From £250,000 to £1.7 million: Greenwich Peninsula homes range from studios to waterfront penthouses
New districts are being born, regeneration is opening up London’s forgotten acres, and Crossrail is triggering a construction boom across the capital as developers unveil their autumn new homes launches.
The property market has changed down a gear, prices are levelling off, and though there is still a lot of fizz, buyers are wary of interest rate rises, tougher mortgage rules and the outcome of next year’s general election.
Keen to get the best price, London house hunters are increasingly flexible, more willing to put down roots in another borough or cross the Thames, especially for impressive architecture. The main flows are from north and west London to east and south London, where family houses are significantly cheaper and new Overground stations are helping to revitalise areas such as Brockley and Dalston.
This computer generated image illustrates the view over the River Thames across to Royal Arsenal
Designers get serious
Thoughtful interiors are enticing buyers to homes such as Carlow House with its glass-walled “winter gardens” for year-round use. This handsome Fifties factory conversion in Camden with 85 loft-style apartments launches next week. Prices from £500,000. Call Galliard on 020 7620 1500.
Builders are far more conscious of “place-making”, as at Nine Elms in Battersea, where the entire district and public realm is being upgraded. Homes in listed Battersea Power Station have been released for sale, with designs inspired by the building’s industrial heritage, featuring exposed brickwork walls, polished concrete floors and free-standing copper baths. Prices from £980,000. Call 020 7501 0678.
Developers are also creating landscaped communal areas - pocket parks, courtyards, roof gardens and squares — that are an adjunct to residents’ own private space, while on-site amenities or “lifestyle extras” range from valet parking to virtual golf.
Buyers, as ever, go for location and price, but also now for the architecture, view, the package of extras, investment potential or the promise of a better future in low-maintenance, eco-friendly homes with floor plans to suit modern lifestyles, structural warranties and a painless transaction process.
New homes are still in short supply, particularly finished properties, so developers are pushing off-plan sales with computer fly-throughs and glamorous marketing suites. But space, spec and natural light are easier to grasp when walking around a completed home. You must have confidence that the developer will deliver what is promised, with no loopholes. Always get your solicitor to trawl the small print.
BEST OF THE BOUTIQUES
New townhouses bordering Wandsworth Common have private access to Spencer Park, with a tennis court and children’s play area for the exclusive use of local residents, chef Gordon Ramsay among them. In summer the residents adorn the park with candlelight and hold a dinner party. Called Asquith, the scheme has four six-bedroom houses of 4,640sq ft. Prices from £4.95 million. Call Savills on 020 7326 8370.
From £1.575 million: Octavia Mews is within walking distance of Kensington and Chelsea's parks, museums and restaurants. Call 020 7758 8488
If you are priced out of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea but want to live within walking distance of its parks, museums and restaurants, Octavia Mews in Tasso Road, West Kensington, W14, has eight modern houses with light-filled basements. Prices from £1,575,000. Call Hamptons International on 020 7758 8488.
Bear Lane, near Tate Modern at Bankside, derives its name from the Elizabethan “sport” of bear baiting. Nine flats, including a penthouse with roof terrace, have been built on the site of a Victorian warehouse. Call Cluttons on 020 7407 3669 to register. Also on this patch is The Music Box, a striking glass structure with 41 apartments above a new home for the London Centre for Contemporary Music and the National Jazz Youth Orchestra. Call Taylor Wimpey on 020 7355 8150.
From £4.95 million (left): new townhouses at Asquith border Wandsworth Common. (Right) From £1.85 million: loft apartments at the Pathé Building in Wardour Street, Soho
Contemporary townhouses in a quiet part of Canonbury, Islington, have been launched. Prices from £1.52 million. Call Currell on 020 7226 6611.
According to property specialist CBRE, within tightly packed Soho there are up to 20 small-scale development projects, among them the conversion of the Art Deco Pathé Building in Wardour Street into 15 lofts and two duplex penthouses. Prices from £1.85 million. Call 020 7182 2477.
Barts Square is a new address for an ancient pocket of London between St Paul’s Cathedral and Smithfield Market. The old hospital campus is being redeveloped into 235 homes, a mix of loft-style flats in listed buildings and new low-rise blocks tucked away in courtyards and passageways. It is the debut residential development of City office builder Helical Bar. Prices from £775,000. Call 020 7409 8756.
From £775,000: homes at Barts Square, between St Paul's Cathedral and Smithfield Market
The first flats at a new 10,000-home riverside district in south-east London will be launched next week. For most of the 20th-century, Greenwich Peninsula was blighted by a gasworks. The Millennium Dome, now the O2 arena, and a new Jubilee line station kick-started regeneration, but progress stalled until last year when Chinese developer Knight Dragon snapped up 190 acres for transformation into five new neighbourhoods, with 45 acres of gardens and a commercial zone to include offices and shops, plus cultural venues, hotels and schools. Eventually 23,000 people will live there.
New standards in “urban mixed-use design” are promised. Most of the housing will be high-rise and high-density, while pedestrians and cyclists will take priority over cars. Canary Wharf employees are expected to make up a large chunk of the new residents. Gateway Pavilion, London’s biggest and most expensive marketing suite, has been built on a site close to the cable car link across the Thames to Royal Docks. Designed by London Eye architects Marks Barfield, the two-storey glass pavilion has show apartments, an art gallery and restaurant.
High-rise and high-density: Pedestrians and cyclists will take priority over cars at Greenwich Peninsula.
Greenwich-based Meantime Brewing Company has moved to the site, planted hops along the Meridian Line and launched Peninsula Pale Ale, a beer to mark this new era, while Shunt Theatre, live performance specialists, have turned a jetty into a theatre using old sea containers. Prices start at £250,000 for studios, rising to £1.7 million for a waterfront penthouse. Visit www.greenwichpeninsula.co.uk or call 020 3713 6153.
A neglected industrial strip between the peninsula and Greenwich town centre is also getting a facelift. Barratt has launched Enderby Wharf, with 616 flats priced from £318,000. The site is also earmarked for a cruise liner terminal. Call 0844 8114334.
ON THE UP
Fulham Reach, with 744 homes, occupies a tranquil section of the Thames favoured by scullers and oarsmen, between Putney and Hammersmith Bridges. It is quite a bit cheaper than developments further east towards Chelsea, and is now attracting people priced out of the Royal Borough. A private members club at the development offers a spa and gym, snooker room, cinema room and a temperature-controlled wine store with 1,000 bottles.
Developer St George has created a riverside promenade, Hammersmith Embankment, and put in a new park. A community boat club and jetty are also in the mix. Faulkner House, a new riverside block, launches next month. Register on 020 7870 9500.
From £320,000: The Broadway is a new-build scheme of 83 flats in Tooting, which is now buzzing with young metro types who flock to its bars and bistros
Like a lot of south London, Tooting spent much of the 20th century asleep in run-down respectability, until buyers priced out of Clapham started to search further down the Northern line. Today Tooting is buzzing with young metro types who flock to its bars and bistros, including new Soho House eateries, in the high street, and it is still cheaper than Clapham. The Broadway is a new-build scheme of 83 flats priced from £320,000. Call Crest Nicholson on 020 3375 2241.
Fusion in Cygnet Street, between Shoreditch and the City, has a residents-only landscaped roof garden and underground cycle storage. Smart, good-value apartments are priced from £640,000. Call 020 7620 1500.