Waterside property: 'One of London's best secrets'

You don't have to head out of the capital to enjoy the tranquility of waterside property.

With summer around the corner, many Londoners will indulge themselves with an annual fantasy; living by the coast. The city seems particularly stifling in warmer months but, as London's rivers and canals undergo huge regeneration, a scenic waterside location is within easy reach.

The Thames' success story is legendary but less talked about are London's many canals. Winkworth's Islington branch is selling a stunning mews house on Regent's Canal at Union Wharf, N1. Set within a private gated mews development, the house has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a garage/gym, large conservatory plus a roof terrace with views over Regent's Canal and beyond. Priced at £850,000, agent Matt Chapple believes that the location will clinch a sale: "Demand for canal side property has never been higher. You only have to look at the regeneration and new development springing up throughout the city to see that it's now very desirable."

Three years ago the same property sold for £625,000, showing a healthy appreciation, but Chapple finds that buyers of waterside homes are less concerned with investment than with quality of life: "People in the city want space, peace and quiet and, importantly, the knowledge that no development is going to spring up directly in front of them. Buying canal side is one way of guaranteeing that." Properties such as this one also give buyers new access routes into the city, says Chapple who sees many joggers and cyclists regularly using its towpaths.

Much is heard about the eastern stretch of river, especially Docklands, but the western stretches are also attracting those looking for waterside homes.

Based mainly in Bermuda, Sally Ann Smith regularly travels to London and has just bought a pied à terre at the Pumphouse, a development of converted and new build homes from St James on the site of a Victorian pumping station in Hammersmith. Smith loves the design of her two bedroomed apartment but, having lived on an island, her new apartment's riverside location was crucial. "Living by water is very important to me," she says.

This stretch of river, between Chiswick and Hammersmith, is regarded as being particularly attractive and owners have private gated access to the Thames path through the gardens. The final homes, including seven penthouses, will be released this summer with prices starting from £245,000 for studios and £395,000 for two-bedroom apartments.

But bagging yourself a waterside home doesn't have to mean buying new build. Further west in Hanwell W7, agents Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward are selling Lock Cottage, which overlooks the Grand Union Canal and the River Brent. This two-bedroomed Grade II listed cottage has ishing rights and its own jetty. Priced at £525,000, the detached house is entered from the canal path and has many period features including cast iron fireplaces but also has a heated outdoor swimming pool, sauna and a kissing bench overlooking the canal.

Many other lesser-known rivers are becoming attractive for buyers wanting waterside locations. Management consultant Chris Pailthorpe, 56, bought a seventh floor apartment at the Iron Works, overlooking the River Lea, near its junction with Limehouse Cut.

"I was attracted to the space, light, water and wildlife," says Pailthorpe, whose 1,000sq ft apartment has an extensive living area with spectacular cantilevered glass wall. A balcony maximises the waterside views but Pailthorpe also enjoys the river's external benefits where he regularly walks: "Along the River Lea, Lea Navigation, Limehouse Cut and Limehouse Basin, it's like a refuge of tranquility and one of London's best secrets."

Tranquility and views may be driving the market but investment is key to some buyers' decisions. Agents Hurford Salvi Carr, based in central London and Docklands, has carried out research showing a hierarchy in Docklands waterside locations and showing that riverside is invariably more expensive than canal side. The firm also found that property values are in direct proportion to the width of the body of water that they overlook, with a Thames-side two-bedroom apartment in Docklands typically fetching up to £500,000 more than an equivalent property overlooking a canal.

Land director Jonathon Woodfield explains the draw: "In this part of London it's a big working river as opposed to somewhere like Twickenham. Here the tidal variations make it more interesting, as do all the big boats which pass through. Sitting right on the river or overlooking the big basins the views really are fantastic and it makes a big difference to buyers."

Hurford Salvi Carr is currently selling new development Shepherdess Walk N1, which fronts the Grand Union Canal. This contemporary scheme by developer Mount Anvil is due for completion in early 2009. Twenty-eight apartments, comprising a mixture of one-, two- and three-bedroom homes from 430sq ft to 915sq ft, are priced from £260,000 to £475,000. Hurford Salvi Carr is also selling Tequila Wharf, a contemporary scheme by Telford Homes, where many of the one- and two-bedroom apartments have west-facing views along the Regent's Canal or, from the higher levels, south-east to Canary Wharf. One-bedroom apartments start from £225,000 and two-bedrooms from £285,000.

Many new riverside developments continue to come on line but the future market may be restricted to resales as riverside locations become increasingly scarce. St James Homes' Robin Rixon says: "There's a lot still going on in areas around Greenwich but in west London there are few sites left as developers have realised the river's potential." Rixon believes that St James's flagship riverside development Grosvenor Waterside stands apart from most. The mixed-use scheme will transform the historic Grosvenor Dock and is the only Dockside scheme in Zone 1. A series of stylish glass fronted apartment buildings rising from four to 11 storeys have been created around the dock basins, with prices starting at £395,000 for one bedrooms up to £2.25m for the penthouse. Some apartments have dock views only while others have river and dock.

River views are always higher on buyers' wish lists, says Rixon, "particularly as this is an incredibly attractive stretch:you have views of Chelsea Bridge and look east to the iconic Battersea Power station."

Winkworth Islington (020-7354 2480; www.winkworth.co.uk)

The Pumphouse (020-8563 9139; www.phw6.co.uk)

Hurford Salvi Carr Limehouse (020-7791 7071; www.hurford-salvi-carr.co.uk)

Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward ( www.kfh.co.uk)

St James Homes' Grosvenor Waterside (020-7828 6326; www.grosvenorwaterside.com)

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
people
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
PROMOTED VIDEO
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Chessington

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Service Desk Analyst - Chessington, Surrey...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Analyst / Helpdesk Support Analyst

£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is the UK's leading ...

The Jenrick Group: Finance Manager/Management Accountant

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: The Jenrick Group: Finance Manager/Manag...

Recruitment Genius: Manufacturing Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a rare opportunity for ...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'