Greenwich is a mix of a historic London village and a modern regeneration zone.
Overview: The birthplace of King Henry VIII and the location for the start of this month’s London marathon Greenwich is a brilliant mixture of historic London village and modern regeneration zone.
Where is it? Set in a meander of the River Thames in south east London. Served by the Docklands Light Railway and the Jubilee Lines, plus overground services to Cannon Street (not to mention a river bus service) it has great links to both central London and the City.
How much will it cost me? An average property costs just over the half million mark at £521,132, up 2.09 per cent in the last year. Renting a two bedroom flat costs, on average, £1,917 per month. The most expensive area in Greenwich is its historic heart, west of Greenwich Park. Leon Stone, associate director of Hamptons International, said the market is strong with first-time buyers, investors, downsizers and families all keen on the area. Expect to pay from £450,000 for a two bedroom flat, from £800,000 for a two bedroom period house, and up to £2m for a four bedroom period house. Buyers with smaller budgets can look east of the park, closer to Maze Hill railway station, where prices, estimated Mr Stone, drop by 15 to 20 per cent. The cheapest location is on Greenwich Peninsula, home of the 02 Centre, where one bedroom flats sell for around £300,000. Peter Gwizdala, of Feliks Augustine feels the market is currently on hold thanks to the General Election. “The most likely options are a Conservative coalition in which case the market is most likely to take off,” he said. “If there is a Labour coalition it may increase but by not as much because people will be very careful.”
What the experts say: Greenwich is a fantastically connected London village with great shops, bars and restaurants, said Mr Gwizdala. He rates Crooms Hill and Hyde Vale, both beside the expanses of Greenwich Park, as the best streets in town, although their Georgian houses sell for in excess of £1.5m. “It is a great mix of old and new,” said Hussnan Nadir, a director of Maritime Properties. “You have got the quaint and historic town centre with a really nice atmosphere, you have got Greenwich University, Greenwich Park, and some high profile events at the 02 Arena. There is lots to do – and now you can take the Emirates Air Line cable car over the river to the Isle of Dogs too which is a pretty spectacular way to travel.”
Any downsides? Historic Greenwich is lovely but terribly expensive while the peninsula is still a work in progress. “It is slightly isolated but it is incredibly popular because it is smart and modern,” said Mr Gwizdala. Like most of London traffic is an issue and the area can become rather overcrowded with tourists.
Top schools: Halstow Primary School and St Ursula’s Convent School are both rated “outstanding” by Ofsted. The Government’s schools watchdog has also given “good” reports to a clutch of local primaries - including James Wolfe Primary School and Centre for the Deaf, Christ Church CofE Primary School, and Meridian Primary School.
Landmarks: Continuing the ancient meets modern theme, The O2 centre and the Cutty Sark.
History lesson: King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I were both born at the Palace of Placentia (subsequently demolished and now the site of the Old Royal Naval College). The area’s history and fine buildings have earned it UNESCO World Heritage status.
Where to eat, drink and make merry: Fantastic tea and cake at the Red Door cafe, enjoy good modern European food with a neighbourhood restaurant feel at Inside, drink artisanal beers at the Old Brewery but for nightlife head to neighbouring Deptford.
Retail therapy: Greenwich Market is one of London’s prettiest and while it is a bit of a tourist trap there are some great antique and craft finds to be had, particularly on weekdays.
Trivial pursuit: The Royal Observatory, Greenwich, was commissioned in 1675, and cost just £520 to build.
1. Greenwich has many fine period homes, often built for high ranking naval officers. This Grade II listed William and Mary house was built in 1695. The four bedroomed end of terrace is on the market with Hamptons International, priced at £3.5m.
2. As well as historic houses Greenwich is becoming known for its clusters of towers. This two bedroom flat on the nineteenth storey of the Peninsula Tower has fantastic views and is on the market for £855,000.
3. Greenwich was a focus for new building to commemorate the new millennium. This two bedroom flat, priced at £479,995 was one of those built to mark the end of the twentieth century.