Believe it or not, there is still a place in London where you can buy a pleasant three-bedroom period house for £300,000. Welcome to Edmonton Green, the suburb that recent price hikes forgot.
This little-known corner of north London is a bargain hunter’s dream. It is still blinking its way out of Seventies depression and continues to have one of the highest rates of unemployment in the country, while even Daniel Puddick, sales manager at the local branch of Foxtons estate agents, describes it as “a bit neglected”. After a walk down its sad little high street, some might find that verdict generous.
Yet Edmonton Green’s £1.5 billion Meridian Water regeneration scheme will, over the next 13 years, rejuvenate 210 acres of industrial wasteland just within the North Circular Road and beside the River Lee Navigation.
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Investing in the future
The project, which begins in earnest next year, will include the building of about 5,000 new homes and upgrading commuter links into the City from nearby Angel Road station in Zone 4. All this should improve the area and raise prices for those prepared to invest in the future.
Work starts with building The Causeway, a £14 million tree-lined central spine road which will act as the main high street of Meridian Water. A new primary school will open in September, and Alan Sitkin, economic development chief at Enfield council, which is masterminding the project, says a developer to build the first 1,000 homes will also be appointed.
Eventually the site will have shops, a cinema and cultural space, a health centre, and make use of its waterside location with a marina. First residents are expected to move in during 2017 — just as Network Rail upgrades services from the area to provide at first four, and later eight, trains to Liverpool Street an hour. The journey takes 25 minutes.
“What we do not want to build is a commuter dormitory,” says Sitkin. “We hope the benefits will ripple out.”
Edmonton Green already has a stock of period houses. A three-bedroom Edwardian terrace, estimates Foxtons’ Puddick, will cost between £260,000 and £300,000. Nick Dean, a director of estate agents Ellis & Co, advises bargain hunters to search the area between the A10 and A1010 for its streets of three-bedroom Thirties terrace homes, priced between £310,000 and £320,000, and two-bedroom Victorian houses at £250,000 to £275,000. Local schools, however, are an extremely mixed bag. Some are very good, including Churchfield Primary, rated “outstanding” by Ofsted. But parents will need to study catchment areas hard before committing to a property, because the area has its share of sink schools, too.
The new Dalston?
The hope is that Meridian Water will help to upgrade Fore Street, the drab high street. This is a commercial opportunity says Puddick. “Obviously 5,000 new home owners walking about the area on a Saturday afternoon are going to want somewhere smart to shop.”
He has similar hopes for the arrival of coffee shops, artisan butchers and boutique shops. “Ten years ago people didn’t move into Dalston because it was paradise — and look at it now,” he adds. “It happens.”