Central London homes for first-time buyers: priced below £300,000

Do the research and the legwork during your property search and it is still possible to find affordable areas in London - or at least pockets of good value - even in the capital's central zones.
First-time buyers have to be more enterprising than ever in their search for an affordable home. Property prices are rising faster than incomes, meaning that buyers must compromise on cheaper locations and consider shared ownership as a way of getting on the ladder.

The heartening news is that London still has affordable areas, or at least pockets of good value, that are not always in outer travel zones or a far-flung suburb.

However, these areas are cheaper for a reason: it could be down to a rough council estate, blighted industrial land or poor public transport. But if they are central, the chances are that these areas will improve as regeneration takes hold. Some are already in transition.

Choose an area to explore and then put on your walking boots. Here are three places to start.

CANNING TOWN 
ZONE 3 

For many years, this edgy East End district languished outside the property market, despite the spectacular rise of its neighbour, Canary Wharf. The game changer was the Olympic Games going to Stratford, which cemented a £3.7 billion regeneration programme, the first largest ever in Britain, spearheaded by Newham council.

Step out of the Jubilee line station and you will be greeted by the soaring Vermilion development, with 271 new homes, along with shops and cafes. This is the first phase of the ambitious 675-home Rathbone Market renewal scheme, which will bring a new library, two public squares and purpose-built facilities for market traders. Aurelia, the second residential phase, launched last week. One-bedroom flats are from £275,000. Call 020 7476 6032.

One of the objectives is to connect Canning Town with Royal Docks and Silvertown, where huge waterfront districts are being built. Nearby Custom House has a DLR station and will be on the Crossrail route in 2018.
 


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From £290,000: an apartment in The Bloom development in White City. Call 020 8246 4190

WHITE CITY 
ZONE 2 

Never an obvious place to live, White City's fortunes changed with the arrival of the Westfield shopping mall (which is so vast that it covers nine postcodes) and the departure of the BBC from its Wood Lane HQ.

The former west London commercial zone is now one of Boris Johnson's "Opportunity Areas" and there are plans for a giant mixed-use Canary Wharf-type complex right next to the roaring A40.

Imperial College is building an impressive research campus, while the wider masterplan includes thousands of new homes around the listed Television Centre.

Westfield is expanding and its next phase includes 1,522 homes in a 20-storey building. Developer St James will soon to start to build 1,300 homes on the site of a former a Marks & Spencer depot. To register, call 020 8246 4190.

Notting Hill housing trust has launched The Bloom on Bloemfontein Road, which runs alongside White City and Queen's Park Rangers football stadium. There are 48 flats in modern, low-rise blocks overlooking the five-acre Wormholt Park. Prices from £290,000, or £145,000 for a 50 per cent shared ownership stake. Call 020 8357 4444.
 


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From £250,000:
three-bedroom terrace houses at Castle Green Park in Dagenham

BARKING 
ZONE 4 

A new riverside district with 10,800 new homes, most of them classified as "affordable", seems an unlikely outcome in London where waterfront development tends to focus on pricey apartments for high earners and those already on the property ladder.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Barking is the location of this district. Why? Because it is the capital's cheapest borough — the raw end of old east London, beyond Canary Wharf and Stratford, where derelict factories, breakers' yards, freight depots, power stations and refineries still cling to the banks of the Thames.

It is early days, but regeneration is beginning to flower. Barking Riverside, the new address, has more than a mile of river frontage being opened up to the public for the first time in generations. It is also getting a new transport link.

Bellway is the main developer and its masterplan envisages eight neighbourhoods, or "character areas", divided by green corridors. About 140 acres will be open space.

City East, comprising twobedroom apartments and fourbedroom townhouses, will be launched in the early summer. To register, contact Bellway on 020 8594 9709. Former landfill sites at Dagenham are being turned into Lymington Fields — with 419 homes — while at Castle Green Park, threebedroom terrace houses cost from £250,000. Call Countryside Properties on 07900 769752.
 


 

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