Poplar: shared-ownership Zone 2 homes from £97,500

If you are struggling to afford a home in sought-after Canary Wharf, check out the spot next door.

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With Canary Wharf well established as a prime property market — more than 200 flats in its latest skyscraper, Maine Tower, sold within four hours of going on the market this summer — it is only natural that interest is now turning to Poplar, its low-key neighbour.
Just a mile “inland” of the Wharf, Poplar is one of the few undiscovered corners of Zone 2 left to first-time buyers. Although it is not nearly as shiny as its high-rise neighbour, the cranes on its skyline are evidence that regeneration is beginning.
Bellway Homes’ New Festival Quarter is one of the largest housing schemes in the area, with almost 500 new homes being built on a site opposite Bygrove Primary School, which is rated “outstanding” by Ofsted.
Full market prices at the scheme are nudging towards the £500,000 mark, but housing association Family Mosaic has a selection of shared-ownership homes aimed at first-time buyers and priced from £97,500.
New Festival Quarter is designed by award-winning architects Stock Woolstencroft, and most flats feature private balconies or terraces, plus rooftop gardens and small residents’ parks.

New Festival Quarter: most flats have balconies or terraces

One-bedroom flats start at £97,500 for a 30 per cent share, and buyers must have a household income of between £34,846 and £71,000. They will need to pay £379.17 a month in rent, plus their mortgage and a monthly service charge of £110.27.
Two-bedroom flats start at £118,500 for a 30 per cent share. Buyers must earn at least £42,304, and will need to pay £460 a month in rent plus a £132.71 service charge, as well as a mortgage.
There are three-bedroom flats available, priced from £455,000. Buyers must have a minimum household income of £49,516 so they can afford mortgage payments, plus rent at £530.83 a month and a monthly service charge of £174.69.
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The area is served by two Docklands Light Railway stations — Langdon Park and All Saints — and, from 2018, locals will be able to pick up Crossrail services to the West End and Heathrow from Canary Wharf, which is a mile away.
Poplar has yet to develop a fashionable café culture of its own, but the Olympic Park and Westfield Stratford City shopping centre, plus the expanses of Mile End Park, are within walking distance.


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The knowledge: Poplar
Past: Poplar’s location close to London’s docks meant it was ravaged during the Blitz.
Future: Poplar Baths, built in 1933, have been shut since the late Eighties, but work is now under way on their regeneration as a new leisure centre plus 100 homes.
Trivial pursuit: BBC drama Call the Midwife is set in Poplar in the Fifties.
What it costs: an average property costs £519,659, up 4.6 per cent in the past year. Renting a two-bedroom flat costs an average £2,511 a month (source: Zoopla).

Open for business: the Idea Store in popular Chrisp Street Market. Image: Alamy

First-time buy: a two double-bedroom flat on the 11th floor of the Fusion Building, with great views over Canary Wharf, is on the market with Landmark Estates at a guide price of £400,000.
Landmarks: the condemned Seventies council block Robin Hood Gardens, subject of an intense preservation campaign backed by Norman Foster. See it while you can because it is due to be demolished later this year.
Eat/drink: nothing great on the doorstep, but it’s only a 10-minute walk to Limehouse.
Buy: whatever you can haggle for at old-school Chrisp Street Market.
Walk: local parks include Poplar Recreation Ground and Bartlett Park.

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