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Spotlight on Greenwich Borough

There is a great sense of history available in Greenwich and with four famous museums in the area, there is plenty of see and do. The National Maritime Museum, the Queen’s House, the Royal Observatory and the Cutty Sark provide a chance to view the way we used to live while the O2 provides a chance to see the latest stars of entertainment and sport.

The introduction of the Docklands Light Railway in 1999 has made Greenwich a great area for families and professionals, as it vastly improved the commuter routes. The relatively small nature of Greenwich, and rising prices in the area, has made it difficult for many people to find a suitable home in the area but there are still places to buy in Greenwich.

East Greenwich, lying to the East of the park, is an up and coming area which provides value but also close proximity to many of the areas that makes Greenwich such a popular area to live in. Greenwich Market is a must-see attraction for tourists while it also provides residents with the chance to buy a wide range of bespoke and stylish items.

When it comes to average property prices for Greenwich, you should expect to pay around £280,000 for a one bedroom flat, £495,000 for a two bedroom flat and around £620,000 for a two bedroom house. A three bedroom house comes in at around £710,000 and a four bedroom property would come in at around £1.25m. Over the past five years, the average trend for property prices in Greenwich has been well above the UK average, as you would expect for property in a highly desirable area of London.

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Eltham

Probably best described as being more like a small town that just happens to be located in London, there is a lot to be said for Eltham’s suitability for raising a family. This has impacted on the people that move to the area. There are some attractions locally, there is plenty in the way of local stores and community spirit from shopkeepers and local groups.

There may not be a Tube station in Eltham but it is handy for major roads such as the A2, the A20 and the South Circular. These can be busy at rush-hour though so it may be best to use the train stations at Eltham and Mottingham which provide access to Charing Cross, Cannon Street or even Victoria Station in around 30 minutes.

A number of schools in the local area, such as the St Thomas More Catholic school, the Eltham CofE, the St Mary’s Catholic and Henwick all perform extremely well in disciplines such as Science, Maths and English.

Current property prices for Eltham suggest paying around £325,000 to £365,000 for a one bedroom flat, with many of these being new builds and between £200,000 and £250,000 for a two bedroom flat and between £350,000 and £375,000 for a two bedroom house. Depending on your area, a 3 bedroom property in Eltham can cost between £350,000 and £500,000 while a 4 bedroom property can fetch up to £700,000.

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Charlton

The A102 may separate Charlton from Greenwich and Blackheath, but while there may not be a geographical distance between these areas, it can seem like they are a world apart. For potential house buyers, this is a great thing because Charlton is more affordable, convenient and functional area that provides so much more for your money than the other areas.

The nearby suburban rail line can take you from Greenwich to London Bridge in under 20 minutes and to Cannon Street in less than half an hour. The A102 to the Blackwell Tunnel and the M11 is in one direction while the A2, the A20 and the M25 can be found in the other direction. This means that commuting from Charlton isn’t a hassle, and you can get around quite easily.

Ofsted have referred to local schools like Sherington, Invicta and Halstow as being outstanding, and there are many other schools which have been referred to as being good or satisfactory, so you will find that there are plenty of educational options.

There may not be the fashionable restaurant options in Charlton that there are in other nearby areas, but if you have the time, you can reach these areas easily. Similarly, the 02 is just a short bus ride away, opening up a world of entertainment. The High Street and local shopping areas offer everything you could need, and the functionality of Charlton is better suited to families than some of the extravagances of other local shopping areas.

Two bedroom flats can cost between £150,000 and £300,000 while one bedroom properties can be around £200,000. Two or three bedroom rooms range from between £250,000 and £475,000 while four or bedroom properties can range between £450,000 and £700,000.

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Abbey Wood

With over £80m promised to two housing zones in Abbey Wood, this is an area of south London that looks to be on the rise. The area had a bad reputation in the 1970s and 1980s for brutalist architecture but there has been a lot of change and progress since those times. With promises that there will be a high level of “affordable” housing introduced to the area within the next ten years.

Abbey Wood is one of the areas of London that are hotly tipped to feel the benefits of the Crossrail work. When work is concluded by the end of 2018, Abbey Wood will see 12 fast trains an hour, facilitating access to central London in less than half an hour while a journey to Heathrow will take less than an hour. Even at the moment, travel isn’t that bad from Abbey Wood, with frequent trains to London Bridge taking around half an hour.

Abbey Wood has always been an area for local buyers but the Crossrail developments has opened the area up to external buyers. At the moment, Upper Abbey Wood is still undervalued, even though it is an area that appeals to aspirational buyers and families.

All of the primary schools in the area are rated as being “good” or better by Ofsted and there are strongly regarded comprehensive schools in the local area.

The average price for a two bedroom flat or house in Abbey Wood comes in around £250,000 while the average price of a three bedroom house is around £325,000. These prices offer tremendous value but the impending Crossrail work, and the related benefits, means that Abbey Wood could be an area that is set to see house prices area.

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Thamesmead

Thamesmead is one of the areas of London that has carried a bad reputation for many years. Thamesmead was a harsh and unforgiving area, but the good news that comes from this is that it is currently an area on the rise.

The scope for development and improvement means that this is still an area where you can buy at an affordable price. Thamesmead will be one of the areas that receives a benefit from the Crossrail work and there has been a focus on introducing parks and greenery to move the area away from the grey image of the 1970s.

There are plans for £200 million to be invested in Thamesmead in the next 10 to 15 years, making this the ideal time to invest in property. It is not quite an area for families, but for business professionals and people looking to set up home for many years, it is likely that Thamesmead will undergo further changes and developments in the next few years, which makes it an ideal place to buy if you have time, and you are happy to see your investment prosper.

One bedroom flats are priced at between £150,000 and £180,000 (although some new builds are on the market in excess of £300,000) and two bedroom flats can be found for around £200,000 to £250,000. Three and four bedroom properties in Thamesmead can be found for around £290,000 to £350,000 although there are more and more properties selling at a higher price.

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Plumstead

Plumstead is an area that is currently affordable to buy and is set to be developed and improved considerably in the years to come. This means that it may not be the best place for families at the moment but if you have an eye on the long-term, buying property in this area could pay off in years to come.

Like a number of areas across the capital, the reason for this improvement lies on the Crossrail. There will be a new Woolwich Crossrail station that is within walking distance for Plumstead residents, and this will provide direct trains to the heart of London for the first time. At the moment, it takes half an hour to get from Plumstead station to Cannon Street but the daily commute will become a lot more palatable in a few years if you can live with the current situation for a short spell.

It would be fair to say that there are not many places to shops or socialise to a good standard in Plumstead but the close proximity of better areas nearby means that you aren’t missing out too much. The potential savings on offer from life in Plumstead more than makes up for the additional cost or time you would need to reach the better areas. There are also plenty of parks and greenery in the local area so if you are looking for areas to exercise in or just relax in, you’ll find that Plumstead has enough to keep you occupied.

There are already some signs of gentrification in Plumstead, the sprawl from nearby Charlton being responsible for this, but there are still opportunities to find good value in the local area.

Around Plumstead Common itself, you can find a three bedrooms Victorian style home for around £300,000. This is much cheaper than what you would pay for a similar property in nearby areas like Greenwich, Deptford or East Dulwich.

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Woolwich

Just over 10 miles to the south-east of central London, Woolwich is a town with considerable history and a proud narrative during the First World War, where 80,000 people were employed. This means that Woolwich is a name that people revere but in recent times, the area is well known for regeneration. Clearly the employment opportunities that shaped Woolwich are no longer available but the Thames side location is appealing to a wide range of people looking for property in London.

The DLR and Thames Clipper makes it easy to reach Canary Wharf and the city from Woolwich and there are trains taking people to London Bridge and Cannon Street. However, Woolwich will be boosted by the Crossrail project, which will enable journey times to Canary Wharf in less than 10 minutes, Liverpool Street in 14 minutes and to Bond Street in 22 minutes.

When it comes to Ofsted “outstanding” schools, Woolwich has a lot to offer. Cardwell, Heronsgate, Christ Church CofE and St Mary Magdelene CofE are all “outstanding” primary schools while Woolwich Polytechnic and Harris Academy Falconwood are “outstanding” comprehensive schools.

Two local museums, the Royal Artillery and Greenwich Heritage Centre, create a link to the past and the main shopping areas are still of a more traditional nature. There are plenty of places in the south-east of London that have been gentrified but Woolwich still offers a blend of budget stores and brand names that people instantly recognise. There are also open spaces in Woolwich including the Thames Path, Woolwich Common, Maryon Wilson Park and Gilbert’s Pit.

For the average property prices in Woolwich, you should expect to pay around £235,000 for a one bedroom flat, £280,000 for a two bedroom flat and around £291,000 for a two bedroom house. A three bedroom house will set you back around £315,000 and a four bedroom property would cost around £357,000.

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Published in: The October Broadcast

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