive season, saw a mid-table finish with 5.6 percent growth at ninth place. Liverpool's Anfield stadium meanwhile saw price growth of 4.6 percent, taking the 13th spot.
Coming in last was Swansea City in Wales, with a 1.8 percent spike.
"Chelsea, albeit having a turbulent time both on and off the pitch with one of the lowest residential price growth (3.9 percent) among EPL clubs, topped in another league: mean house prices," Knight Frank noted.
Average house prices around Chelsea's Stamford Bridge stadium was £638,000, the highest among the 20 clubs, with Arsenal's Emirates Stadium ranking second at £519,000.
The study also noted increasing private interest by ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) in snapping up clubs as the EPL brand continues to grow.
Majority ownership in EPL clubs has increasingly shifted towards foreigners, with overseas UHNWIs making up 60 percent of owners during the 2015-2016 season, versus 45 percent in 2009-2010.
But not every owner is a fan: Clubs are increasingly being viewed as solid investments.
EPL revenues rose 29 percent in 2015 following the league's sale of its television rights for a record £5 billion pounds in February of that year, Knight Frank said.
"It is projected that from the 2016-2017 season, even the bottom club in the league can expect around £100 million in central prize money each season (up from £62 million now) and the highest earning club can expect around £156 million (up from £97.5 million)."
With broadcasting, television and commercial revenues set to rise as the sport's popularity grows in leading emerging markets such as China and India, global billionaires are paying attention to potential returns.
"Manchester United's NYSE shares have risen almost 20 percent this year, while the S&P 500 has been flat. The public markets are giving private owners a very clear message."
Even private equity firms are zeroing in on the action. Chicago-based PEAK6 bought a 25 percent stake in AFC Bournemouth last November while Apollo Global Management co-founder Josh Harris became part-owner of Crystal Palace in December.
Outside of the EPL, Knight Frank identified four other leagues that presented good value for investors: Portugal's Primeira Liga, Australia's A-League, U.S. Major League Soccer, and the English Championship.