Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

For the Best Value Head to the East; Ruth Bloomfield Finds Family Houses under PS350k and a New Riverside Neighbourhood

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

For the Best Value Head to the East; Ruth Bloomfield Finds Family Houses under PS350k and a New Riverside Neighbourhood

Article excerpt

Byline: Ruth Bloomfield

HOTSPOT: BARKING & DAGENHAM BEING bottom of the league tables is not always a bad thing. Barking & Dagenham, which has trailed every other borough since Land Registry records began, is seeing property prices accelerate as buyers head east to the limbo land between the capital and the Essex countryside.

The borough's price growth may be outstripping the rest of London but an average flat is still less than PS200,000 and you can pick up a good family house for under PS350,000. Transport links are already great but planned improvements are set to boost price growth further still. The alpha area right now is the Leftley Estate, a grid of leafy Thirties streets built in Victorian style near Barking.

FAMILIES ARE FLOCKING IN These are quality family homes, priced about PS430,000 for a threebedroom terrace, and there's a trio of good local schools -- Manor Juniors, Eastbury Comprehensive and Barking Abbey. The estate is near Barking Park, with its boating lake, and also close to the town centre, which has a reasonable array of shops, pubs, and restaurants. There is a theatre, and London City airport is close enough to be handy but not noisy. However, Kay Nevill, branch manager of Sandra Davidson estate agents, says: "There isn't a great deal of nice nightlife -- you'd have go into town for that."

There is a choice of ways of getting to town from Barking, either via Upney station, in Zone 4 on the District line or Barking train station, which has 14-minute services to Fenchurch Street. An annual season ticket costs PS1,860.

live by the river Another option to explore is the area around Valence Park, Dagenham, where a two-bedroom Fifties excouncil house would cost PS300,000-PS320,000. This area isn't wildly scenic -- the houses are boxy -- but local Chadwell Heath station will become part of the Elizabeth line in 2018/19, giving fast links to the City and West End. Services to Liverpool Street now take 25 minutes and an annual season ticket costs PS1,608.

Barking is also the focus of Barking Riverside, one of London's biggest regeneration schemes, which will see up to 10,000 new homes built on a 445-acre site on the north bank of the Thames, just 12 miles from central London. …

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