Priced out of Zones 1 and 2, footloose home buyers are searching for areas in Zone 3 where they can get more — sometimes much more — for their money.
London’s population is rising fastest in this zone, with waves of buyers looking for properties in the £250,000 to £750,000 price bracket, which accounts for the bulk of demand in the capital. In particular, Ealing in the west and Leyton in the east are tipped for big changes.
On average, Zone 3 addresses are 41 per cent cheaper than Zone 2 — a whopping £474,569 against £797,410, according to online estate agency eMoov, which reports a ‘spillover’ trend, with more people hunting for less expensive properties a couple of Tube stops down the line. For example, from Balham, a 2014 hotspot where the average price is £576,622, to Colliers Wood, where the average price is £364,949.
Zone 3 is dotted with districts benefiting from new transport links, high street makeovers, newly created parks, opened-up waterfront, and new shopping and business hubs.
Developers are stepping in to build more homes, believing that demand will strengthen during the next decade, because of London’s booming population. Some are using placemaking skills to improve neighbourhoods, even to create an address, as at Brent Cross Cricklewood, where there are plans for 7,500 homes, three new schools and a new Thameslink station that will give locals a 12-minute commute to central London. This week, revised plans were unveiled for a 15,000-home new district at Greenwich Peninsula.
IMAGE GALLERY: PRICED FROM £235,000 - THE LATEST NEW HOMES IN ZONE 3 HOTSPOTS
Image gallery: new homes in Zone 3 hotspots
Image gallery: new homes in Zone 3 hotspots
1/12 Dickens Yard
From £599,950: Dickens Yard offers urban, town-centre living and landscaped gardens. Call 020 8568 1100.
2/12 Dickens Yard
From £599,950: Dickens Yard in Ealing has a 24-hour concierge, undergroud parking and a residents-only spa and gym (scroll right...)
3/12 Dickens Yard
From £599,950: Dickens Yard has become a new town-centre hub, with 698 flats set around new public squares and pedestrianised lanes brought to life with shops, restaurants, markets and street theatre (scroll right...)
4/12 The Cascades
£575,000: there are 18 flats at The Cascades on Finchley Road, with light, modern design and a large shared garden.
5/12 The Cascades
£575,000: with an emphasis on style and comfort, each one-to-three bedroom apartment has been designed with convenience in mind and simple elegance. Call 020 7604 3200
6/12 The Exchange
From £249,995: The Exchange, on Leyton High Road, is a mix of flats and houses, with lots of outdoor space close by at Hackney Marshes. Call 01689 886 400
From £423,000: there are 360 flats at Hoola - a name that was inspired by the hoop-like architecture of its rippling glass-clad twin towers - in Royal Docks. Call 020 7531 2500.
8/12 Ilan Square
From £420,000 for a two-bedroom flat: Ilan Square at Clapton Common, a tasteful canalside scheme of 38 homes (scroll right...)
9/12 Ilan Square
From £420,000: Ilan Square is located a short 10 minute walk from Stamford Hill railway station, soon to become part of the London Underground (scroll right...)
10/12 Ilan Square
From £420,000: the development is ideally located to take advatantage of East London's buzzing culture. Chatsworth Road market and Stoke Newington farmers' market are a stroll away and Hackney Playhouse just a short bus ride. Call 020 7016 3743
11/12 Royal Wharf
From £235,000: Royal Wharf newly launched and covering 38 acres, will be the biggest new Docklands neighbourhood since Canary Wharf was built 20 years ago. New homes number 3,385, including townhouses for families, with varied architecture (scroll right...)
12/12 Royal Wharf
From £235,000: this “21st-century urban village” is based on old-fashioned design principles, with a high street, a school, parks, squares and riverside restaurants. It has its own Docklands Light Railway station and will be plugged into Crossrail, due to be operating from 2018. Call 0800 160 1200.
Up-and-coming areas in Zone 3
South: Ladywell, Hither Green, Streatham, Catford, Colliers Wood, Honor Oak, Sydenham, Crystal Palace, West Norwood.
East: Canning Town, Leytonstone, Forest Gate, Royal Docks, Manor Park, Walthamstow.
North: Cricklewood, Harlesden, Hornsey, Tottenham, Park Royal.
West: White City, Acton, Gunnersbury, Brentford, Ealing.
Certainly, there is more joined-up thinking on the regeneration front, with planners seeking to link these more affordable areas to new transport infrastructure. The Overground is being extended east to Barking, while the proposed Bakerloo line extension through South-East London will reach Beckenham.
Crossrail, on schedule to open in 2018, is already injecting fizz into some Zone 3 districts. Ealing is tipped as a big Crossrail winner, because travelling times to Bond Street, the City and Canary Wharf will be almost halved to 15, 20 and 29 minutes respectively.
While many London areas have seen big demographic changes and swings in fashion and status over recent years, Ealing has remained largely itself, with a middle class old guard, an enviable Common and tree-lined spacious streets that appeal to families.
Hoola, a name that was inspired by the hoop-like architecture of its rippling glass-clad twin towers, brings 360 flats to Royal Docks. The landscaped hill on which the towers are built conceals car parking and cycle spaces. Prices from £423,000. Call Savills on 020 7531 2500.
Leyton: ‘freakishly good-value’
Spillover from Zone 2 East End areas, such as Bethnal Green, where the average price is £528,608, has reached Leyton, average price £321,217. The area has no jazzy new skyscrapers or ritzy shopping centre to match nearby Stratford, but it is basking in post-Olympics sunshine, sharing the legacy benefits of the 2012 Games.
See for yourself by strolling down Leyton High Road, where traditional shopfronts have been revitalised with a colourful facelift. The A12 roars through the area, but Leyton has the Lea Valley for a back garden and also borders Hackney Marshes and Wanstead Flats, among the largest areas of open land in London.
Investment-wise, it looks a good bet. The area is jam-packed with Victorian and Edwardian terraces. Homes are not always beautiful, but according to one local estate agent they are “freakishly good-value”, with lots in the £400,000-£650,000 price bracket.
Developers are targeting the area. The Exchange, on Leyton High Road, is a mix of apartments and houses priced from £249,995. Call Bellway on 01689 886400. Fine Old Leyton Town Hall has been acquired, restored and brought back to life after a period of disuse by “community developer” Lea Valley Estates. The listed building is now a space for local businesses, while its great hall is an events venue. The borough’s former technical institute, part of the building, houses a real ale pub and 32 homes are being created within its walls. Call 020 8808 4070, while The Wharf, on the banks of the River Lea, is a development of 124 flats from £345,000. Call 020 8533 4857.
Clapton has Ilan Square at Clapton Common, a tasteful canalside scheme of 38 homes. Two-bedroom flats cost from £420,000. Call Savills on 020 7016 3743. In north London, Golders Green — average price £744,490 — is a cheaper Zone 3 alternative to Hampstead and Belsize Park.
Traditionally it has been a family area, but with quick Northern line links to Soho and the City, it is being discovered by young singles and couples, according to estate agent Greene & Co. The Cascades, with 18 apartments priced from £575,000, is the latest arrival. Call 020 7604 3200.
'I feel I'm in the heart of London'
In Ealing, developers are bringing a fresh ingredient: cool, town-centre living, attracting young urbanites from Fulham and Putney. With 698 flats set around new public squares and pedestrianised lanes brought to life with shops, restaurants, markets and street theatre, Dickens Yard has become a new town-centre hub. The scheme integrates well with surrounding heritage buildings, including Ealing’s gothic-style town hall, a Victorian church and a fine Thirties fire station.
A smart early-bird buyer was Adam Connor, 24. In 2013, he purchased a one-bedroom apartment off-plan for £250,000. Similar flats are now selling for more than £400,000.
“It’s in Zone 3, but I feel I’m in the heart of London. It really suits my lifestyle. There’s a 24-hour concierge, underground parking, a residents-only spa and gym. Ealing is buzzing with new shops and restaurants, and Crossrail is the icing on the cake.” Prices from £599,950. Call St George on 020 8568 1100.