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Town

■ Catford is on the up — house hunters are fast discovering this unpretentious neighbourhood. Traffic is often heavy and the shopping centre is long overdue a makeover, but Catford benefits from two stations, some good schools and street after street of Victorian and Edwardian homes. Many have yet to encounter a can of Farrow & Ball paint, however. ‘Decent conversions start at £300,000,’ says James Nicol of Stanford Estates. ‘Three-bed terraces in the Corbett Estate are from £500,000. The next step is often a four-bed house in the Culverley Green conservation area, starting from £775,000.’

Catford, 6-bed house, £950,000

Family focused: This house in the Culverley Green conservation area has a reception with a bay window, an extended kitchen/diner (below) and a converted loft. stanfordestates.london

Commute time: From 12 minutes to London Bridge
Commute cost: Annual Travelcard £1,548
Price per sq ft: £460

Country

■ With its sandy beaches, ice-cream parlours, quaint homes and old-fashioned charm, Broadstairs remains remarkably unspoiled. Its most famous fan was Charles Dickens, who owned a summer home overlooking Viking Bay. ‘Broadstairs is the jewel in the Isle of Thanet’s crown,’ says Debbie Coles of Colebrook Sturrock. ‘It has a wide range of properties such as fishermen’s cottages and Georgian and Edwardian houses, lots with sea views. Prices are 20 per cent higher than in the rest of Thanet and cottages start at about £250,000.’

Broadstairs, 4-bed house, £950,000

Clifftop setting: Built in 1928, this mock-Tudor house with sea views boasts oak panelling and an inglenook fireplace in the living room (below), a modern kitchen and a roof terrace. purplebricks.com

Commute time: From 80 mins to St Pancras International
Commute cost: Annual season ticket from £5,952
Price per sq ft: £449

…or why not get 2 for the price of 1?

Catford

Two-bed house, £450,000, Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward

A light-filled, mid-terrace house on a quiet road, within walking distance of both Catford and Catford Bridge stations. It boasts a double reception room, a modern kitchen/breakfast room, two double bedrooms and a a south-facing garden.

Broadstairs

Five-bed house, £499,950, Miles & Barr

This period house is right in the town centre and a two-minute walk from Viking Bay. It has a reception room, a dining room, two bedrooms, a bathroom in the converted loft, a courtyard garden and has the added benefit of off-road parking.

Total spend: £949,950