Suburbia is attracting style-conscious bargain hunters, priced out of inner London and seeking interesting regeneration projects with eco-friendly architecture, good design and low running costs.
Property values in many edge-of-London locations are now within reach of first-time and struggling buyers seeking cheaper shared-ownership options.
Mayor Boris Johnson has pledged a better deal for London's "neglected suburbs" after years of investment focused on the inner city. His Outer London Commission has a brief to promote growth industries such as green technology.
So is the future looking good for suburbia, once dismissed as a place for middle-class families to settle down in - and not much else? Last month, the Mayor's commission visited Bromley to launch a £50 million fund for the revamp of suburban town centres.
Bromley South Central is one such project, a collaboration between the council and regeneration specialist Cathedral Group. The mixed-use scheme, moments from the train station, will be set around a new public piazza and include 173 full-priced and affordable apartments, a hotel and a nine-screen cinema. Completion is due next year. To register for the homes, call 020 7939 0800.
Bromley is London's largest borough - 59 square miles, most of which is green belt running into Kent and Surrey, with 17-minute train links to central London, making it popular with well-heeled career professionals. But there are also lots of young singles, couples and families desperate to get on to the property ladder.
More than 800 new homes at Bromley Common aim to fill this housing gap. The land - some 34 acres - used to be mainly sports fields owned by cement company Blue Circle and includes much-loved allotments, a sensitive local issue. Bromley council opposed the development but Asprey Homes won an appeal after a public inquiry, arguing that the scheme would dramatically reduce the borough's historic housing shortfall.
The site, still officially green belt, lies about a mile south of Bromley town centre. Asprey and its joint venture partner, Ward Homes, have launched Trinity Village, the first phase of 536 private homes. Prices from £199,995 to £389,995. Call 0844 556 6144. Affordable homes will be released later by housing association Affinity Sutton. To register, call 020 8313 0660.
On the site of a former printworks close to Bromley's Glades shopping centre, Hyde housing association is offering shared-ownership flats. Called Halligan's Court, prices start at £84,000 for a 40 per cent share (full market value, £210,000). Call 020 3207 2703.
The Hamptons, a 60-acre "community" of New England-style homes in suburban south-west London, is a housing estate like no other in the capital. Residents arrive via a tree-lined avenue which opens on to a town square with community hall and clock tower. Apartments, Shaker-style cottages and houses are set out in lanes and crescents.
Thames Valley housing association is selling shared-ownership homes at the development from £192,500 (£57,750 for the minimum 30 per cent share) to £365,000 (for a three-bedroom semi). Call 0844 470 4645.