Take a walk on the south side

10 April 2015, City A.M.

Affordable housing in Zone One is becoming something of a rarity in London, but look just south of the river and you’ll find one area in particular that’s still a decent prospect for first-time buyers looking for a good investment.

Paul Bent, sales manager at Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward’s London Bridge branch says young professionals are starting to catch on to the opportunities in Bermondsey and they’re flocking there in growing numbers.

”Bermondsey is becoming an increasingly popular hub for young professionals who want to be centrally located but benefit from access to good transport links, but who also want a local community feel with vibrant bars and restaurants. While flats and trendy apartments are hugely sought after among this young demographic, equally popular are freehold houses which are in demand among young families and professional sharers.”

The catch here is that the area was bombed intensely during the Second World War, decimating many of its industrial warehouses and period homes, so these properties can be “as rare as hens’ teeth,” according to Bent.

But if you can get your hands on one along Fort Road, Alma Grove, Reverdy Road and Lynton Road, then they can achieve impressive premiums, boosting house values anywhere between £650,000 to £850,000.

For buy-to-let investors, the housing stock is just as diverse as the residents, with two bedroom flats commanding anything from £340 per week to £795 per week, depending on size and specification.

Property website Zoopla names King Stairs Close towards Rotherhithe and Bermondsey Wall West towards London Bridge as the highest value streets, with houses selling for over £1m in each. Zoopla also notes that average house prices have increased by nearly 20 per cent over the past two years, adding approximately £81,000.

But there’s still plenty of space to accommodate lower earners at the other end of the market, says Jamie Burnhope, buying consultant at buying agent Black Brick.

“Bermondsey has a high concentration of local authority buildings in which privately-owned apartments can be bought for under £600psqft. With the regeneration at Elephant & Castle and the continual growth of London Bridge, Borough and Shad Thames, Bermondsey represents a very good value option for any first-time buyer wanting to be in a central location.”

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