Marine Wharf, Rotherhithe: 529 new homes
Rotherhithe is close to the South Bank arts quarter and a convenient midway point on the Jubilee line between Canary Wharf and the West End. It is also an interchange on the East London line, providing quick access to Shoreditch and Dalston hot spots.
A second wave of regeneration (the first was in the Eighties) is transforming the area's fortunes by creating a bustling new waterfront zone next to Canada Water Tube station.
The eastern side of Rotherhithe Peninsula, which borders gritty Deptford, has a different feel. Much of the area was demolished and infilled when the docks closed in 1970. Builders are back, snapping up the remaining industrial estates and car breakers' yards.
Marine Wharf, a 529-home development by Berkeley Homes, raises the bar in design and picks up on the area's industrial heritage. Interlinking apartment blocks are clad in warm brick and rusty steel panels. There are duplexes and penthouses, all on 999-year leases, with good-size terraces, plus a gym, car club, concierge and convenience stores. Prices from £375,000. Call 020 8694 3100.
Luxury lateral living in South Kensington
Millionaires don't do stairs — or so it seems, with the trend for lateral living. Wealthy buyers want to live on as few floors as possible, and such is the demand for the limited number of large lateral homes in central London that they can be 35 per cent more expensive than the vertical equivalent — typically £3,600 a square foot against £2,200 for houses.
Grand Kensington and Belgravia townhouses make perfect lateral conversions, and where a developer acquires two or more houses in a terrace, there is even greater potential to create wide one-floor homes that span across the properties. Stucco-fronted 50-52 Queen's Gate in South Kensington is one such project.
"Our research shows that 70 per cent of lateral flats sold over the past year were on the first floor, where the room proportions are best," says Simon Godson of estate agent WA Ellis, which is selling a 4,000sq ft apartment for £9.25 million. The flat has two drawing rooms, a mezzanine gallery and 54ft terrace. Call 020 7306 1600.
Elgin Estate, Maida Vale: 20 new apartments
An innovative "Hidden Homes" scheme pioneered by Wandsworth council is spreading to other London boroughs and could create up to 10,000 much-needed affordable new properties.
Vacant and abandoned spaces such as laundry and boiler rooms, store sheds and garages on housing estates are being transformed. Even concrete subways are being turned into residential space, while apartments are being created on redundant roof space.
At the Elgin Estate in Maida Vale, Westminster council is building 20 apartments by adding floors to two existing buildings. Another 14 homes are being created on infill land between blocks, and the estate management offices are being redeveloped into two four-bedroom houses.
"The project will cost £83,000 a property, which is excellent value for taxpayers and great for families in housing need," says councillor Jonathan Glanz.
Some are put on the open market and sold to first-time buyers, while others are allocated to tenants on the housing waiting list. Visit westminster communityhomes.gov.uk
Wandsworth council has created 244 homes. Coming soon are six new flats — a roof extension to a council-owned block in Nightingale Lane, which borders Clapham Common.
Luxury new apartments at Sloane Gardens
Cadogan Estate has teamed up with a private members club to launch 18 luxury serviced apartments at 13-19 Sloane Gardens. A £6.5 million refurbishment has created 18 one- and two-bedroom flats that can be rented for up to 90 days. The Sloane Club will provide concierge services and in-room dining. Call 020 7730 9131.