Is Charlton the new Greenwich and Blackheath?

Why the ripple effect could be good for property investors in Charlton

If you consider the best places to invest in London outside zones 1 and 2, Blackheath and Greenwich have long been on the list of south-east London property hotspots. However, property investment in these areas has been made harder by their popularity. The average price of a semi-detached home in Greenwich is now more than £820,000. In Blackheath, a similar property would cost more than £1 million. Property prices in both areas have more than quadrupled in the last two decades.

As part of our property investment education, we discuss strategies that you can employ to find and invest in the best places to buy property UK. One of these is to consider the ripple effect. In this article, I’m going to run through the main points of the ripple effect (for more detail check our investment blog here). Then I’ll take a look at Charlton – an area that our property investment research has pinpointed as a potential beneficiary of the ripple effect as it extends from Blackheath and Greenwich.

What is the ripple effect?

The ripple effect is the way that investment property activity and prices push out from a central location. If you drop a stone into a pond, the first cause is the splash where it lands. This activity then sends waves out from that point.

I like to think of the first wave of ripples as being the initial interest: home buyers and property investors looking for the next place to buy. They’ll be looking to see if an area stacks up regarding property investment fundamentals: shops, schools, transport links, major employers and major investment.

In London, the best fundamentals are found in zones 1 and 2. They’re closest to central London, near shops, schools, transport links… everything. But demand and prices have risen so strongly in these zones that property investors are now more interested in zones 3 and beyond.

Investment research − Charlton has plenty going for it

A few hundred yards makes a big difference in the world of property investment. Especially when it's a short walk across the A102.

The A102 is a pretty busy road (is there any other type these days?), which acts as some magical dividing line. On one side of this artery, you’ll find Blackheath and Greenwich, with their sky-high property prices. On the other, you’ll find Charlton, where the average semi-detached home costs a little more than half the price of a similar property in Blackheath.

Blackheath and Greenwich have long been the popular places to live. Consequently, they’ve been good for property investment. Charlton has been left behind; that could be about to change. Charlton has a lot going for it.

Charlton’s shops

Charlton’s heart is known as The Village, and the high street is awash with smaller boutique-style shopping. A short distance to the north lies Greenwich Shopping Park and Stone Lake Retail Park. There’s a Sainsbury’s superstore, too. So there is something to suit all tastes and needs: perfect for quick and easy weekly shopping; ideal for Sunday browsing before high tea; and spot on for convenience when you’ve forgotten that one essential.


Charlton offers families some great choices for their children’s education. For younger children, the schools of Fossdene, Our Lady of Grace (Catholic), and Charlton Manor have all been rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted, while Sherington, Invicta, and Halstow have all been rated as ‘outstanding’. For older children, there’s an array of excellent schools nearby.

Transport links

Charlton is extremely well connected. By tube, central London is a stone’s throw away. With as many as eight trains every hour, the commute into London Bridge is a fraction longer than 15 minutes. The extension of the Night Tube will delight young professionals (and could prove positive for property investment, too).

The area is equally well situated for car drivers. The Blackwall Tunnel and route to Essex, East Anglia, and the north is a short drive along the A102. Turn the other way, and you arrive at A2, A20/M20 and the road to Dover and the continent via the Calais ferry. To circumvent London, all you need to do is drive a quarter of an hour to the M25.


Being so close to London and the City, major employers naturally include the capital’s large investment banks, insurance, and accountancy firms. There is still some heavy industry in the area, as well as retail hospitality, and retail distribution facilities (for example, the Sainsbury’s distribution centre) that create a consistent demand for workers.


It is where things become even more exciting for the prospects for property investment in Charlton.

In 2012, Greenwich Council adopted the Charlton Riverside Masterplan. In the council’s words, this provides “development planning guidance that ensures strategic rather than ad-hoc development,” and “will attract investment from both the public and private sectors”. The redevelopment of Charlton Riverside is innovative and extensive:

  • Changing land use from industrial to residential
  • A least 3,500 new homes
  • The development of a new ‘Creative Quarter.’
  • The demolition and redevelopment of the Morris Walk Estate
  • A passenger ferry crossing linking Charlton Riverside to the Royal Docks
  • A Riverside transit from Charlton Riverside running to North Greenwich

The redevelopment process is due to begin next year and could continue for 20 years as Charlton undergoes massive and transformational regeneration.

A precedence for industrial to residential

There have already been several high-profile projects that have highlighted the property investment potential of reassigning former industrial land. These include Waterside Park (Barratt), Peruvian Wharf (Galliard), and Royal Wharf (Ballymore and Oxley), as well as Silvertown Quays.

With public consultations on proposals for the new residential district now underway – and Charlton Riverside to include a new park, shops, cafes, workspace, and community faculties – now could be the ideal time to take advantage of ground floor property investment opportunities in Charlton.

Contact one of our team on +44 (0)207 923 6100 to find out more about this and other property investment opportunities that the ripple effect is creating in London’s outer zones and commuter towns.

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood

Brett Alegre-Wood
November 22, 2016

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