If Canary Wharf is important in your life, as it is for the 100,000 people who work there, the Jubilee line is a vital link. Quick and efficient direct trains from north-west London mean you do not have to live in Docklands to be early into the office, which is why the leafy avenues of St John’s Wood are stuffed with investment bankers and corporate lawyers. Junior white-collar workers have cheaper well-connected options such as Willesden and Wembley.
The Jubilee line has another distinction. Since its extension eastwards 15 years ago, it is the only Tube route that crosses the river four times, first from Westminster to Waterloo, then from Canada Water to Canary Wharf, back south to North Greenwich, then back north to Canning Town. This has propelled Bermondsey forward as a buzzing Zone 2 address and put once-rough but now improving East End areas such as Canning Town and West Ham on home buyers’ radar.
A station at previously unconnected North Greenwich, where a new district is emerging around the O2 arena, has also plugged that neighbourhood into the Tube network, transforming its fortunes. “Inevitably, there’s a premium to pay in a central location but buyers can get better value quite quickly further along the line,” says Lucian Cook, director of Savills Research.
Travel three stops in Zone 2 from St John’s Wood to West Hampstead and the average house price drops from about £1,615,000 to £650,000, a 60 per cent difference. Even in Zone 1, between Westminster (£1,332,000) and London Bridge (£446,000) there is a similar price gap.
Prices are lower the further east and north you travel, but Zone 2 locations on the southern section of the Jubilee line are noticeably cheaper than those on the northern side — for the time being. Property experts point to the impact of the new business district at London Bridge, dominated by the Shard, and say a catching-up process is under way, so buying into the lower-priced SE postcodes today could pay dividends later.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICES ALONG THE JUBILEE LINE
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Canada Water is a key midway point between Canary Wharf and the West End, and also an interchange on the East London line. A fresh wave of regeneration is creating a bustling new waterfront zone next to the Jubilee line station. It is a new town centre for Southwark, with a head-turning new library in the shape of an inverted pyramid, and smart apartment schemes. Sellar Property Group, the Shard developer, is soon to start a scheme of 1,046 flats alongside restaurants, shops, a public square and dock basin. Call 0800 011 3394.
Nearby South Dock Marina, London’s largest, with 200 berths and a watersports centre, is a hidden gem. Regeneration came to a halt some years ago but the builders are back. Four-bedroom townhouses are part of the mix at the 529-home Marine Wharf development. Prices from £470,000 to £915,000. Call 020 8694 3100.
Greenwich Peninsula is the name of the neighbourhood rising up around the O2. Though it is in a slightly raw location, alongside the busy Blackwall Tunnel approach road, it occupies a dramatic riverside position and up to 10,000 people may live there one day.
Greenwich Millennium Village, the first residential project to be built on the land 14 years ago, has set the standard for thoughtful architecture. The latest scheme there is The Überhaus Collection, comprising contemporary-design, three-bedroom duplex apartments with full-height glazing and big terraces to maximise the spectacular views. Prices from £645,000 to £795,000. Call 020 8305 2712.
The Peltons, located between the Peninsula and Greenwich town centre, butts up against a Victorian conservation area with a primary school and church. Flats and terrace houses are for sale. Prices from £305,000. Call DTZ on 020 3296 3895.
St John’s Wood offers the nearest thing to village-like urban bliss in central London. While in other districts there are reminders that you are in a big city, in St John’s Wood there is a slower pace of life and a sense of belonging.
It has a single high street with cafés, boutiques and bistros which is surrounded by an unblighted residential district. Regent’s Park is a giant garden on the doorstep. The feisty local conservation society keeps “vulgar” developments at bay, and Lord’s, the home of cricket, adds a certain English eccentricity. Americans love the place, which has reinforced the axis with Canary Wharf.
St Edmund’s Terrace is a rare modern-design scheme of 36 flats in three blocks set around courtyard gardens backing on to Primrose Hill park. Architecture is by award-winning Squire and Partners, and completion is due in spring next year. Prices from £3.7 million. Call Savills on 020 3043 3600.
West Hampstead is an area of hidden value waiting to be unlocked, says Savills. The local train station is a main hub, with the Jubilee line, London orbital and Thameslink, and direct connections to Stratford and Stansted airport. Another plus is that the neighbourhood is buzzy and cosmopolitan. An inspired piece of urban planning is transforming a former business estate in West End Lane, the area’s spine, into a new neighbourhood, with apartment blocks grouped around courtyard gardens and a new public square with cafés and restaurants.
Called West Hampstead Square, the scheme also has a gym, dance studio, spa and hotel-style reception with concierge. A Marks & Spencer is coming, too. Show flats are open for viewing. Prices from £595,000. Call Ballymore on 0808 1182027.
From £235,000: flats at Langhorne Place near Gladstone Park in Dollis Hill. Call Network Living (0300 373 3000)
Dollis Hill is a solidly suburban enclave now being discovered by smart singles and young couples. Shortcroft Mead Court, a conversion of a listed Victorian school in Cooper Lane, has brought affordable flats with a difference. Prices start at £275,000, or £68,750 for a 25 per cent shared-ownership stake. Call Genesis housing association on 0800 542 7243.
Also in Dollis Hill is the first project funded by the Mayor’s Housing Covenant, a low-cost homes initiative. The scheme at Langhorne Place is close to revamped Gladstone Park, the area’s main green space, and offers 160 flats for private sale, shared ownership and rent. From £235,000. Call Network Living on 0300 373 3000.
Stanmore, at the end of the Jubilee line, has prosperous pockets of executive housing, including Bentley Priory, where Barratt is building new homes in the grounds of a listed mansion. Prices from £840,000. Call 020 8950 5079.
Stanmore Place, nearer to Canons Park Tube station, is on a bigger scale — 798 homes in award-winning landscaped grounds with lake, cycle paths and play areas. There is a gym, car club and 24-hour concierge. Prices from £435,000. Call 020 8952 2853.