© Jeremy Selwyn
It's all eyes on Greenwich as the final countdown towards this summer's Games begins. The old naval town at the heart of this newly-appointed royal borough will be firmly in the international spotlight as the torch relay begins its journey through the capital from Greenwich Park next month.
As spectators from around the world descend upon SE10 for the Olympic equestrian events, the area's elegant Georgian and Victorian homes will also be on display, along with its growing number of exciting new-build riverside apartments.
The town centre itself is a vibrant, touristy hub which already attracts crowds of weekend visitors to its National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory, Sir Christopher Wren’s majestic Old Royal Naval College and the painstakingly restored 19th-century tea clipper, the Cutty Sark, which once again takes pride of place by the river.
Handy transport links add to the area's appeal for young professionals and families, with a Jubilee line Tube station at North Greenwich, and direct trains to London Charing Cross, Cannon Street, Waterloo East and London Bridge from Greenwich Station. Docklands Light Railway (DLR) services depart from both Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich, and the mainline station.
In the past 10 years, a large number of new developments and riverside apartments have been built in the area, with many more still under construction. But Greenwich also has streets of elegant Georgian and Victorian terrace houses and conversions. Local estate agent Simon Hughes, of Conran Estates, has noticed strong demand in the past year for these family homes, with many houses selling as soon as they come onto the market.
Who is buying here?
Many young families are buying in east Greenwich to live within the catchment area for popular Halstow Primary School. The area is also very popular with young professionals. Due to the good transport links, buyers who work in both the City and Canary Wharf choose to live in Greenwich.
Where are the 'hottest' properties in the area?
The Ashburnham Triangle, on the edges of Greenwich and the borders of Lewisham and Deptford, is a popular area of terraced houses in nine quiet roads bordered by Greenwich South Street, Blackheath Road and Greenwich High Road. Ashburnham Grove, in particular, attracts enquiries from many buyers. There is a real neighbourly feel to this area with a good local pub, the Ashburnham Arms.
Millennium Quay, although officially in Deptford, is also conveniently close to Greenwich town centre and is a very popular, well-maintained apartment building on the river front.
Where are the 'hidden gems'?
Houses in east Greenwich are far more affordable than west Greenwich, and there are many more of them. Any of the roads within the Halstow Primary School catchment area – which is getting smaller as the school becomes more popular – appeal to buyers looking for family houses. These include Halstow Road, Kemsing Road, Ormiston Road, Annandale Road, Calvert Road and Chevening Road.
There is a 'true gem' currently for sale close to the Royal Naval College; a rare three-bedroom house directly on the riverfront with uninterrupted views of Canary Wharf and the O2 centre (pictured, right).
What are the best investment opportunities?
Deals Gateway, close to Deptford's DLR station on the border of Greenwich, Deptford and Lewisham, has popular buy-to-let investment apartments. It has a concierge service along with a gym and lap pool. Tarves Way, close to Greenwich railway station, is also very popular. Both are new-build flats with handy transport links.
How is local parking?
Parking is not cheap which is a personal issue for local businesses, however resident and business permits are available from the council.
What are service charges in the area like?
The more services a development provides, the more costly it will be. An approximate average for this area is about £1,000 a year.
Where would your dream home be in this area?
If I was young, free and single I would most certainly purchase the house on Highbridge Wharf as it has amazing views over the River and is close to the riverside pubs of Greenwich. But with three young children I would love to live in either Hyde Vale or Crooms Hill, as they have beautifully large houses which are very centrally located.
Simon Hughes is the Managing Director of Conran Estates, with offices in Greenwich, Charlton and Eltham