Royal Docks set to be east London's next first-time buyer hotspot:24,000 new homes planned near the O2, City Airport and Elizabeth Line links

With prices from £126,000, the first 72 shared-ownership homes go on sale at Royal Albert Wharf, for Londoner's first-time buyers.

Right now the Royal Docks is a work barely in progress. There are plans for 24,000 homes and 60,000 new jobs in the area, while in his final Mayor’s Question Time in March, Boris Johnson pledged it would become a “world-class business destination”.

One of the first housing developments is Royal Albert Wharf, overlooking the Royal Albert Basin and close to the Thames. More than 1,500 homes are planned here by 2021, with cafés and shops lining a pretty dockside and a tree-lined public square. Notting Hill Housing has launched the first 72 shared-ownership homes for sale at Royal Albert Wharf, aimed at Londoners on low to medium salaries.

Prices start from £126,000 for a 40 per cent share of a one-bedroom flat with a full market price of £315,000. Two-bedroom flats start at £156,000 for 40 per cent, with three-bedroom flats from £210,000.

Monthly service charge ranges from £130 to £270 a month, depending on the size of flat. Anybody living in any of the London boroughs can apply, and the homes will be move-in ready by early summer.

Hopkin Man, head of sales at Notting Hill, says: “This area will change massively in the next few years. The Elizabeth line is coming in a couple of years and values will increase.”

Early residents will need imagination and pioneering spirit. There is not a lot going on apart from building, but Albert Dock has potential and some flats have water views.

For now, London Regatta Centre offers facilities for rowing and dragon boating, plus several clubs to join and a restaurant. The University of East London has moved to the area, and the ExCeL exhibition centre offers the chance to hop across to Greenwich on the Emirates Air Line, the UK’s only urban cable car.

Other developments at the docks will encourage shops, bars and restaurants, and there are future plans for Britain’s first floating village, plus the renovation of a Thirties Art Deco mill, set to become a base for start-up businesses.

On the waterfront: Royal Albert Wharf overlooks Royal Albert Basin — homes with water views are ever-popular


The site is just east of London City airport, handy for weekend getaways although a degree of aircraft noise is to be expected. On the ugly list is Beckton gas works and sewage treatment works, which locals say adds an occasional “distinctive” aroma, although recent upgrades by Thames Water ought to help solve the problem.

The nearest DLR station, Gallions Reach, has services to Canary Wharf in 19 minutes, London Bridge in 22, and Waterloo in 25 minutes. From 2018, it will be possible to take Elizabeth line trains from Custom House, two miles away, directly to the City, West End and Heathrow.



Past: Albert Dock was opened in 1880, with three full miles of quayside to handle grain imported to feed a growing London.

Future: the three Royal Docks — the other two are named after Queen Victoria and King George V — are to be transformed into a “mini city” with 12 miles of waterfront.

Trivial pursuit: the US Olympic and Paralympic teams were billeted at the University of East London’s campus at Albert Dock during the 2012 Games.

What it costs: an average flat in the E16 postcode costs £345,793 according to Rightmove.

Landmarks: it’s not glamorous but Beckton sewage treatment works, designed by engineer Joseph Bazalgette and opened in 1875, saved London from cholera and gave us the flush lavatory.

£350,000: a refurbished three-bedroom flat in Kildare Road, E16. Contact I Am the Agent (03334 441007)

Eat: The Reach Bar & Kitchen has a gastropub menu and outdoor seating for sunny days.

Drink: The Fox at ExCeL is a warehouse-style pub, all bare brick and beams, close to the nearby exhibition centre.

Buy: Gallions Reach Shopping Park has a reasonable range of high street chains.

Walk: Beckton District Park, Beckton District Park North and Beckton New Park make this area surprisingly green.

First-time buy: it’s not all shiny new build in this neck of the woods. I Am the Agent (03334 441007) has a refurbished three-bedroom flat, ideal for sharers, for sale at £350,000 in Kildare Road, E16.

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