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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, barkingriverside.london.

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, bellway.co.uk.

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, countrysideproperties.com.

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, weaversquarter.co.uk.

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, 360barkingig11.co.uk.

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 zoopla.co.uk

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, williamhbrown.co.uk

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, hunters.com

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 zoopla.co.uk

Luxury home

£725,000, Kings Group, kings-group.net

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