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Neighbourhood Watch: Barking

Manicured lawns: Fresh Wharf launches soon

Setting the scene

The capital’s cheapest place to buy or rent, Barking will soon be amongst the best-connected. It’s on the North Circular and the c2c train line running between London and the Essex coast, and already has District, Hammersmith & City and Overground services. Due to open in 2021, the Barking Riverside Overground extension will add 4.5km to the line, while Crossrail will soon stop at Ilford, a short bus ride away. The property map is changing, too, as thousands of homes are being built in the town centre and along the Thames.

What’s new

Community sense: Barking Riverside

A vast site previously home to Barking Power Station, 10,800 homes being built at Barking Riverside, alongside schools, a new station, open spaces, shops and leisure and community facilities. One, two and three-bed apartments and four-bed townhouses are for sale in Parklands, the first phase. One-bed private sale apartments start from £262,500, four-bed houses from £550,000, with London Help to Buy available, and one-bed shared ownership apartments are from £60,625 for a 25 per cent share of £242,500, from L&Q,

New phase: Fielders Quarter

Bellway’s Verde, also at Barking Riverside, has virtually sold out, but a few four-bed houses are left, from £489,995. Fielders Quarter, the next phase comprising 371 one to four-bed homes, launches at the Bellway Home Buyers Event at the Hilton London Tower Bridge on October 18 and 19,

Partnership plan: Fresh Wharf (also pictured top)

Also launching on October 19, Fresh Wharf is a collection of 911 one, two and three-bedroom apartments and three-bed houses on the River Roding delivered in a partnership between Notting Hill Genesis and Countryside. Plans include new moorings, from £300,000 for a one-bed,

Private space: Weavers Quarter

Two-bed shared ownership apartments are on offer from L&Q at Weaver’s Quarter in central Barking, though 85 per cent are now reserved. With fully-fitted kitchens and private outdoor space, they start from £87,750 for a 30 per cent share of £292,500,

Close to the station, at Nu Living’s 360 Barking, a selection one-bed apartment remain for private sale. Prices are from around £300,000,

Snooping around

Terrace guy: Perfect for first-time buyers PICTURE: ALAMY

There are Victorian, Edwardian, 1950s and modern homes, though 1930s houses predominate. The entry point is about £180,000 for a one-bed flat and £350,000 for a three-bed house. The biggest properties are on the Leftley Estate, between Barking and Upney stations, where a substantial double-fronted house can leave you with change from £750,000. ‘Barking is in the most affordable borough in London, with price growth predicted for the next few years. This is a huge draw for first-time buyers, looking for a home with great connections and a rapidly growing cultural scene,’ says Claire Brenlund of L&Q.

Vital statistics

Council tax: (Band D) £1,556.01

Commuting time: From 14 mins to Fenchurch Street

Annual Travelcard cost: £2,020

Amenities: ★★★☆☆ Asda and Tesco superstores; chains and uninspiring independents; Vicarage Field indoor shopping centre has seen better days though improvements are in the pipeline; a market is held four days per week; The Broadway performing arts venue and theatre; Abbey Leisure Centre; Barking Sporthouse and Gym; go-karting at Capital Karts

Open space: ★★★☆☆ Barking Park has a lake where boats and pedalos can be hired; Newlands Park; Greatfields Park; Abbey Green

Local: Television favourite Ross Kemp PICTURE: REX

Schools: ★★★☆☆ GCSE results about average; vast majority of primaries, and state secondaries Barking Abbey and Eastbury Community School, judged as good by Ofsted

Crime: ★★★★☆ Traditionally a working-class district but low prices and commutability are attracting increasing numbers of young professionals

Famous faces: Ross Kemp was born in Barking

Schools and profile supplied by

Rent report

‘We see many commuting professionals who work in the City, as well as families. One and two-bed flats are very sought-after, helped by the new developments springing up. The average rent for a two-bed flat is around £1,200pcm,’ says David Phillips of William H Brown

Property ladder

First rung

£180,000, William H Brown,

A one-bed flat is available in a small purpose-built block within walking distance of the town centre, station and Barking Park. Consists of a living room, separate kitchen, double bedroom and bathroom.

Average for Barking

£300,000, Hunters,

Conveniently located for the station, this end-of-terrace house has a bright, bay-windowed living room at the front, a dining room, kitchen and ground-floor bathroom, and two double bedrooms upstairs. The average property in Barking is currently valued at £304,219 according to

Luxury home

£725,000, Kings Group,

This spacious four-bed house is in the desirable Leftley Estate and includes three good-sized reception rooms, three bathrooms and a spiral staircase. There’s also potential for a loft conversion.

See this evening’s Metro digital edition to read more about Barking Riverside, named Best Large Development at the National Housing Awards