Buy in Stratford under £100k
Shared ownership gets you in at the start of the ‘old town’ revamp. By Ruth Bloomfield
FIVE years after the London Olympics, the rejuvenation of Stratford is still in the fast lane. Crossrail services will soon launch from Stratford, planning permission for two more huge housing schemes at the former Olympic Park has been granted, and plans for Olympicopolis, a new cultural quarter, are well under way.
The area’s success means property prices have surged from an average £227,000 at the start of 2012 to £369,000 today, according to Rightmove — locking out many firsttime buyers. But at Stratford High Street, a new development which is, as the name suggests, located in Stratford High Street, new buyers can pick up a share in a home of their own for less than £100,000.
Housing association Family Mosaic is offering one- and two-bedroom flats with balconies in this low-rise building half a mile from Stratford station, 15 minutes’ walk from the shops and eateries of Westfield Stratford City, and a short walk along the Waterworks River and into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Some of the homes have direct views of the Olympic stadium.
Prices start at £97,500 for a 30 per cent share of a one-bedroom flat with a full-market value of £375,000. A 30 per cent share of a two-bedroom flat will cost £130,500.
BEST LOCAL VALUE
The Achilles’ heel of this scheme is its location, on a dual carriageway of endlessly roaring traffic. While “new” Stratford — the Olympic Park and its immediate surrounds — has been carefully masterplanned as a model 21st-century suburb, the High Street is in “old” Stratford, run down, polluted and unfriendly to cyclists and pedestrians.
However, Newham council will this year ditch the one-way system, create new cycle paths and improve pedestrian crossings. It will also do up the area around Meridian Square and Theatre Square with better landscaping and pavements. And homes along the High Street have one big advantage. “Homes in the E15 postcode are much, much cheaper than those in the new E20 postcode,” says Foxtons manager Simon Hart. “At the moment the buzz is all about E20, the new area everyone wants to be in. But homes in E15 are 10 to 15 per cent cheaper, even though the flats themselves are very similar and are actually nearer the station than some of the homes being built on the park.”
WESTFIELD’S AT HAND
While new buildings on the park are surrounded by carefully landscaped open space, with show-stopping views of the Olympic arenas, trafficclogged Stratford High Street, with its proximity to Westfield, means it is never going to be a “proper” high street in the traditional sense, lined with shops and restaurants.
“There is not a lot there,” Hart admits. “Although there are a couple of supermarkets and I know a few restaurants are going to be opening. But that is the compromise.”