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Revealed – how Docklands has become a rental hotbed

London’s Docklands area, once the hub of imports and exports and manufacturing, has since been restored as a pivotal part of the capital and is now revered as a vibrant business and residential area.

The transformation of Docklands has been nothing short of phenomenal in the last few decades, boasting a healthy blend of Victorian terraced houses and contemporary architecture in new high-rise developments, a wealth of riverside walks and marinas, and numerous transport links.

With so much to offer, it’s no wonder rental demand for the Docklands area is on the up, with the average rental price reaching around £530 per week compared to £430 in neighbouring areas.

Below, as experts of Docklands and the surrounding areas, we explore how the revitalised docks is now the rental hotspot for today’s landlords and tenants.

The vast regeneration of Docklands

London Docklands – comprising Canary Wharf, the Isle of Dogs, Limehouse, Millwall, Tower Hill, Shad Thames and Wapping – was once the world’s largest port, welcoming cargo ships from all over the world.

Following the damage done to the area during the bombings of World War II, which crippled its infrastructure significantly, the UK government was tasked with replacing an entire industry and transforming Docklands into a suitable place to live.

With practically no commercial infrastructure present, a financial centre known as The London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) was formed in the 1980s to oversee the urban redevelopment of the docklands.

The area’s proximity to the City of London made it an attractive secondary office location, supported by riverside real estate development to house a new wave of city workers, new and extended London Underground trains, expansive exhibition centres and a new airport.

Thanks to the vast redevelopment programme, which continues to this day, Docklands has thrived as one of the most desirable places to live and work.

What does Docklands have to offer?

An exciting and sophisticated area, Docklands maintains its natural charm through its historic docks and waterways, offering an array of activities for all ages.

Canary Wharf alone possesses more than 200 shops, bars and restaurants, with new shopping malls such as Jubilee Place making this a great shopping destination. For a more traditional feel, there are world-famous markets such as Spitalfields, Petticoat Lane and Brick Lane on the doorstep.

Nearby you’ll find legendary concert venue the O2 Arena, the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich and the Thames Barrier. Also close by is ExCeL, the international exhibition and convention centre.

Meanwhile, outdoor attractions include marinas, riverside walks and sailing schools. The area is also abounding with gyms and fitness centres, with exercise and sports facilities to suit every taste.

The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) is one of the most efficient ways to travel in the area, with direct connections to London City Airport in the east and City of London in the west. Other transport links include Jubilee line trains and several bus services, including the river bus.

The Crossrail project is set to provide even better connections with the rest of the capital, giving a sharper edge to Docklands’ property investment.

The rise and rise of Docklands’ rental market

Docklands boasts sympathetic redevelopment, cutting-edge modern architecture, and careful landscaping to create the perfect location for buy-to-let landlords.

The property available here is characterised by contemporary apartments in high-rise blocks and Victorian warehouse conversions. Go a bit further and you will also find small developments with traditionally built townhouses and maisonettes.

The wide range of properties not only makes Docklands an attractive location for young professionals who love the relaxed nightlife, but also families who enjoy the riverside.

According to recent figures, the average rental value for homes in Docklands sits at £530 per week, and this is only set to rise as demand for property – particularly those that offer a calming waterside vibe – increases.

Over the last year, properties in Docklands had an overall average price of £550,000. The majority of sales were flats, selling for an average price of £540,000. Terraced homes sold for an average of £630,000, while semi-detached properties fetched £640,000.

Overall, sold prices in Docklands over the past year were 5% up on the previous year and 9% up on the 2018 peak of £505,000, according to Rightmove estimates.

As a landlord, if you can offer a rental property in the area, you'll have a wide pool of potential tenants to choose from, especially at a time where rental demand is at an all-time high and renters seek homes in more idyllic parts of the capital as they continue to work from home.

Here at Holland Properties, we have been an established estate and letting agent since 1999 and can help to manage your tenancies, allowing you to get the most from your rental properties as a result. We operate in Docklands and the surrounding areas including Surrey Quays and Rotherhithe.

For further guidance on any part of the lettings process, please contact us today. You can also request a free and instant online valuation to see how much rent you could be charging in the current marketplace.