Yesterday it was announced that the Barking Riverside development is to receive a £500m cash boost, agreed by the Mayor of London and housing association L&Q.
The funding will include a new London Overground station and a redeveloped town centre with commercial, retail and leisure space spanning 65,000m2, including land for seven schools.
The area has already seen extensive development in terms of property with 1,000 homes built and plans for construction to continue to 2034.
Half of these units are planned to be affordable and this should be more than achievable as Barking and Dagenham remains the most affordable borough in the capital with an average house price of just £296,892.
Not only has Barking and Dagenham remained affordable but over the last year, the borough has seen prices increase by just under 4%, the 13th highest of all boroughs and well above the capital’s average in what has been a tough year for the London market.
There will be many that may scoff at the idea of Barking Riverside becoming the new English Riviera, but this latest cash injection would suggest it’s a matter of when not if the transformation into Barkalona-on-Thames takes place.
Large swathes of London’s current property hotspots have benefitted from a change in image due to the homebuyer ripple effect, as high prices see aspiring buyers look outward to the next best option for that more affordable foot on the ladder.
While Barking may not be the most desirable borough currently, this further investment and continued development of new infrastructure will now see house prices in and around the formerly beleaguered, industrial East End outpost rise significantly.
Investment aside, it remains a very affordable option for London buyers with numerous transport links, all just an avocado’s throw from the city.Russell Quirk