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Neighbourhood Watch: Staines-upon-Thames

Setting the scene

In 2012, Staines officially changed its name to Staines-upon-Thames, as a sign of its rejuvenation and to reflect its riverside setting. Although close to expensive towns such as Windsor, Weybridge and Virginia Water, it had traditionally been overlooked and undervalued. Now the economy is booming — it’s the UK’s new business start-up hotspot and home to companies such as BP and British Gas — and it’s making the most of its unbeatable transport connections. Heathrow Airport is 15 minutes away, the M25 is on the doorstep, giving speedy access to the M3, M40 and M40, and three Crossrail stations will be within a 20-minute drive.

What’s new

Open-plan living: London Square Staines-upon-Thames

London Square Staines-upon-Thames is a scheme of 260 studio, one, two and three-bed apartments. They’re spread across four buildings arranged around a new piazza. Kitchens with integrated appliances and sleek bathrooms are fitted as standard, and all homes have a balcony or terrace. One-beds start from £359,950, londonsquare.co.uk.

Sleek: Venture House

Venture House is a collection of studio, one and two-bed apartments, which will be ready to move into this summer. They start from £229,950, with Help to Buy, inlandhomes.co.uk.

Affordable: Viva in Stanwell

Viva, over in Stanwell, between Staines and Heathrow, is the final phase in A2Dominion’s Stanwell regeneration project. The 46 homes — half for private sale, half affordable housing — range from one-bed apartments to family houses. Only four-bed houses remain on sale, featuring kitchen/diners leading through to spacious living rooms and master bedrooms with en-suites. Priced £460,000 each, and Help to Buy is available, fabrica.co.uk.

Snooping around

According to Knight Frank, house prices here increased by more than 13 per cent last year, but remain at 20 per cent below the Surrey average.

Scenic: Riverside appeal

Stock includes period cottages in Staines Village, a conservation area, modern developments and detached villas with river frontage. ‘We have a lot of demand as it offers affordable options for riverside living,’ says Soren Ravaux of Waterview. The current price scale is from about £200,000 for a one-bed flat, up to £1.2million for a Thameside retreat.

Vital statistics

Council tax: (Band D) £1,748.56

Commuting time: 1 hour 35 mins to Waterloo

Annual Travelcard into Zone 1: £3,240

Amenities: ★★★★☆ Two Rivers and Elmsleigh shopping centre; market held three times a week; riverside pubs and restaurants; Vue cinema

Open space: ★★★★☆

Schools: ★★★★☆ Above average

Crime: ★★☆☆☆ Above average

Who lives there? Families and young professional first-time buyers

Famous faces: Sacha Baron Cohen’s fictional Ali G character (pictured)

Schools and profile supplied by Zoopla

Property ladder

First rung

The station is just around the corner from this purpose-built one-bedroom apartment, which has allocated parking, a white bathroom suite and no chain. £239,950, Romans

Average for Staines

A three-bedroom semi-detached house with an 18ft living room, kitchen/breakfast room, cloakroom, two bathrooms and off-street parking. £450,000, The Frost Partnership.

(The average property in Staines is currently valued at £443,996 according to Zoopla)

Luxury home

This recently built Finnish Log home sits in a wide riverside plot and has three/four bedrooms, a hot tub, summerhouse and mooring for boats. £999,950, Waterview