When the sun sets, the east London skyline is lit up by red and orange lights atop all the cranes. The great regeneration zones reinventing run-down neighbourhoods also represent the most concentrated opportunity for first-time buyers priced off the private property ladder.
Few developers are meeting Mayor Sadiq Khan’s election pledge that half of all homes in the capital’s new schemes should be earmarked for first timers, but the sheer volume of flats being built in east London makes it the best hunting ground for shared-ownership property.
Most of these homes are in zones at an early stage of regeneration and will require some vision from buyers. But there are exceptions.
The Cavallo at Goodman’s Fields (peabodysales.co.uk) is a Zone 1 option, in E1, and won the “best large development” category in the London Evening Standard New Homes Awards this year.
In Whitechapel, it’s an easy walk to Aldgate Tube, and within reasonable walking distance of the City. One-bedroom shared-ownership flats are priced from £152,000 for a 25 per cent share. A 10 per cent deposit would be £15,200, and monthly costs would include rent at £667.19, service charge of £154.53 and estimated mortgage repayments of £762. Most of the homes at The Cavallo have balconies, and there are two acres of open space, plus a central square lined with restaurants and bars.
Buyers who work in Canary Wharf, meanwhile, should look at Blackwall, on the northern edge of the Isle of Dogs. Shared-ownership flats at Jessop at New Providence Wharf (genesishahomes.org.uk) are less than a mile from Canary Wharf and a DLR trip from East India in Zone 2 to Bank.
Two-bedroom open-plan flats are priced at £121,250 for a 25 per cent share. The deposit is £12,125, and monthly costs include mortgage at an estimated £681, £834 rent and £159 service charge.
When completed the site, by Ballymore, will be a village in itself, overlooking the Thames and with shops, restaurants, bars and a park.
Another Blackwall option is 26-storey Horizons Tower (nhillsales.com), with marvellous views of the river and Poplar Dock Marina, plus concierge and gym. Blackwall DLR is a five-minute walk away, and Canary Wharf is a 15-minute stroll.
Prices start at £95,625 for 25 per cent of a one-bedroom flat, and a deposit of £9,563 is necessary. Monthly mortgage payments are about £804, plus rent at £657 and a £160 service charge.
A 25 per cent share of a two-bedroom flat starts at £128,125, requiring £12,813 deposit. Monthly costs include mortgage repayments of about £1,007, rent at £881, plus service charge at £220.
Three-bedroom flats at Horizons Tower are £147,500 for a 25 per cent share, requiring £14,750 deposit, and monthly mortgage will be about £775. Rents are set at £1,014, and service charge is £260.
Stratford is morphing from Olympic village to London village at a tremendous pace, with new neighbourhoods being created on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and its fringes.
With a giant Westfield shopping centre, landmark sports facilities and superb transport links — King’s Cross in seven minutes; Canary Wharf in 15, and Crossrail on the way — Stratford is a popular option for younger buyers.
Prospect East (prospecteast.co.uk) in Leyton Road, is near East Village and close to the station. On the western side of the Olympic Park, it is also less than a mile from Leyton’s smaller but more authentic and rapidly improving shops and eateries.
Housing association East Thames has three-bedroom flats at Prospect East, from £167,250 for 30 per cent. Estimated monthly costs come in at just under £2,000, including £846 mortgage, £894 rent, and service charge at £183.
4. E16: ROYAL DOCKS, CANNING TOWN AND CUSTOM HOUSE
Perhaps the richest shared-ownership hunting ground right now is E16. This huge regeneration zone takes in the Royal Docks, Canning Town and Custom House.It’s very much a work in progress, but there are plans for 24,000 homes and 60,000 new jobs in the area. Billions of pounds in investment is pouring in.
One of the first developments is Royal Albert Wharf (nottinghillhousing.org.uk), overlooking the Royal Albert Basin and close to the Thames. Two-bedroom flats start at £172,000 for a 40 per cent share. Deposit is £17,200, and estimated monthly costs are mortgage payments of about £860, £591 rent and service charge at £179.
By about 2021 there will be more than 1,500 homes on this site alone, with cafés and shops lining the dockside and a tree-lined public square.
The Royal Docks area is becoming increasingly interesting as a place to live. The University of East London has moved in, and a series of housing schemes will boost the supply of restaurants, bars, and shops. For commuters the nearest station is Gallions Reach DLR with services to Canary Wharf in 19 minutes, London Bridge in 22, and Waterloo in 25.
Shared ownership tends to focus on one- and two-bedroom flats but at Royal Albert Wharf there are three-bedroom triplex flats that would suit a small family. Open plan with private terraces and access to a courtyard garden, prices start at £216,000 for a 40 per cent share. The deposit comes in at £21,600, with monthly mortgage of about £1,014, rent of £743 and £267 service charge.
At nearby Royal Dock Gardens (east-thames.co.uk) a 35 per cent share of a one-bedroom flat starts at £115,500. Monthly costs are mortgage of £584, rent of £492, and service charge of £104. Two-bedroom flats start at £139,125 for 35 per cent, with monthly mortgage payments estimated at £677, rent at £592, and service charge at £142.
Royal Dock Gardens is a short walk through Cundy Park to Custom House, part of the Elizabeth line from 2018, with faster journeys to Liverpool Street, Bond Street and Heathrow. Along with Royal Albert Wharf, Royal Dock Gardens is also very handy for London City airport.