Tens of thousands of new homes are in the pipeline at Royal Docks, Greenwich Peninsula and Woolwich. They are all connected by the Thames, which is being restored as an important transport artery and is boosted by a mayor-backed plan to launch a new fleet of river buses covering more routes.
Since the closure of the old commercial docks in the early Seventies, the once-polluted Thames and industrial land alongside it have undergone remarkable change, with regeneration that includes modern waterfront apartments.
GET IN QUICK: LONDON'S NEW RIVERSIDE HOMES
Image gallery: new riverside homes in London
Image gallery: new riverside homes in London
From £417,600: Royal Quay, overlooking Limehouse Cut, is a new scheme of 90 homes set behind original warehouse façades (scroll right...)
From £417,600: apartments at Royal Quay feature exposed brickwork and high ceilings (scroll right...)
From £417,600: flats at Royal Quay are some of the best-value homes in London with waterside views. Call 020 7328 7171
4/26 Wapping Riverside
From £1,450,000: set within a warehouse conversion, Wapping Riverside offers 37 exclusive apartments enjoying panoramic views across the Thames (scroll right...)
IMAGES: DANIEL LYNCH
5/26 Wapping Riverside
From £1,450,000: there are one- to three-bedroom apartments with private balconies or terrace space, designed to perfectly combine original features with luxury contemporary functionality (scroll right...)
6/26 Wapping Riverside
From £1,450,000: situated on Wapping High Street, flats are ideally located for quick commutes to the City and Canary Wharf. Call 020 7620 1500
7/26 Canary Wharf
From £490,000: South Quay Plaza, a development of 888 properties, includes the UK’s tallest tower — a 66-storey glass-clad skyscraper with a residents’ club, private cinema and spa on the 56th floor (scroll right...)
8/26 Canary Wharf
From £490,000: the scheme at South Quay Plaza brings new dockside landscaping, small parks, shops, bars and restaurants (scroll right...)
9/26 Canary Wharf
From £490,000: the tower is being built at a 45-degree rotation to ensure that the flats are dual aspect. Floor-to-ceiling glazing maximises views over the intersection of the historic docks. Call 020 3675 4400
From £367,500 to £1.85 million: beyond the Docklands heartland, Woolwich’s Royal Arsenal is a stunning piece of military architecture (scroll right...)
From £367,500: formerly a munitions factory, Royal Arsenal has homes, shops and amenities, a four-acre park, a riverboat pier plus a new Crossrail station (scroll right...)
From £367,500: Waterfront II, the latest phase, looms over the Thames, alongside a half-mile promenade. Blocks of wide-windowed apartments are shaped to maximise views from all flats. Call 020 8331 7130
From £775,000: Battersea Reach has a series of dramatic glass-fronted apartment blocks with giant terraces overlooking the river (scroll right...)
From £775,000: an exclusive waterside community, Battersea Reach has picturesque grounds, excellent transport links and riverside walkways. Call 020 7978 4141
From £975,000: Borough Place is a boutique development of eight two- and three-bedroom flats and one rooftop penthouse (scroll right...)
From £975,000: each apartment at Borough Place benefits from spacious Winter Gardens which are bathed in natural light. Call 020 7749 3810
From £1.7 million: 706 homes will be built at Chelsea Waterfront, on the converted Lots Road Power Station - a stone's throw from King's Road (scroll right...)
From £1.7 million: flats at Chelsea Waterfront are accompanied by water gardens, three pedestrian bridges across tidal Chelsea Creek and a 660-yard riverside promenade. Call 020 7352 8852
19/26 Surrey Quays
From £430,000: homes at Endeavour House and Mariners Place - the latest phase at Marine Wharf in Docklands (scroll right...)
20/26 Surrey Quays
From £430,000: added benefits at Marine Wharf include access to landscaped courtyards, 24-hour concierge and on-site amenities and gym facilities. Call 020 8694 3100
From £796,995: the former Kops Brewery has been reincarnated as Fulham Riverside with 401 homes (scroll right...)
From £796,995: at Fulham Riverside the open area facing the river will have a central communal garden, with a 10ft-high waterfall feature. Call 0844 811 4334
23/26 Greenwich Peninsula
Greenwich Peninsula is the site of London's biggest single regeneration project. This riverside district has plans for a lively 24-hour community with 15,000 new homes. Call 020 3713 6153
From £1.25 million: Riverwalk in Millbank has two curvy new blocks, one 17 storeys high, connected by a central podium, providing 113 homes (scroll right...)
From £1.25 million: many of the flats at Riverwalk have direct access to outside space. The development also features a gym overlooking the Thames, as well as valet parking and 24-hour concierge and security. Call 020 7409 8756.
St George Wharf is a riverside development spanning across 7 acres in Vauxhall with landscaped courtyards, supermarket, restaurants, healthcare clinics and spa facilities. Call 020 7222 2500
“Once you catch the riverside bug, you’ll never want to live anywhere else,” says Tom Burke of Savills Waterfront, a specialist division of the estate agency.
Thames Clippers services currently carry 10,000 commuters a day, while the new homes are tempting City workers who formerly favoured Knightsbridge and Kensington on to the riverbanks.
As a rule of thumb, east of Tower Bridge is cheaper than the central and western stretches of the Thames — and more convenient for the major employment centres of the City and Canary Wharf.
Eight river bus piers between Tower Bridge and Woolwich integrate with established and improving neighbourhoods, where buyers can seek riverfront homes that start at less than £500,000.
Shad Thames and Rotherhithe
Shad Thames, a prized enclave packed with Victorian wharves and warehouses converted into flats, is arguably Docklands’ most charming area.
One-bedroom apartments fronting the Thames cost from £650,000, whereas a block or two back, prices start at £430,000. Expect to pay between £700,000 and £1 million for a two-bedroom flat, and at least £1.5 million for something special.
Refurbished Hop Studios, in Jamaica Road, has a splendid Victorian brick façade with arched windows and cargo doors, behind which are new two-bedroom apartments. Prices from £1.2 million. Call Kalmars Residential on 020 7940 7980.
Rotherhithe, meanwhile, is 25 per cent cheaper than Shad Thames. It has been an up-and-coming area for 30 years, but is finally becoming unquestionably fashionable.
The established London taxi firm Addison Lee reports that Rotherhithe is the capital’s “destination hotspot”, with a 170 per cent increase in passenger journeys to the area over the past three years. Fragmented bits are being joined up and a busy waterfront zone is being created at Canada Water.
A hidden gem is South Dock Marina, London’s largest, with 200 berths and a watersports centre. There is also a river bus shuttle across the Thames to Canary Wharf. Sellar Group, developer of the Shard, is building 1,030 homes in partnership with Notting Hill Housing. To register, call 020 8357 4444.
Check out charming St Marychurch Street. Now a cobbled conservation area, this is where the Pilgrim Fathers set out, bound for North America, in 1620.
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. Regeneration came to a halt some years ago, but builders are back.
Marine Wharf, with 566 homes, seeks to raise the bar in terms of design and picks up on the area’s industrial heritage. Interlocking apartment blocks with central courtyards are clad in warm brick and rusty steel panels. Prices from £430,000. Call 020 8694 3100.
Equity analyst Ryan Gregory, 29, chose Rotherhithe after leaving his family home in Brentwood, Essex.With a career in financial services, he wanted an affordable address with good investment potential close to both the City and Canary Wharf.
He bought a two-bedroom apartment at a development that also offered a gym and concierge. “The river bus is great,” he says, Greenland Pier is a five-minute walk from where I live. It’s stress-free and I always get a seat.”
Wapping and Limehouse
Wapping starts in the shadow of Tower Bridge and runs east to Shadwell Basin. The strip closest to the City, with both old and new homes overlooking two yacht basins, is the most expensive.
London Dock, a 1,800-home estate being built on a former printworks site that spans 15 acres, will open up new pedestrian routes to the river and bring a public square, cafés, restaurants and a new secondary school. Prices from £869,950. Call St George on 020 7971 7880.
After decades of neglect, a listed river-facing warehouse next to Wapping Tube station is being converted into 37 loft-style apartments and penthouses. Prices from £1.4 million. Call Galliard on 020 3603 9689.
Traffic-free Limehouse is a fairly quiet pocket. Two-bedroom flats at Canary Gateway cost from £520,000. Call Gordon & Co on 020 7305 5114.
London’s oldest canal, Limehouse Cut, was built to create a short cut between the Thames and the River Lea at Bow. Glamorous it is not, but its location means this 250-year-old hidden asset is springing back to life.
Royal Quay, on the banks of the canal, is a new scheme of 90 homes set behind original warehouse façades. Flats feature exposed brickwork and high ceilings. Prices from £417,600. Call Regal Homes on 020 7328 7171.
North Greenwich, where a new district of 10,000 homes is being built, has a pier and even its own beach and yacht club. Greenwich Millennium Village is a collection of apartment blocks alongside a nature reserve and park. Prices from £350,000. Call 020 8305 2712.
Chinese developer Knight Dragon is building five “villages” knitted together by green space, squares, public art and a one-and-a-half-mile riverside promenade. Shiny new skyscrapers are under construction, with glass-clad apartments available to buy off-plan now. Prices start at £300,000 for a studio and rise to £1.95 million for a penthouse. Call 020 3713 6153.
Telegraph Works is part of an improving riverside strip between the historic town centre and Greenwich Peninsula. The site dates back to the Tudor period, when it served as a gunpowder store in Queen Elizabeth I’s reign. Later it was a sail and rope making factory, then it manufactured telegraph cables. Its last hurrah was as a tin foil factory, which closed in 2013.
The complex is now being redeveloped into 256 homes across four new buildings, including an 18-storey tower. A cruise liner terminal is earmarked for the site, too. Prices from £300,000. Call 01279 873333.
A fresh crop of waterside projects in this area includes 10 Park Drive, the first residential scheme within the boundaries of the Canary Wharf estate. There are 345 apartments in a pair of linked towers incorporating a sky terrace, spa and gym. Prices from £395,000. Call 020 7001 3800. Completion is due in 2019.
South Quay Plaza, with 888 homes, includes one of Britain’s tallest towers — a 66-storey glass-clad skyscraper with a residents club, private cinema and spa on the 56th floor. Prices start at £490,000. Call 020 3675 4400. Completion is expected in 2020.
This south-east London “outpost” is coming in from the cold, courtesy of Crossrail and the maturing Royal Arsenal Riverside. A former munitions factory, the development is being transformed into a handsome 5,000-home residential quarter, with prized listed buildings being restored across the 88-acre site. Completion is due in 2030.
Investment-wise, Woolwich looks a good bet and is set to become a major transport hub. New waterfront apartments have also been launched. Prices from £367,500. Call Berkeley Homes on 020 8331 7130.