The run-up to the Olympics in Stratford has turned out to be a property marathon, a seven-year period of "mini cycles" — bullish and flat periods — providing opportunities for buying and selling.
Now the focus is shifting to the post-Olympics period — to the so-called "legacy benefits" and how surrounding areas will improve on the back of £9 billion public investment.
This was always the main regeneration challenge: to ensure that Stratford is not left with a gleaming sports complex isolated amid a sea of deprivation, and that the Olympics bonanza spreads to surrounding communities in Bow, Hackney Wick and Canning Town; across the river too, to Greenwich and Woolwich where the equestrian and shooting events are being held.
Stratford centre has been turned around. Many more new homes are planned and developers and housing associations continue to promote new schemes, some with apartments ready to move into and others available off-plan.
East London's canal banks are obvious growth areas. Caspian Wharf is a scheme of 552 apartments alongside the Limehouse Cut (London's oldest canal), which runs close to Stratford before heading north-east to Hackney Marshes and Walthamstow.
Homes by the water
Regeneration has also helped restore the Bow Back Rivers, a four-mile network of derelict waterways largely unused since the Second World War. Now they form part of the 2012 Olympic Park, with the first stage of their restoration complete following a new lock and water control structure, which has returned the rivers to navigation and created a gateway for barges entering the Olympic Park, reviving water transport in the area for the first time in 50 years.
"The Olympics is breathing new life into these areas by opening access to the waterfront, creating better towpaths and more leisure and recreational activities," says John Hall, managing director of developer Berkeley.
Another local infrastructure improvement is a new footbridge at Bow which involved the construction of a suspended towpath along the Lee for cyclists and pedestrians. This once-vital industrial waterway connects Hertford to Bow via a series of locks and weirs. New housing, retail space and offices are being built at strategic points along it. One of these is Matchmakers Wharf, Homerton, which has 209 new homes — a mix of 138 private sale flats, shared-ownership and rented accommodation — from studios to four-bedroom apartments. The development includes artists' studios. Prices from £235,000. Contact estate agent Cityzen on 020 7790 1818. Shared-ownership homes are sold through London & Quadrant. Visit lqgroup.org.uk.
East City Point, Canning Town, has one-bedroom apartments from £160,000. Call developer Countryside on 020 7437 1198. Affinity Sutton housing association is offering "Rent4Less" homes at the development. Rents, from £600, are set at 20 per cent below market value to enable tenants to save a deposit within a five-year period in order to buy the home. Call 0300 100 0303.
'The London 2012 legacy is clear'
Caspian Wharf is conveniently located between Stratford and Canary Wharf, one reason why finance sector lawyer Iqra Kayani, 28, bought there, moving from west London. It takes her 10 minutes by car to get to her Canary Wharf office.
"The positive impact of the Olympics on the area is there for all to see. Shops, cafés and restaurants are opening all the time, and almost every weekend I find myself shopping at the new Westfield in Stratford centre."
Apartments are priced from £267,500. Call 0844 800 1152.