More For Your Money: Rotherhithe, London

A quiet life on the waterfront

In its heyday as one of London's busiest ports, Rotherhithe had at least some residential housing; one local boy done good was Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, latterly better known as Michael Caine. But bombing by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War and wholesale changes in the shipping industry spelled the end as going commercial concerns for these docks.

Despite its historical importance, Rotherhithe was developed later, and is less known, than Bermondsey and Shad Thames to the east, and Wapping across the river. Thanks to its relative obscurity, its property is considerably cheaper too.

Rotherhithe today has numerous warehouse conversions and fancy new builds, along with modern town houses and local authority blocks.

Although compact, its peninsular shape means that it commands a long stretch of riverside, offering stunning views of the City and Canary Wharf. Waterside living is also available alongside the few remaining docks in the interior, especially Greenland Dock, which extends to well over a quarter of a mile. It used to be twice as long.

After landing a job at Halifax Bank of Scotland, Richard Gill moved from his family home, in Hertfordshire, to a spanking new flat in Pacific Wharf four years ago. "I work in the City, and I realised that Rotherhithe has the same advantages of Wapping and some additional benefits. Wapping is useful for the City but that is about it. Rotherhithe has the Jubilee Line, which is a few minutes from London Bridge and Eurostar, at Waterloo. It also goes to Bond Street, straight into the West End."

Work got Richard into Rotherhithe in the first place, and now it is taking him away: "My job is transferring overseas, and it breaks my heart to sell," he says. "My flat has a wraparound balcony and I have water in front and on the side. It is a 10-minute walk along the river to Butler's Wharf and Shad Thames, where there are two Conran restaurants that are among the best in London. And it is wondrously quiet, especially on weekends, when many locals go away."

What are the prices like?

James Hyman, of Cluttons, notes that "two-bed flats with river frontage start at about £300,000, but two-bed flats without river frontage cost about £200,000. In addition, Rotherhithe is still more affordable than Wapping, Limehouse and Canary Wharf. In Wapping, two-bed riverside flats start at £500,000."

How tall is Rotherhithe's property ladder?

On the lowest rungs, ex-council flats start at just under £100,000, and a one-bed, private, ground-floor maisonette on Kinburn Street is £159,950 at Kinleigh Folkard Hayward.

At the other extreme, a two-bed, one-reception warehouse conversion with two roof terraces, three secure parking spaces, porter and access to a gym and swimming pool has an asking price of £1.15m at Cluttons. Cheaper and without the panoramic views, but with more space, is a two-storey character warehouse on Ivory Wharf, Elephant Lane, with exposed beams and other original features in its more than 2,700 sq ft; £750,000 at Felicity J Lord.

What's the story with riverside flats?

Richard Gill's first-floor, 932 sq ft flat, with two river-fronted bedrooms and floor-to-ceiling windows, is priced at £434,950, at Cluttons. In the same building, a 740 sq ft two-bedder, with direct river views from all rooms, is selling for £340,000, whereas a 780 sq ft, two-bed flat in a nearby riverside block has a considerably lower asking price of £239,950.

How about houses?

A three-bed, two-reception, riverside townhouse in Pageant Crescent, with conservatory, garden and garage, is £550,000 at Kinleigh. A three-bed townhouse, minus the conservatory and with a smaller patio garden, at Greenland Dock, is £295,000, and a four-storey four-bedder on Elephant Lane is £425,000; both at Winkworth.

South London is poor on transport, no?

Not any more. Rotherhithe is served by Canada Water station on the Jubilee Line, and two stations - Rotherhithe and Surrey Quays - on the East London Line. The Rotherhithe Tunnel and a river ferry also link the south and north banks of the Thames.

How's the shopping?

Surrey Quays on the southern edge of Rotherhithe has supermarkets, a BhS, and a leisure centre with cinema, bowling alley and watering holes. "Everything is at your doorstep," says Richard Gill, who also shops at Canary Wharf and the West End. "Canary Wharf is only one stop, and it takes only about 20 minutes to get to the West End."

And one for the pub quiz?

What is Rotherhithe's link with colonial America?

The Pilgrim fathers who set out for America from Plymouth actually began their journey in Rotherhithe. Mayflower captain Christopher Jones is buried in the graveyard of Rotherhithe's landmark St Mary's Church, a twelfth-century edifice with Georgian pillars that are complete tree trunks encased in plaster.

Cluttons 020 7407 4479; Felicity J Lord, 0207 089 6490; Hastings International, 07000 10 1066; Kinleigh Folkard Hayward, 020 7231 3800; Winkworth 020 7237 9119.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Property search
Property search
  • Get to the point
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before