In the middle of the 19th century, Barking was Britain’s most important fishing port – so it seems fitting that nation’s biggest wholesale fish market, Billingsgate, is set to move in – along with New Smithfields and Spitalfields.
Their relocation is one of a series of major projects that will see the area transformed beyond all recognition over the coming years.
Plans for the town centre include a new food hub, shops and Art House cinema, and a new community is being built at Barking Riverside, where an Uber Boat by Thames Clippers pier and Overground station open next year.
Barking’s connectivity is already excellent, with District and Hammersmith & City lines, c2c and Overground services, and it’s at one end of Cycle Superhighway 3.
The Borough of Barking & Dagenham boasts London’s lowest average property prices, making it an attractive proposition for first-time buyers and young families.
There’s street after street of 1930s semis, plus Victorian, Edwardian and post-war houses, and a wide choice of new-builds. Around £500,000 will get you a decent-sized three-bedder, and the largest homes are in the Leftley Estate.
‘Barking’s becoming gentrified and more young professionals are buying here,’ says Rashad Cheema of estate agency Portico.
What’s new in Barking?
Barking Riverside is delivering more than 10,000 homes, three new schools, a wellbeing hub and other amenities on a former power station site next to the Thames.
One- and two-bedroom apartments with balconies or terraces are for sale there in the second phase of Bellway’s Fielders Quarter, from £260,895 with Help to Buy, bellway.co.uk, and L&Q is offering one and two-bed shared ownership apartments.
They start from £62,500 for a 25% share of £250,000.
Countryside’s Fresh Wharf, on the River Roding, will provide 911 new homes plus shops, cafes and green spaces.
Three two-bed apartments, ready to move into now and offering Help to Buy, are left in the current phase, The Halycon, from £385,000, and the next, Swift House, is coming soon.
Abbey Quay, by Weston Homes, is adjacent to the River Roding and town centre, and will consist of 1,089 one, two- and three-bedroom mixed tenure apartments, all with private outside space and a new restaurant, shops, cafés, gym and community hub on the doorstep.
They start from £327,000, and purchasers currently living or working in the borough can apply for a Discount Market Sale home, from £257,000.
Discounted one-bedroom apartments are also available to first time buyers at Pocket Living’s Harbard Close.
Compact but brilliantly designed with bright open plan kitchen/living rooms, Juliet balconies, plenty of storage, allotments and a communal, sociable space for residents, they’re completed and start at £198,000.
Everything potential buyers need to know about Barking
Average house price: £330,053
Average rent: £1,178 pcm
Council tax: Band D £1,712.57
Commuting time to Zone 1: from 15 mins to Fenchurch Street
Annual Travelcard: £2,128
Amenities: ★★★ ☆ ☆ Asda and Tesco superstores; the tired Vicarage Field shopping centre is being redeveloped; street market five days a week; The Broadway performance venue; affordable workspaces for creative businesses at the Ice House Quarter and the Three Sixty building; The Wilds, a community, ecology and events space with a café recently opened at Barking Riverside; go karting and trampolining at Jump London
Open space: ★★★ ☆ ☆ Barking Park has a boating lake and splash park; Mayesbrook Park; Greatfields Park; Barking Abbey Grounds
Schools: ★★★ ☆ ☆ GCSE results close to national average; majority of state schools judged as Good by Ofsted
Crime: Slightly below average
Who lives there? Families and first-time buyers; the borough has the highest proportion of under-19s in the whole country
Famous faces: Actor Ross Kemp and reality star Megan McKenna grew up in Barking
What can I afford on the property ladder in Barking?
This light and airy maisonette consists of an open-plan kitchen/living room and bathroom on the first floor, and a spacious bedroom built into the loft above.
Check it out via Portico
On a tree-lined road only five minutes’ walk from Barking station, this three-bed terrace house is well-maintained and has a large conservatory.
Check it out via William H Brown
A double-fronted and substantially extended six-bed house in the much sought-after Leftley Estate. Includes an impressive 38ft-long living/dining room and useful outbuilding.
Check it out via Kurtis Property
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