■ EVEN for a fast-changing city like London, Canning Town’s shape-shifting is impressive. Once marshland, it housed dockworkers in the 19th century and was bombed in World War II. Now 12,000 homes are being built and Crossrail’s coming to Custom House station. ‘Transport links are second to none and the first-time buyer market is strong,’ says Chris Osmond of Johns & Co. ‘It has Victorian terraces, local authority housing and lots of new builds. Prices are £700-£850 per sq ft, compared with £900-£1,000 in Canary Wharf, five minutes away. It’s £250,000 for an ex-local authority flat and £325,000-£350,000 for a new one.’
Three-bed flat, £680,000
Modern love: A three-bed, two-bath apartment in the London City Island development has river views, a residents’ club with gym, spa, pools and screening room. Johns & Co, johnsand.co
Commute time: About 15 mins to Bank
Commute cost: Annual Travelcard £1,364
Price per sq ft: £706
■ THIS pretty village, perched on the edge of Constable country, is split by the river Stour, one half in Essex and the other in Suffolk. It’s a friendly place, with an annual music festival. Colchester, which has grammar schools, is a 20-minute drive away, and Bures boasts an outstanding primary school, a branch line station, a couple of pubs, a village shop and deli. ‘The historic core includes medieval, Georgian and Edwardian houses, and modern developments,’ says Julian Chung of David Burr. ‘Cottages start from £200,000-£250,000, three-bed 1970s houses from £300,000, and bigger period houses with reasonably-sized gardens from £700,000.’
Four-bed house £700,000
Repro charm: Although medieval in appearance, this timber-framed, heavily beamed house was actually built in 2005. Features a dual-aspect living room with woodburner, a galleried landing and garden room. David Burr, davidburr.co.uk
Commute time: (Zone 1) from 64 mins to Liverpool Street, changing at Marks Tay
Commute cost: Annual Travelcard £6,112
Price per sq ft: £354
…or why not get 2 for the price of 1?
One-bed flat, £299,999, Foxtons, foxtons.co.uk
Completed four years ago, this bright home on the second floor of a low-rise block is in such good condition internally that it looks brand new. Comprises an open-plan reception room with ample space to dine, a sleek, fitted kitchen with integrated appliances, a well-proportioned double bedroom with built-in wardrobes and a full-width private balcony. Canning Town station is half a mile away, and London City Airport is a ten-minute journey by cab.
Three-bed house, £397,000, Savills, savills.co.uk
This colourful period cottage is tucked away but close to the station and offers great views over the Stour Valley. Timber framed, its many features include original stone and wooden floors, and exposed beams throughout. Downstairs is a sitting room with a wood burner, a dining room with an open fireplace, and a studio/music room with French doors opening out to the front garden. The kitchen, bathroom and a cloakroom are all at the back.