Since Help to Buy, the government’s equity scheme to help first time buyers on to the property ladder, was announced in 2013, it’s created thousands of new home owners.
And nowhere has benefited more from this than Deptford. This once run down part of south east London is now the Help to Buy capital of the city.
“Since the start of the scheme, a third of new homes in Deptford have been sold using Help to Buy – more than anywhere else in London,” says David Fell, research analyst at Hamptons International estate agents.
“Developers have worked hard to keep pricing at just under the £600,000 mark – the Help to Buy price cap in London.” It also helps that more new homes have been built here that fall under the cap than anywhere else, with roughly four in ten of them sold under Help to Buy last year.
Developers have been keen to jump on the Deptford wagon, filling in the gaps along the banks of the Thames and along Deptford Creek, thanks largely to two factors. Firstly, it’s become a lot cooler. Young artistic types have colonised the high street, and it’s now home to a quirky pop up restaurant in a double decker bus and The Job Centre, a trendy pub that used to be, you guessed it, a job centre.
The SE postcode has the greatest potential out of all areas in London
Students also keep the area young. “Nearby Goldsmiths University is a draw for both UK and international students, with some of its courses ranking in the top ten in the world,” says Edward Robinson, residential development partner at Knight Frank.
It’s also on the doorstep of beautiful, historical Greenwich, but represents much better value for money. “A one bedroom apartment in Deptford is typically around £325-375,000 compared to Greenwich, where a one bed is £375-425,000,” says Graham Lawes, director of residential agency at JLL.
Professionals also love the Zone 2 location’s transport links. Though not on the Tube, the mainline station links to London Bridge in six minutes and Canary Wharf in 16 minutes.
Seven figure sales are still very rare, with the most expensive sale being a £1.207m terraced house on Albury Street, a road that’s been breaking records for the area since 1995, according to Hamptons’ data.
The best houses include “stunning Victorian properties around Deptford Park, with Scawen Road a particular favourite,” says Chris Early, KFH’s sales manager at its nearby Canada Water office. For something more affordable, look out for “the 2005 converted former council block Aragon Tower, from which you can enjoy some of the best views of the capital.”
House price growth has risen 12 per cent year-on-year, representing strong investment potential. “The SE postcode has the greatest potential out of all areas in London,” says Matthew Moloney, associate director at Colliers International. “If buyers are looking to make a smart move, Deptford is definitely an area to consider.”
A fish finger sandwich at Little Nan's Bar
Deptford Market sells fruit, vegetables, bric a brac and antiques and is open seven days a week. It also has unusually long hours for a street market, opening as early as 7.30am most days and closing at 11pm every day apart from Sunday. The Albany is a much-loved community arts centre, with up to 300 seats in the theatre, a bar, two studio theatres a cafe and rehearsal space. It even hosts a Thursday gardening club. Set up in honour of his late grandmother, Tristan Scutt’s Little Nan’s Bar is a quirky establishment that’s a retro living room parody in an old railway arch. Vintage decor and cocktail lists tucked inside Charles and Diana memorability books are just some of the treats in store for visitors. Panda Panda is also a great chilled out lunchtime spot. It’s a simple cafe but serves steaming hot, comforting bowls of Vietnamese pho to eat in or take away, plus sandwich baguettes and bubble teas, an increasingly popular Asian import.
House pricesSource: Zoopla
Transport Source: TfL
Time to Canary Wharf: 16 mins
Time to London Bridge: 6 mins
Nearest train station: Deptford
Best roadsSource: Hamptons International
Most Expensive: Albury Street: £1,069,432
Best Value: Enterprize Way: £219,750