Missed the last Tube upgrade? Be prepared for the next one

The East London line extension hiked house prices by up to 11 per cent. Now the line is getting a new spur
London’s dozen Tube lines are the veins of the capital’s property map — and major improvements to any part of the network always inject fresh life into the areas that benefit. A sound buying strategy is to focus on areas that appeal to commuters and to buy before upgrades have an impact on property values.

Properties within 500 metres of a Tube station are nine per cent more expensive — typically that’s £27,000 — than an identical property 1,500 metres from the same station. This finding is from the latest research by mortgage lender Nationwide.

Estate agents will tell you that since the opening of the East London line extension through Hackney two years ago, prices have jumped 11 per cent — a rise second only to the gold-plated territory of prime central London, where house prices have been propelled by international buyers.

Map of the new East London line spur
The new East London line spur runs between Surrey Quays and Clapham Junction


Both first-timers and top-end investors need to act now to take advantage of the next big Tube upgrade — a spur to the East London line from Surrey Quays to Clapham Junction. This extension will be open by December and will provide a much-needed link between inner south-east and inner south-west London.

Denmark Hill on the Camberwell/Dulwich border, and improving Peckham will have stops along the spur andare likely to see the biggest lift in property prices.

“Peckham has reached the stage where people want to live there rather than have to live there because property is relatively cheap,” says Becky Munday of estate agent Wooster & Stock.

Camberwell has a handsome Georgian quarter yet remains a somewhat unsung location. The best addresses are Camberwell Grove and Grove Lane that climb towards Denmark Hill station and the Dulwich border. Substantial four-storey period houses cost about £1.22 million.

New homes carved out of a handsome former college in smart Camberwell Grove
From £549,950: new homes carved out of a handsome former college in smart Camberwell Grove for sale through St George (020 7708 5829)

A listed school in Camberwell Grove has been redeveloped into flats and a terrace of townhouses — 90 homes in total, with communal gardens, underground parking and private tennis courts. Prices start at £549,950. Call developer St George on 020 7708 5829.

The bottom line for bargain hunters, particularly first-time buyers on a tight budget, is to live close but not too close to a station. In general, prices drop markedly for homes that are between 10 and 15 minutes’ walk away.

Lower-priced inner-city areas continue to be opened up by transport upgrades, meaning early buyers who cherry-pick properties and who choose the right streets can benefit.

“Most people only get to grips with transport changes after they happen and when the best bargains have gone,” says Mike Bickerton of property adviser DTZ. “Usually investors get in first, convinced it’s a no-brainer.”

Anderson & Co deli in Bellenden Road, Peckham
© Rebecca Reid
Anderson & Co deli in Bellenden Road is helping make Peckham an area people want to live in


The new Surrey Quays to Clapham Junction East London line spur will run through five stations — Queens Road Peckham, Peckham Rye, Denmark Hill, Clapham High Street and Wandsworth Road — but a new, sixth station at Surrey Canal Road, Bermondsey, is also in the pipeline and will provide four-minute train connections to London Bridge. It is planned as part of a major regeneration project that will also include 2,500 new homes and a sporting village transforming 30 derelict acres of land alongside Millwall FC’s stadium.

Though currently quite a raw area, with the new station, Surrey Canal Road is bound to attract buyers seeking quick City commutes.


New apartments at Ixia, between Hoxton and Angel
£384,950: new apartments at Ixia, between Hoxton and Angel, are being launched off-plan this weekend. Call 020 7250 2012
Homes close to the Circle line are the most expensive, hardly surprising as this line runs only through central London. Homes along the Metropolitan line, which connects the Square Mile to Uxbridge, Watford and Amersham, are the cheapest.

Not all of the cheapest locations are at the end of the line, however. Aldgate and Elephant & Castle in travel Zone 1, and Kilburn and New Cross in Zone 2, stand out as affordable up-and-coming neighbourhoods.

Ixia, in East Road, is a new apartment scheme in a little-known area between Hoxton and Angel where light industrial premises and canalside offices once dominated. Buildings are now going over to residential as developers spot the area’s potential as the next City-fringe location. Apartments at Ixia are being launched off-plan this weekend, with prices from £384,950. Call Hurford Salvi Carr on 020 7250 2012.

The Northern line is heavily used by Londoners because it connects cheaper locations both north and south of the river with the main employment centres of the West End and City.

Apartments at The Square, near Kennington Park
From £265,000: apartments at The Square, near Kennington Park, can be bought under a shared ownership scheme. Call 0300 100 0303
Close-in, good-value Northern line locations include Oval, in the south, and Archway, in the north. Oval is set to benefit from a Northern line extension serving the Nine Elms regeneration zone (new stations at Wandsworth Road and near Battersea Power Station).

Housing associations L&Q and Family Mosaic are building new homes at St Agnes Place, alongside Kennington Park. The Square, close by, has apartment blocks enclosing a landscaped inner square. Prices from £265,000 (£66,250 for a 25 per cent share). Call Affinity Sutton on 0300 100 0303.

Since February last year, Highbury & Islington station has been an interchange on the new orbital route around the capital. Loxford House, behind leafy Highbury Fields, close to the station, was for 80 years the HQ of charity Action for Children.

A new terrace of houses, at Loxford House, close to Highbury Station
A new terrace of houses, from £1.375 million at Loxford House, close to Highbury Station. Call 020 7226 0000
The Victorian building is being split into apartments while a terrace of 10 townhouses is being built alongside. The latter are priced from £1.37 million to £1.5 million. Call Thompson Currie on 020 7226 0000.

Bloomsbury is an unexpected beneficiary of mega-regeneration at King’s Cross/St Pancras. New developments are rare because of the plethora of protected buildings but three thoughtfully designed modern townhouses have been built in Wakefield Mews, which backs on to historic St George’s Gardens.

“Daylight was an obsession on the inside,” says architect Stuart Piercy. As a result, there are no narrow hallways or lobby areas. Each house has a floating central staircase, the centrepiece of a light-filled atrium, plus an open courtyard and roof terrace. The price is, £2.5 million. Call Hurford Salvi Carr on 020 7250 1012.

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