Strolling along the Thames Path in Bermondsey, past the medley of Victorian industrial warehouses that have been turned into ultra-desirable loft apartments, it’s hard to imagine that in the middle of the 19th century this was one of London’s worst slums, graphically described by Charles Dickens in Oliver Twist.
Over the past couple of decades it’s become achingly trendy but still retains much of its original character and, once you head away from the river, is far more affordable than you might expect.
The area’s very central, too – one stop from London Bridge, the City’s in walking distance and Cycleways run through it.
New-build flats, council stock and warehouse conversions are common, with prices starting at around £250,000.
‘It is a mixed neighbourhood with expensive penthouses next to social housing but this keeps it dynamic,’ says Nina Harrison of buying agency Haringtons. ‘It’s very popular with young professionals as it’s cheaper than neighbouring areas.’
Nearby South Bermondsey is less trendy but even cheaper and gearing up for extensive regeneration, including a new Overground station. ‘Already well connected in Zone 2 and benefiting from Tube and rail connectivity, residents are just five minutes away from the buzz and lifestyle of London Bridge,’ adds Neil Bowron of real estate company JLL.
Only two seventh floor, loft-style penthouses are left in The Blackwell Collection at The Pickle Factory, on the site of Crosse & Blackwell’s former plant, where Branston Pickle used to be made, and part of the wider London Square Bermondsey development.
It has a 24-hour concierge, a meeting room, a courtyard garden and underground parking, and there’s an onsite gym. The two-bed penthouse is £1.48m and the three-bed is £2.4m, londonsquare.co.uk.
The final one and two-bed shared ownership apartments are available at Peabody’s Lazenby Square, on the same site. Complete with kitchens equipped with Siemens appliances, and fully tiled bathrooms, they start at £137,500 for a 25 per cent share of £550,000, peabodysales.co.uk.
At Dockley Apartments, next to Spa Terminus, one and two-bed apartments are up for grabs. All have private balconies and are ready to move into, from £544,500, via JLL. Four shared ownership apartments are on offer from Optivo. Including outdoor space, underfloor heating, and integrated appliances, they start from £153,000 for a 30 per cent share of £510,000, optivosales.co.uk.
A show home’s just been unveiled at Lovell’s 345 Park Place, next to Southwark Park and comprising 24 one, two and three-bed apartments. They feature oak flooring, underfloor heating and outside space, and some enjoy views of the park. Prices range from £549,950 to £840,000, 345parkplace.co.uk.
Up to 3,500 new homes are planned at Barratt London’s Bermondsey Heights, due to be completed in 2025, with a 26-storey main tower housing 163 one, two and three-bed energy-efficient apartments, from £450,000, barrattlondon.com
Everything potential buyers need to know about Bermondsey
Average house price: £530,597
Average rent: £3,615 pcm
Council tax (Band D): £1,594.54
Commuting time to Zone 1: London Bridge is two minutes by tube from Bermondsey station or five minutes by train from South Bermondsey
Annual Travelcard (Zone 2): £1,536
Amenities: Galleries, bars and boutiques on and around villagey Bermondsey Street; Eateries include Michelin-starred Trivet, 40 Maltby Street, Casse-Croûte and Pizzaro; Maltby Street Market; taproom breweries along Bermondsey Beer Mile; indie cinema Kino Bermondsey; Fashion & Textile Museum; White Cube Gallery; London Glassblowing; The Arch Climbing Wall
Open space: Southwark Park; Leathermarket Gardens, Bermondsey Spa Gardens; Potters Fields Park; Tanner Street Park;
Schools: GCSE results slightly above average; 40 outstanding or good schools in the vicinity
Crime: Marginally above average
Who lives there? Young professionals and creatives; 70 per cent of residents are under 45
Famous faces: Tom Daley and his husband Dustin Lance Black
Schools, crime and house price data supplied by Zoopla.co.uk
What’s on the property ladder?
A recently refurbished one-bedroom flat with a south-facing balcony, on the top floor of a low-rise block. Heating and hot water are included in the service charge.
Check it out via Chestertons.
Sitting in the heart of the action on Bermondsey Street, this bright second-floor apartment has two double bedrooms, two bathrooms and wooden flooring throughout.
Check it out via Daniel Cobb.
This huge four-bedroom duplex penthouse is in Butlers Wharf, probably London’s most famous warehouse conversion, on the banks of the Thames overlooking Tower Bridge.
Check it out via Cluttons.
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