Map your house hunting future: new homes hotspots along the extended East London Line Overground route

We follow the trail of property hotspots by jumping aboard the extended East London Line Overground service.
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Unveiled in 2007, the  London Overground orbital train network has 83 stations along its amalgam of lines that connect areas outside central London, allowing  passengers to travel from across the city, east to west or north to south, without changing trains.

With easy changes, commuters can go from Richmond to Barking, from Watford to West Croydon, from Gospel Oak to Crystal Palace and from Dalston to Willesden. The network also connects with seven Tube lines and the Docklands Light Railway - it’s a truly integrated service.

A sizeable chunk of the Overground is in Zone 2, where it is most heavily used. The network was intended to give less-affluent districts a regeneration boost, achieved spectacularly through the 2009 extension of the East London Line - the first route we look at in this new series. The extension brought the Tube to Hackney for the first time and opened up “undiscovered” areas south and south-east of central London.

A spur from the East London Line to Clapham Junction via Peckham and Camberwell created a new east-west axis, helping south-west London residents reach the major employment centres of City and Canary Wharf. Today, the Overground carries 125 million passengers a year, four times more than in 2007.

Hackney to Honor Oak
The areas around new and upgraded stations are getting a boost. Hackney Central, a new stop on the proposed Crossrail 2 route, has helped turn a gritty east London outpost into a property hotspot. Only posh central London postcodes have seen bigger price rises than fast-gentrifying Hackney.

Even so, property values along much of the Overground - particularly the East London Line - are below average, meaning there are buying opportunities for cost-conscious Londoners who want to put down roots in improving areas that still have upside.

Good-value SE postcodes no longer feel so isolated. Brockley in Zone 2 has plenty of handsome Victorian houses, many split into flats, and estate agent Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward says a growing number are being reinstated as family homes, a sign of an up-and-coming area. “More people are waking up to the fact they can buy a sizeable house with a garden for at least 30 per cent less than the price of similar properties north of the river” - such as a three-bedroom period house at Braxfield Road, on the market for £675,000. Call 020 8469 0202.

Honor Oak, one stop beyond Brockley on the East London Line, is a tranquil inner suburb popular with families and young lower-budget career professionals who value the quick commute to central London.


Popular with families: Blythe Hill Fields, Honor Oak Park, looking over Brockley and Ladywell towards Canary Wharf.

Montem Place is a corner development of 12 two-bedroom flats in two blocks in landscaped grounds. Smart interiors have open-plan kitchen and large glazed panels for better light and views, and there’s on-site parking. From £430,000. Call Acorn on 020 3551 4489. Hatcham Park conservation area in New Cross is another neighbourhood to explore. Houses cost from about £600,000. Call estate agent Peter James on 020 3324 6149.

Back in Hackney, Warehaus, near London Fields, is a development of 30 flats inspired by art deco industrial architecture. There’s a glass-bottom rooftop swimming pool and garden terrace above a light-filled atrium, while refrigerated storage for supermarket deliveries, managed by a 24-hour concierge, is likely to strike a chord with busy young professionals. Launching next month. Call Union Developments on 0800 043 2523.

Spurring regeneration
The new spur from the East London Line, from Surrey Quays, runs to Clapham Junction via Queens Road and Peckham Rye. Peckham prices have doubled in the last five years as a result, but the area has come from a low base so “still has more growth to come”, according to Gareth James of estate agent GJP. Victorian terrace houses cost less than £600,000.

Overground trains have city travel times to London Bridge and Victoria to seven and 13 minutes respectively. The area splits into three definable sub-areas: the northern patch around Burgess Park; the rough-and-tumble town centre and the leafier Peckham Rye area.

Nunhead, benefiting from a £1.2 million regeneration makeover, is worth investigating. This neighbourhood has a village feel, with independent baker, deli, butcher, fishmonger, florist and gastropub. The central patch of green is being upgraded, courtesy of Mayor Boris Johnson’s pocket park initiative, shopfronts are being refurbished, and there have been tree planting and streetscaping improvements. A row of almshouses adds period charm. There is even a fledgling arts festival and coming soon is a new community centre for fitness classes and film screenings.

A refurbished Victorian house on St Mary’s Road, one of the prettiest in the conservation area, is for sale at £1.15 million. Call 020 3641 5131.

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