Where to buy in London in 2016:the Northern line's new extension from Kennington to Battersea - and the existing stations tipped for growth

In our new series, we highlight the radical changes set to transform London over the next 20 years including Tube upgrades, DLR and Overground extensions, new bridges and tunnels across the Thames...

Could the Circle line become a 17-mile travelator allowing commuters to walk to work? The idea takes some imagining but a new online hub launched today by Rightmove, called London Reimagined, aims to do just that.

The Circle line vision is just one of dozens of possible regeneration projects, transport upgrades and cultural and employment shifts — some already under way — helping to revitalise neighbourhoods, creating new property hotspots and buying opportunities. Here, we take a look at key changes that could prove beneficial to home buyers.

Down the tube: follow the train to a regeneration hotspot
Some projects are longer term, but they quickly become part of a property story, embedded in buyers’ decision making. The Bakerloo line extension through south-east London is one example. If you buy smartly now, when you eventually sell you will reap rewards.

Research by Savills suggests the capital faces a £95 billion infrastructure bill to open up parts of the city for new homes, especially affordable ones in the £250,000-£450,000 price bracket. Car use in London is falling, and Tube and bus journeys are soaring. Once-quiet routes are crammed and each day, 3.7 million people use the Tube. 

The much-improved Overground rail network carries 125 million passengers a year, which is four times more than in 2007. The Docklands Light Railway carries 100 million passengers a year, up from 66 million in 2008. 

The recently completed East London line is already feeling the strain and capacity is being boosted by 25 per cent. Where railway lines go, home buyers follow. Usually transport upgrades trigger wider regeneration, meaning buyers can benefit from rising property values. It happened with the recent Overground improvements and is happening again with Crossrail, the east-west train link arriving in 2018. It pays to get your head around the planned infrastructure changes now, and plan your move.

Get ready for Crossrail 2, running north-east to south-west, as well as more extensions to the Tube, DLR and Overground plus new bridges and tunnels over and under the Thames. Even an orbital road tunnel around inner London is back on the drawing board.

Rightmove’s Housing Market analyst Miles Shipside says: “You just need to take a look at the number of cranes dotted around the city to understand the pace at which London is changing. The appeal of the capital as a place to live has contributed to some heady price rises in recent years, and Rightmove’s snapshot of a future London with its rapidly changing infrastructure will highlight areas where there will be further direct impacts on property prices."

Northern Line Extension
Average home price: £987,667 

One live project well into its stride is the Northern line extension from Kennington to Battersea. Scheduled to open in 2020, it is the capital’s next major Tube upgrade.

Two new stations are being built: one at Nine Elms, at the Vauxhall end of Wandsworth Road, the other at the new Battersea Power Station complex. Plans are also being advanced for a further extension west to Clapham Junction.

Funded by private developers and landowners, the £1.5 billion extension is considered a vital transport link, connecting an isolated part of Battersea, where a sparkling new riverside district is being built, with the West End and City. Trains will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For a part of London that’s so near the centre, the Battersea area has been strangely inaccessible. One of London’s first railway stations opened at Nine Elms in 1838 but closed 10 years later when the line was extended to a new terminus at Waterloo. The redundant station became a locomotive works and depot.

Victorian railway entrepreneurs never extended the Tube to Battersea because the river got in the way. Now, better transport will give home buyers and renters confidence to move to the area — and also will help developers justify higher property prices. Everyone likes the convenience of Tube trains on the doorstep, and many new homes are being built above and right next to the new stations.

From £642,500: flats at Nine Elms Point, beside the new Wandsworth Road station on the Northern line extension

Barratt’s Nine Elms Point, alongside the new Wandsworth Road station, has 645 apartments priced from £642,500. Call 0844 225 0032. 

The new London Underground station serving Battersea Power Station will be incorporated into Prospect Place, a cluster of five sculptural and spectacular apartment blocks designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. Prices from £1.2 million. Call 020 7501 0678. With its “embassy quarter” and new office buildings, Battersea will also have droves of commuters from other parts of London. It will be a shopping and leisure destination too, with waterfront bars and cafés plus galleries, cinemas and other attractions.

Battersea is in the spotlight, and nearby areas served by existing Northern line stations are likely to get a big boost, notably Kennington, Oval and Stockwell, which will be just one or two Tube stops from the new Nine Elms neighbourhood, and walkable, too. Eager developers are following the route of the extension through these areas, unlocking land for exciting new homes, some bordering conservation areas and parks.

Average home price: £587,183

Oval has struggled to establish an identity beyond the famous cricket ground, ringed by pre-war tenement blocks that are beginning to smarten up. Even the local gasworks is getting transformed, with up 1,250 new homes by developer Berkeley Group.

It is a no-frills area, where sturdy mansion blocks rub shoulders with council flats. Oval Quarter brings a housing scheme of scale and style. A 30-acre Seventies council estate, Myatt’s Field North, has made way for 808 new homes and one of the largest new parks in London. Two-bedroom flats cost from £590,000. Call 020 7582 7288.

Oval fades into Stockwell, which lacks a centre but has several pretty enclaves, including Durand Gardens, with 19th-century houses, a local primary school and a pear-shaped park. A nearby old printworks, once a four-acre industrial zone, has been redeveloped, with its listed façade intact, into 152 flats and 18 townhouses, while 20-storey Park Heights has two-bedroom flats with panoramic views, from £635,000. Call Network Living (0344 809 2026).


Vauxhall Park
Average home price: £956,662

The patch around Vauxhall Park in South Lambeth Road, known as Little Portugal because of the cluster of Portuguese restaurants and bars, is worth watching. As the crow flies, it’s less than half a mile from the new US embassy. Keybridge, is a scheme of 441 homes with an acre of open space, a nod to the historic Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens that brought hordes to the riverbank during the Victorian era. Prices from £640,000. Call 020 7205 4152.


£3.35 million: St James is building a cluster of swish new residential towers along the Albert Embankment

Lambeth Walk
Average home price: £670,812

West Square, Walcot Square and St Mary’s Square are all equally charming and are part of the Lambeth Walk district. The street itself, celebrated in the famous cockney song, is improving. The Victorian streetscape was marred by redevelopment in the Seventies, but parts of it are being restored.

An adjacent listed Sixties school has been turned into 149 loft-type apartments and townhouses, while Lambeth council garages in Sail Street have been bulldozed to make way for a scheme of affordable flats for first-time buyers. Call Pocket on 020 7291 3683.

Artist, collector and entrepreneur Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery and HQ in Vauxhall is a welcome arrival on this patch, helping to glamorise grimy backstreets backing on to a rumbling railway viaduct. 

On the other side of the tracks at Albert Embankment, developer St James is busily building a wedge of elite new riverside housing. These 433 luxurious apartments are priced from £3.35 million. Call 020 8246 4190.


Average home price:
Kennington, in particular, seems stuck in time while dramatic change takes place around it. And this is part of its allure.

Less than a mile from Parliament, the district’s Victorian terraces and hidden Georgian squares act as a block on big development projects. 

Remarkably, the area has been gentrifying for decades without reaching the heights of fashionability, but the Northern line spur may lift the veil. A station facelift is planned, while tunnel work associated with the extension has temporarily swallowed a corner of listed Kennington Park, recently refurbished and now boasting a pretty flower garden and newly created green space. This formerly scruffy patch of land leads to a low-rise scheme of Georgian-style houses and apartments, with 58 homes in total.

Called St Agnes Place, it replaces a derelict terrace that was squatted for years, and where music legend Bob Marley once lived. Townhouses with garden and parking space cost from £1,375,000. Call 0333 0033 660.

Kennington also butts up against the Thames, right where ancient Lambeth Palace stands, and where an ugly office block has been bulldozed to make way for Palace View. The development offers 55 apartments with full-height glazing to maximise the vista. Prices from £880,000. Call Taylor Wimpey on 020 3866 0901.

Kennington Cross is the nearest thing to a village hub. Check out Duchy of Cornwall Estate, a collection of authentic looking neo-Georgian cottages built just before the First World War, and delightful Cleaver Square, where Regency houses overlook an open space with a gravel patch that is used for occasional boules tournaments.

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