Woolwich has suddenly become “Coolwich”, boosted by a new Crossrail station that’s due to open at the end of this year, and by continuing regeneration at Royal Arsenal Riverside, the splendid old munitions factory being transformed into an 80-acre riverside estate with 5,000 homes.
The South East London town has also gained a new DLR station and riverbus pier, and is becoming a cultural attraction, with art fairs and food festivals, while its previously run-down town centre is getting a facelift.
Posh estate agent Knight Frank has seen the potential and opened a new branch there.
in the Royal Greenwich Borough, Woolwich remains good hunting territory for first-time buyers on a budget, especially with Help to Buy deals.
It’s still up and coming and relatively affordable because it started from such a low base.
Civil servant John Banks and publishing executive Sophie Meads, both 24, bought their first home together at Trinity Walk, a new town centre scheme of flats and houses. Previously they rented in the area.
The couple bought a one-bedroom flat for £355,000 under the Help-to-Buy scheme, requiring a five per cent deposit of £17,750.
“It’s made a huge difference, both in terms of lifestyle and finance,” says John.
Our monthly payments are about £700 a month, plus £150 service charge, which combined is still cheaper than the flat we rented. And this place is much nicer.”
Crossrail is a big bonus, says Sophie. “Not just for commuting to work in central London but for visiting our families in Cambridge, as we’ll be able to get to Liverpool Street to catch the train from there in just 14 minutes whereas now it can easily take an hour.”
Prices from £360,000.
With more than 20 listed buildings, a grid of wide avenues and a quarter-mile of river frontage, Royal Arsenal Riverside has cachet.
Its success is largely due to its blend of restored architecture and sympathetically designed new-build blocks.
Pavilion Square, the latest phase, includes duplexes carved from the estate’s oldest building, constructed in 1696 during the reign of William III.
Alongside it are red-brick mansion-style apartment blocks, with prices from £480,000.
Some homes are available for “discount market sale”, with prices starting at £320,000, open to people who already live or work in Greenwich borough.