We’ve all seen The guardian newspapers ‘lets all move to…’. All the latest and bestest trendy areas written up in a chatty tone of voice and printed in a broadsheet, which of course turns it in to FACT. So why, I hear you ask, have we not seen a feature on East Ham, East BLAM, East um, Glam (Ok ok, we went too far!). Those guys over at the Guardian must be off their game, eh? To tide us over until the real journalists catch up, here’s East BLAM’s opinion on the latest property hotspot…
What’s going for it?
- Major investment programs… East ham is smack bang in the middle of a serious investment triangle. There is a 3.7 billion regeneration program is planned to regenerate Custom House and Canning Town as well as the Royal Docks becoming the first of Bo’Jo’s ‘Enterprise Zones’. Plus Cross rail’s community investment policy will see help for local community hubs, childcare services and churches amongst other things. All this, along with the recent investment in the East village and Olympic Park mean Newham (and subsequently East Ham) is becoming more and more exciting.
- Parks… loads of ‘em. East Ham has a whopping 8 green spaces (some with Green Flags) including a nature reserve, community garden and a few parks. Newham is of the greenest boroughs in London. That’s your morning jog sorted then.
- Its traditional east end vibe… East Ham, Upton Park and Forest Gate are salt of the earth London taaaans, with cat calling fruit and veg stalls, pie shops, classic cafes, authentic curries and traditional boozers. Yes yes, the hipsters are sneaking in to some areas, but the fabric of the east end community still remains. It makes the area feel reassuringly honest. The old ladies still sweep their front step. Cabbies tell you stories of the Queen-Mum looking the east end in the eye.
- Multicultural… East Ham has a huge Indian, Polish and Caribbean community. The result is some wonderful restaurants, supermarkets and specialist foodie treats.
- It’s coming up but still affordable… With the city continuing its migration further east, some parts of Newham (Stratford, Forest “great”, Leyton) have already up and come. East Ham is still affordable by London’s inflated standards. Being happily nestled in the centre of the investment and transport triangle can only spell good things for East Ham home owners so prices will be on the up very soon (house purchases rose 62% in E6 last year according to the beeb).
The case against:
Newham is still one of London’s poorest boroughs and it suffered during the 2007 crash. Expect to find some boarded up shop fronts and empty market stalls. It’s been steadily improving but has a way to go – Crouch End this ain’t.
The buses are a bit rubbish – perhaps down to the abundance of tube and rail options. You can expect to wait at least 20 minutes (Londoners used to 2 minutes will explode at this prospect) if you need to travel after 7pm.
Love it or hate it, Upton Park stadium is right around the corner which keeps the house prices down and makes parking a nightmare on game day: it’s a short term problem though, as in 2016 West Ham United make the Olympic Park in Stratford their new home.
Bang in the middle of all the major transport options – District & Hammersmith line run through East Ham and Upton park (28 mins into kings X or embankment). National rail just up the road in Forest Gate. 15 minute bus journey to Stratford (which connects to central line, jubilee and national rail), or a 15 minute cycle on the greenway.
The super speedy cross rail connection is coming in 2018. It will run across the top and bottom borders of E6, through Forest Gate and Custom house. When construction is complete, journey times will be around 18-22 minutes into central London.
If that wasn’t enough, frequent flyers will be please to know that London city airport is just 15 minutes away by car.
YES! GOOD ‘UNS! According to the Good Schools Guide, Brampton primary, Brampton road and Brampton Manor, its co-ed secondary school along with Plashet Secondary on Plashet Avenue have outstanding Ofsted reports. Hartley Primary, Hartley Ave and Central Park Primary both have good reports too. Pretty well stocked for schools then…
Hang out at…
Central Park on a sunny day; They have a bowls green, a nature reserve, and the daffodils are just rearing their pretty heads. The Boleyn is a beautiful old boozer near Upton Park and Red Door Studios, Masterman Road is a hive of artistic activity and community spirit with a Saturday cafe. They hold exhibitions, musical events and craft markets amongst other things.
Where to buy…
Anywhere around Central Park. Streets are tree lined and the park is just around the corner. It feels quiet, residential and the neighbours say hi to you in the morning (yes, really)! The houses are 1920’s terraces in clusters of 2, 3 and 4 beds. Most have gardens and cheeky little period features hiding under layers of 70’s paint and board. Keep eyes peeled for original oil lamp fittings, solid wood floor boards and original iron fireplaces.
1-2 beds from £250,000, 3 Beds from £280,000 for a doer-upper, 4 beds from £320,000 upwards. The closer to Forest Gate you go, the less you get for your money but it is a bit closer to the transport links and you can still snap up a 2 bed for £350,000 if you look hard enough.
All in all, our verdict…
Great schools, great parks, cheap houses, well connected, on the list for government investment AND East Ham is one of the only boroughs in London that you can still buy a properly for under £300,000 (terrifying!). Trust us when we tell you, you snooze, you lose!