New Central apartments: hot new commuter homes in Woking
Sometimes it’s quicker to travel from a home counties town to your City desk than to leave from a Zone 3 or 4 address in London.
Woking is one such a place. With one of the South-East’s busiest commuter stations, it offers a 20-minute train service to Waterloo.
Glitzy new apartment schemes are pepping up the town centre, bringing cafés, bars, an arts centre and other amenities that are attracting London-bound professionals such as Naomi and Gary Howden.
The couple bought a three-bedroom penthouse at New Central, right, a Barratt scheme of 449 apartments right by the station. “It was a fraction of the cost of an equivalent home in central London. We’re 21 storeys up and have panoramic views stretching from the Surrey countryside to the Shard,” says lawyer Naomi, 26.
Two-bedroom flats high up in the same tower cost from £469,995. Studios start at £175,000. Call 08448 114343.
Luxury waterfront homes in Cowes from £320,000
The Isle of Wight’s Cowes Week sailing regatta is on until Saturday, and as with other sporting events on the smart-set social calendar, the spotlight falls on the properties surrounding the action. Cowes offers glamorous yachts, big blue skies and clinking champagne glasses, so the allure of its location is undeniable.
Now there is a rare chance to own a new apartment with sweeping Solent views close to the start line in the historic harbour town. Egypt Reach is set back from the waterfront on an elevated site and comprises 10 luxury three-bedroom apartments with crisp, modern interiors.
Sailing enthusiasts and weekenders from London are the most likely buyers; buy-to-let investors too. Waterfront homes command rents of up to £5,000 during Cowes Week, plus there is lucrative income from holidaymakers during the summer months, and numerous festivals throughout the year. Prices from £320,000. Call estate agent Spence Willard on 01983 200880.
Croydon: London's 'third city'
Croydon has got the bit between its teeth following agreement to redevelop the drab Sixties Whitgift Centre into a modern £1 billion Westfield shopping mall. The local council has announced plans for 9,500 new homes and is trumpeting Croydon as London’s “third city” (after the West End and Square Mile), a key business location on the edge of the capital, with 27 trains an hour into the centre and a through-the-night service to Gatwick airport.
With the town’s commercial heart getting sorted, residential developers are stepping forward, sensing there is a gap in the market for designer flats with so-called “lifestyle extras” — concierge, secure parking, gym, private cinema, on-site café.
Saffron Square ticks these boxes. This scheme is under way moments from the Whitgift Centre site and incorporates a 43-storey residential tower plus a range of ground-floor commercial premises — restaurants, galleries and shops — facing a new one-acre public square. Berkeley Homes is building 756 apartments, from studios to penthouses. Prices from £153,500. Visit saffronsquare.co.uk or call 020 8774 9888.