Why first-time buyers should look to Woolwich to afford a house

Why first-time buyers should look to affordable Woolwich to afford a house

This riverside south London neighbourhood has great transport links and low prices (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

Hugging the Thames between Charlton and Plumstead, Woolwich is a historic town that’s embracing the past while looking to the future as it undergoes extensive regeneration.

The Royal Arsenal, once Britain’s biggest producer of military weapons, is being transformed into a new mixed-use neighbourhood and, thanks to the Future High Street Fund, the town centre is set to be revitalised.

And its transport links are surprisingly good: there are mainline and DLR services, Thames Clippers and buses, Crossrail’s coming soon, cycle routes are being improved, and you can cross the river via the Woolwich Ferry or foot tunnel.

Woolwich Town Hall R20X7M Interior of Woolwich Town Hall, Woolwich, London, UK

Woolwich is known for it’s huge Victorian town hall (Picture: Alamy Stock Photo)

The majority of homes are either Victorian, ex-local authority or new-builds, and prices compare favourably with those in more polished pockets of south-east London such as Greenwich and Blackheath.

‘One-bed conversions start at about £230,000, or £250,000+ with a garden, and three-bed houses from £500,000,’ says Luke McConville of estate agency Robinson-Jackson.

‘We see lots of first-time buyers, often looking for an older home with character and outside space, and second steppers who are selling a flat in other parts of London and moving here so that they can afford a house,’ he adds.

What’s new in the area?

Over half the 5,000 planned new homes have now been delivered at Royal Arsenal Riverside, on an 88-acre waterside site, which includes 20 listed buildings and a Crossrail station, one of only two south of the river.

London Help to Buy’s available on one-bed apartments in Building 10, surrounded by a Grade II-listed open atrium.

Royal Arsenal Riverside, Building 10

Listed buildings transformed into stylish homes (Picture: Berkeley)

They start from £475,000 and three-beds are from £732,500, and residents will have access to The Waterside Club, a spa with a 20-metre swimming pool and state-of-the-art gym. From Berkeley.

The final few two-bed homes are on sale and ready to move into at Lovell’s Trinity Walk, a pet-friendly development six minutes’ walk from Woolwich Arsenal station.

All these larger-than-average apartments come with a balcony or terrace and start from £475,000 with Help to Buy.

The One London

Pet-friendly Trinity Walk (Picture: Andrew Hendry)

The One London is a small scheme of 19 one, two and three-bed apartments with Bosch appliances, hotel-style bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and a communal roof terrace.

They range from £355,000 to £575,000 and Help to Buy’s on offer, through Dexters.

Those after a shared ownership home need to act fast as they’re going quickly. A single two-bed apartment is left at Persona Homes’s Insignia Place, from £121,250 for a 25% share of £485,000.

And at Optivo’s Artillery Place, the final two-bed, two bath home is £123,750 for 25 per cent of £495,000.

Or, if you’re looking for a sleek new rental, check out Mast Quay, where The Comer Group will be launching one, two and three-bed apartments over the coming weeks.

The Cormer Group

Luxury riverside apartments (Picture: The Cormer Group)

They’re arranged across three riverside buildings, which boast fabulous views and roof gardens, and share a 24-hour concierge, a private gym and health club, and a café/wine bar, from £1,400 per month.

What potential buyers need to know about Woolwich

Average house price: £395,564

Average rent: £1,683

Council tax (Band D): £1,842.30

Commuting time to Zone 1: 20 mins from Woolwich Dockyard to London Bridge

Annual Travelcard: £1,808

Amenities: ★★★★☆ Tesco Extra, Sainsbury’s, Lidl; Beresford Square daily market; 250+ affordable artists’ studios in SET Woolwich; Royal Arsenal is home to Woolwich Works, a new cultural district offering live music, theatre, comedy and more, plus shops, cafés, restaurants and pubs including the Dial Arch (above), the Taproom and The Guardhouse, and a twice-monthly farmers’ market; Waterfront Leisure Centre

Open space: ★★★☆☆ Woolwich Common; Plumstead Common; Maryon Park; Thames Path

Schools: ★★★★☆ Above average GCSE results; all state primaries judged as outstanding or good by Ofsted

Crime: Below average

Who lives there? First-time buyers; young families; two thirds of residents are under 44

Schools, crime and house price data supplied by Zoopla.

What can I afford on the property ladder?


Vicarage Park, Woolwich, SE18

First rung: Airy ground floor flat with neutral decor

A ground-floor conversion with two double bedrooms, a good-sized living/dining room with a fireplace, a modern kitchen and a share of the garden.

Check it out via Robinson Jackson.


Genesta Road, Shooters Hill, SE18 3ER

Step up: Spacious terraced home with lots of potential

There’s scope to extend into the loft and basement of this three-bed terraced house on a quiet road convenient for schools and Woolwich Arsenal station.

Check it out via Purple Bricks.


Sutherland House, Royal Herbert Pavilions, Shooters Hill, SE18

Top rung: Beautiful period property with fantastic facilities on site

This unique four-bedroom house is part of Royal Herbert Pavilions, a former military hospital. Residents have use of the gardens, a swimming pool and tennis courts.

Check it out via Winkworth.

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