Spotlight on Dalston: property area guide
Property area guide on Dalston with average property prices, current houses and flats for sale, best streets, up-and-coming areas and commuting times.
New homes in Dalston: Dalston has hundreds of new houses and flats planned with new squares, libraries and shops to sit alongside them.
Local schools in Dalston: There is a large choice of well-rated schools for all ages in the area.
Renting guide to Dalston: The area is popular with young couples and sharers who work in the arts and media.
Ever since singer Harry Styles of boyband One Direction celebrated his 19th with a boozy night at Dalston’s Birthdays and Alibi clubs in February, London’s cool young crowd has been thinking it might be time to move on to the next London hotspot, wherever that might be.
But if Dalston has had its day in the fashionable sunshine — one national newspaper even dubbed it “the coolest place in Britain” — a walk in Kingsland High Street or Ridley Road Market is enough to prove it has all been glitter off a duck’s back for most local people, getting on with the business of normal life in their vibrant neighbourhood.
Dalston, in Hackney borough, is perhaps best described as a bit of a London mash-up: smart new flats have to rub along with ageing council estates; run-down shopping centres and pound shops jostle for attention next to interesting independent retailers; established Afro-Caribbean and Turkish communities live side by side with newcomers working in the media, fashion and music industries.
This inner north-east London suburb sits two and a half miles north of the City and five miles from central London. At its heart is the junction of Balls Pond Road, Kingsland Road, Kingsland High Street and Dalston Lane.
Dalston received a big boost with the arrival of the East London Overground line in 2010. It connects the area with Canary Wharf, via Canada Water, and the West End via Highbury & Islington and brings in visitors and shoppers from across south-east London. The line’s arrival came with a new Dalston Junction station and Dalston Square, a development of nearly 600 new homes.
Houses and flats for sale in Dalston
Dalston has a smattering of Georgian houses, Victorian villas and terraces, warehouse conversions and new apartments, all interspersed with council estates which offer reasonably priced right-to-buy flats starting at about £220,000. One of the most expensive properties for sale is a four-bedroom, four-storey, semi-detached early Victorian house in Albion Square which is selling for £1.8 million. A smaller four-bedroom house from the same era on Graham Road is on the market for £875,000.
READ MORE: Dalston renting guide
The area attracts: estate agent Natalie Hall at Fyfe McDade says Dalston has traditionally been popular with people working in the arts and media. “We now have people moving here from other areas of London in search of better value for money and a more culturally diverse area.” The average price per square foot is around £500. They are also attracted to Dalston’s cultural life with the Arcola theatre; the Vortex Jazz club, Café Oto and the Dalston Roof Park.
Staying power: there are many good primary schools but getting into the best state secondary schools can be a lottery. Some families move on when comes the time to choose.
READ MORE: best-rated schools in Dalston
Postcodes: Dalston and London Fields are in the E8 Hackney postcode; De Beauvoir Town is in the N1 postcode that covers a large area from Kings Cross through to Islington. The northern fringes of Dalston are in N16, the Stoke Newington postcode.
Best roads: in Dalston proper, between Kingsland Road and Queenstown Road, the best road is Albion Square, but houses in nearby De Beauvoir Town and London fields are also desirable. Other top roads are St Mark’s Rise and Montague Road, close to popular Mossbourne Academy, Hackney’s top performing comprehensive, where houses often now sell for over £1 million.
Up and coming: Natalie Hall from Fyfe McDade says flats above Dalston’s many shops represent good value for money.
READ MORE: new homes in Dalston
Travel and commuting: Dalston is now well-connected to the rest of London. The new East London line from Dalston Junction and Haggerston offer a fast journey to Canary Wharf with one change at Canada Water. In the other direction these stations and Dalston Kingsland offer trains to Highbury & Islington where the Victoria Line offers quick access to the West End. All stations are in Zone 2; an annual travelcard to Zone 1 costs £1,216.
Shops and restaurants: Dalston’s shopping is centred on Kingsland High Street where there is Ridley Road Market and a tired-looking shopping centre with a large Sainsbury’s and Matalan.
However, a good supply of small retail units has encouraged small experimental shops, cafés, restaurants and bars to establish themselves, making Dalston the nearest London equivalent to Brooklyn’s Williamsburg. South of the junction on Kingsland Road there is a café, Curio Cabal, attached to a co-working space; another café, Lift 574, with a newly opening theatre; The Fox, a pub specialising in craft beer, and Arancini Brothers, a branch of the small speciality chain which sells Italian deep-fried risotto balls.
The Proud Archivist on nearby Hertford Street is new, and describes itself as a gallery, bar, café, restaurant and event space. In Dalston nothing is just a “something” — it is always a “something with a something else”, and then probably with something else as well.
North of the junction along Kingsland High Street and Stoke Newington Road, there are long-established Turkish Ocakbasi with their big indoor barbecue grills, including 19 Numara Bos Cirrik and Mangal Ocakbasi on Arcola Street. Also here is Huh, a unisex boutique linked to an online magazine; Beyond Retro, an enormous vintage emporium and in-house café; Kristina Records for vinyl, and the two Pelicans & Parrots stores, selling vintage fashion, furniture and interiors accessories — now with a subterranean arts and private events space styled as a Caribbean rum shop. But most unusual of all is LN-CC — or Late Night Chameleon Café — in Shacklewell Lane, a fashion boutique selling designer labels such as Lanvin, where to gain entry an appointment must be made in advance.
Ashwin Street close to the junction is home to Bootstrap, a long-established warehouse with office space for small businesses and home to the innovative Dalston Roof Park and Merci Marie Café. Next door Café OTO doubles as a jazz café and on the other side of Kingsland High Street the jazz scene is enhanced by the presence of The Vortex in Gillett Square and Dalston Jazz Bar in Bradbury Street. Other local favourites include White Rabbit, a modern British restaurant serving small plates, also in Bradbury Street, and Tina, We Salute You, a café and art gallery on King Henry’s Walk. As well as jazz, Dalston’s night-time economy is usually in full swing at the weekend at Birthdays, Dalston Superstore, Alibi and subterranean drinking den Ruby’s, to name but a few.
Open space: Dalston is not really about open space; although the Eastern Curve Garden opposite Dalston Junction station is a peaceful oasis gardened by volunteers. London Fields, Clissold Park and Victoria Park are all easily reached and there are walks and cycle rides along the Regent’s Canal.
Leisure and the arts: the Arcola in Ashwin Street was started in 2000 by Mehmet Ergen and Leyla Nazil and is now one of London’s most respected fringe theatres. A new theatre, the Little Dalston Theatre under Lift 574 café now has planning permission. The Art Deco Rio Cinema, is an independently run first release and art cinema. The nearest council-owned swimming pools are at the Kings Hall Leisure Centre in Lower Clapton Road and Clissold Leisure Centre in Clissold Road. There is a local campaign to reopen the former Haggerston Baths in Whiston Road that the Victorian Society has recently put on its most endangered list.
Council: Hackney (Labour-controlled); Band D council tax for 2013/2014: £1,301.45.
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TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE: DALSTON
* What links the best album award winner at this year’s MOBO awards with a former chairman of the Greater London Council (GLC)?
The winners of the album of the year award are Dalston-based drum and base group Rudimental, who used the Hackney Peace Carnival Mural in Dalston Lane as their album cover. The mural was part-funded by Hackney council and the GLC, and was unveiled in October 1985 at the height of the cold war by the late Tony Banks, who was chairman of the GLC at the time.
* How did a Dalston square inspire a long-running television soap opera?
Fassett Square off Graham Road was the inspiration for Albert Square in East Enders.
* How did a daughter of Sir Thomas More make her mark on Dalston?
In the 16th century Sir John Heron, Master of the Jewel House, lived with his wife Cecilia at Shacklewell Manor, north of Shacklewell High Street. Cecilia was the daughter of Sir Thomas More and Cecilia Road in the St Mark’s conservation area is named after her.
Five-year property price trends: Dalston comparison with UK average
Average prices: Buying flats and houses in Dalston
One-bedroom flat: £356,000
Two-bedroom flat: £451,000
Two-bedroom house: £600,000
Three-bedroom house: £748,000
Four-bedroom house: £1.05 million
Pictures by Graham Hussey