Post-Olympics, east London is still on a roll, with the 2012 legacy benefits kicking in and regeneration continuing to open up areas previously off the radar of homebuyers.
Ever-optimistic estate agents even speak of a "golden triangle" — the area enclosed by the City financial district, Canary Wharf and Stratford. According to Halifax, there are a number of postcodes close to the Olympic park where prices are 25 per cent below the London average, highlighting the area's relative affordability.
Bow, Bethnal Green and Stepney are in the spotlight again. All are among inner London's cheaper places and within reach of young first-time buyers moving up the career ladder.
These areas "arrived" about 10 years ago when development rippled out from nearby Docklands. Then, builders targeted derelict canalside buildings and old industrial sites. Fancy new flats attracted buyers from pricier parts of town, while eager gentrifiers discovered great-value period houses in neat neighbourhoods such as the Tredegar Square conservation area.
More recently, the emphasis has been on council estates, with private developers such as Telford partnering housing associations to renovate and rebuild hundreds of homes.
Poplar: affordable flats for sale
New Festival Quarter in Poplar seeks to pick up on the optimism and spirit of the 1951 Festival of Britain, which promoted new thinking in design, science, technology and transport. At the time, a "Live Architecture" pavilion focusing on town planning and the built environment was erected at Poplar as part of the Festival. Set across four buildings, the new scheme has a private gym, 24-hour concierge and residents' roof garden. Flats cost from £55,625 for a 25 per cent share. Call Family Mosaic on 020 7089 1315.
Nearby, flats priced below the £250,000 stamp duty threshold are for sale, making it possible for some young Londoners to buy outright, especially developments offering the Help to Buy interest-free deposit. East City Point is one of these schemes. Prices from £185,000. Call 020 7473 1198.
ABODE3 in Devons Road is a new scheme of 14 one- and two-bedroom apartments priced from £210,000. Call estate agent Bridge on 020 3538 9633.
At a new scheme in Stepney Green, shared-ownership and outright sale options are available. Called So Stepney, it is a collaboration between East Thames housing association and Bellway. Open-market one-bedroom flats are priced from £220,000, while shared ownership costs from £55,000 for a 25 per cent equity share (combined rent and mortgage of £884 a month). Call 0845 459 5021.
Well-connected Bow: new affordable homes
One The Plaza is the latest phase of Barratt's 964-home St Andrews development in Bow. Bordering a busy approach road to the Blackwall Tunnel, it isn't the prettiest part of town, but it has good train and Tube connections and is very close to the Olympic park.
Green technology, including a communal energy system, means lower fuel bills. There is a concierge service, gym, crèche, café and car club, and all homes have either a balcony or terrace. Apartments in the 27-storey tower cost from £278,000 and qualify for Help to Buy. Call 020 7515 5788.
Shared ownership in Poplar
Kathy Schroeder, 35, works as a financial analyst in the City. She had been focusing on east London as a place to buy since before the Olympics, but delayed purchasing until she was sure the area was going to stay on the up and not sink into a post-Games slump.
She said: "I grew up in Canada and have lived in three different cities during the past decade: Zurich, Sydney and for the last five years in London. I had been renting at various addresses and felt the time was right to settle down. I sort of begrudged paying rent to a landlord and wanted a place of my own."
Shared ownership has made it possible. Kathy purchased an apartment at New Festival Quarter in Poplar. "It's a 25-minute commute to my office near the Tower of London and on a sunny day, less than an hour to walk. The best thing about my new home is that my monthly expenditure is going towards buying equity in the property rather than to a landlord."
Today in London, shared ownership is consistently cheaper than renting or buying. At New Festival Quarter, monthly costs for a one-bedroom apartment (25 per cent share) start at £699.09. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom property in the same E14 postcode is £1,600, and to buy a similar property would typically cost £321,029.