Cheaper than Bermondsey, more fun than Bexley, Bow is a great middle ground for first-time buyers with its intriguing mix of East End boozers and newly refurbished gastropubs. New homes are flying up in E3 right now.
At Thimble Court, part of the St Paul’s Square development, Circle Housing Group is selling shared-ownership flats.
The mid-rise red-brick blocks of St Paul’s Square don’t look desperately innovative from the outside, but the Thimble Court flats are well lit, modern, and each has a private balcony.
Local transport links are first rate. The development is just off Bow Common Lane and less than half a mile from Mile End Tube station in Zone 2, on the District, Central and Hammersmith & City lines. From there you can be at Canary Wharf in six minutes, and the City in a quarter of an hour.
A 25 per cent share of a one-bedroom flat is £91,250. Buyers will need a five per cent deposit, and the monthly costs will be rent of £627, mortgage at £457 — assuming an interest rate of 3.99 per cent — and service charge of £68.
Circle Housing calculates a household income of £41,000 or more is needed, and it is worth pointing out that some of these flats are wheelchair accessible.
A 25 per cent share of a two-bedroom flat starts at £135,000. These flats are available to those with a household income of £65,000 who will pay monthly rent of £928, service charge of £80, and a mortgage of £676.
Three-bedroom shared-ownership flats start at £140,000, and will require a household income of £68,000. Rent per month will be £962, service charge £83, and mortgage repayments are calculated at £701.
Prices start at £180,000 for a 50 per cent share of a one-bedroom flat. As well as raising a mortgage, buyers will pay rent of about £412 per month, and a service charge of about £120.
SHALL WE TRY THAT EAST END BOOZER, OR THE GASTROPUB?
The best thing about this development is that it is so central, says Helen Mason, shared-ownership sales manager of Circle Housing. “It is ideal for people who work in Canary Wharf or the City, and it is a really buzzy area, with restaurants and nightlife, and there are parks and open spaces.”
Indeed, this location is surprisingly green. The flats are right by Ackroyd Drive Greenlink, which provides a walkway to Mile End Park, which in turn links to Victoria Park and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park — you can walk or cycle for miles with barely a road to cross.
For local meals out, Burdett Road, which runs beside Mile End Park, will be your go-to spot with everything from Persian, to Lebanese to Turkish restaurants, plus the well-reviewed Greedy Cow burger bar.
Your local pub will be the Wentworth Arms, a traditional boozer without a craft beer in sight, but if you prefer your pubs a bit more gastro, the Morgan Arms is nearby and the Sunday roasts there are recommended. Another gem worth discovering is the East London Liquor Company, which distils and serves its own whisky and gin from a former glue factory at Bow Wharf.