New homes close to The Shard
The Shard of Glass continues to up the ante for its neighbours. Boutique apartments are appearing nearby, with developers scrambling for sites, especially those close to ultra-cool Bermondsey Street. Coming soon is a London Square scheme behind the White Cube art gallery; another by Crest Nicholson is being built in Melior Street.
Murano, in Crosby Row, makes a tasteful architectural statement with a colonnade of stained-glass windows at street level and a glass canopied communal roof terrace at a the top. As well as 17 apartments for private sale, shared-ownership homes are available through Family Mosaic housing association. Prices from £187,500 for a 25 per cent share. Call 020 7089 1315 or visit muranobuilding.com
Europe's tallest building casts a long shadow. Estate agents speak of a "Shard Corridor" opening up, as areas within a 10-15-minute commute of the new business district at London Bridge fall into favour with buyers. Deptford, Greenwich, Brockley, New Cross, Lewisham, Ladywell and Hither Green are among the still-affordable areas.
Enfield Central: buy-to-let flats from £155,995
Buy to let is booming — again. Last quarter, lending to landlords was at its highest level since 2008, with 40,000 mortgages worth £5.1 billion, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. Buoyed by the resurgent rental market, investors are looking for a good place to put their money. "The buy-to-let market is in rude health," confirms David Whittaker, managing director of Mortgages for Business. "Rates are at record lows and likely to stay there for three years following the Bank of England's 'forward guidance'."
Fully equipped flats that are ready to move into, giving rental returns of 7.5 per cent, are on offer at Bellway's new Enfield Central scheme. Prices from £155,995 — call 0845 548 7020 for details.
Wandsworth's new family-sized apartments
Family apartments with up to four bedrooms are proving popular in Wandsworth's "Nappy Valley", where the more usual property solution for young couples following the patter of tiny feet is an unmodernised Victorian terrace.
The Filaments, formerly a gas mantle factory, is part of the
£1 billion transformation of Wandsworth town centre. The 416-home complex is set to become a mini village, with offices and shops, a public square, gardens with water features and much-coveted private parking spaces. "Our bigger apartments have really struck a chord with growing families, which is no doubt due to the dearth of such accommodation in London," says Brian De'ath of developer Mount Anvil.
"Family flats are popular in European cities and the capital's planners are now fixing their sights on larger apartments, because they help build communities." Prices start at £350,000 and range to £665,000 for the four-bedroom apartments, which are up to 1,360sq ft. Call 0845 077 9770.
The mission: 25 new flats in Hackney Wick
Hackney Wick butts up against the Olympic Park and is a front-line winner of the London 2012 legacy benefits. The area needed a boost. Post-industrial dereliction brought such poverty that in 1880, Eton College established an outreach mission for the poor.
The church of St Mary at Eton, where the mission was set up, is at the centre of a regeneration project bringing 25 new homes, including a triplex apartment in the listed tower and loft-style flats with up to four bedrooms. The Mission is only a five-minute walk from Hackney Wick station, while all the Stratford amenities are on the doorstep. Prices from £235,000. Call Fyfe McDade on 020 7613 4044.