Wapping Property Investment Guide

From media fortress to desirable village

Wapping is superbly located on the River Thames in London’s Zone 2. It offers walkable access to London’s main business hubs in the City, Canary Wharf and London Bridge as well as the cultural neighbourhoods of Shoreditch, Whitechapel, Bermondsey and the Southbank.

Wapping sits in the borough of Tower Hamlets where property prices are just above the London average and eleventh most expensive overall. However, local prices compare very favourably with the adjacent boroughs. Tower Hamlets is 20% & 13.5% lower than Hackney and Southwark respectively. The imminent arrival of Crossrail at Whitechapel is forecast to increase property prices in the borough by over 40% from 2014 to 2020.

Knight Frank report that House prices in Wapping have risen 1.5% in the past 3 months, and 3.5% in the past year. Rentals have increased by 0.7% in 3 months, and 1.9% in the past year. Overall Wapping has out-performed more traditional prime London areas such as Mayfair, Chelsea, Knightsbridge and South Kensington.

Rupert Murdoch moved his News International company into Wapping in 1986, building the printing and publishing works there. Nicknamed ‘Fortress Wapping’ due to its heavy security to protect it from hostile unions, they relocated to the Baby Shard at London Bridge last year.

This gave St George, part of the prestigious Berkeley Homes Group, the opportunity to develop a new luxury riverside development known as London Docks. Currently, under construction on the former print site, London Docks will contain 4 new wharf buildings of 1, 2 & 3 bedroom high-spec apartments and penthouses. As the only new build residential project in the area buy-to-lets here will have little competition from an under-supplied market.

The new development of 1,800 new homes, 230,000 sq ft of office space, plus shops, restaurants and a secondary school will be nestled among landscaped open spaces, gardens and shop-lined promenades. The vision is to offer a superb city living in a village atmosphere. With super connectivity to the financial districts, demand for these apartments will be huge.

Wapping property investment is ideal for investors who want to own a piece of prime London property in a growing area with strong rental demand.

Get the whole investment story by downloading the full Wapping Property Investment Guide.

Economy & Employment

Financial institutions are Wapping’s major economic drivers.

Renowned names such as J.P. Morgan, HSBC Holdings, Morgan Stanley, Barclays Bank, Credit Suisse Group, Citigroup and Thompson Reuters are just a few of the major financial institutions driving the economy around Wapping. Many international financial businesses have either their global headquarters or major offices in the borough, giving the area one of the highest average incomes in the UK.

With the imminent arrival of Crossrail in 2018, the average rental growth forecast for the Whitechapel area (0.5 miles away) is around 37% to 2020.

The construction of new homes, shops, leisure facilities and a school at the 15-acre ex-News International site is well underway, creating new village-style living in Wapping and hundreds of jobs in construction and other related industries.

Other areas around Wapping are currently undergoing major regeneration. Nearby Whitechapel is creating a Civic Hub within the community, which will centre around the new Crossrail station and interchange that is under construction, it will provide new leisure, retail facilities and local employment.

See the whole investment picture by downloading the full Wapping Property Investment Guide.


Developers are giving more than £12.5 million towards Crossrail, a new secondary school and improved bus services.

The Bishopsgate Goods Yard regeneration will deliver up to 2,000 new homes, 150,000 sqm of commercial floorspace and a new park over the next 10-15 years.

Transformation of London Docks will include converting the former Times newsroom into a 100,000 sq ft retail and leisure complex. A former spirits warehouse will be opened up to create a public square with a water feature.

Other projects over this time period include:

  • Extending the leisure and tourism role of St Katharine Docks and the Marina.
  • Increasing retail in and around Waitrose and growing the whole of the surrounding area as a community hub.
  • Expanding the connections to and through Tobacco Dock alongside the wider regeneration of this historic building.
  • Protecting and enhancing the setting of the Tower of London as well as increasing access to public transport and surrounding points of interest.
  • Lengthening the existing riverside walkway outside the Tower of London, along with St Katharine Docks and towards Wapping.
  • Improving the streetscape of the Highway & crossing points across the area.


Air: London City Airport is a mere four miles to the east of the borough, making it an extremely popular business destination. The airport handles in the region of 3.6 million passengers a year and flies to over forty destinations.

Rail: Services have greatly improved in Wapping Since the London Overground opened in 2012. Trains run from Wapping, south to Clapham Junction, Croydon and Crystal Palace and north to Highbury & Islington. Circle and District lines are a short walk away at Tower Hill. Just north of Wapping, the DLR serves Shadwell, Limehouse and Tower Gateway. Crossrail will bring an additional line to Whitechapel and Canary Wharf, providing a new route through the capital.

Road: Connectivity throughout the borough is excellent, with the A12 and A13 both starting in the borough, providing excellent routes in and around the London area and beyond.

Bus: The main bus services operating via Wapping are the D3 which takes in Wapping, Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs. The 100 service operates from the Elephant and Castle, winding its way across from the west to Wapping.


Tower Hamlets Borough has 82 primary schools, 23 secondary schools, 20 independent schools and 2 further education colleges in its catchment area.

Historically Wapping was an industrial area rather than residential so secondary schools were not abundant here. Two independents: City of London School and City of London School for Girls are 25 minutes away by bus but more are being created closer to home.

In 2012 The Wapping High School was established. It is a co-educational school in Shadwell that caters for 11 to 16-year-olds and has continually improving Ofsted standards. Another brand new secondary school will be built within the new London Docks development to cater for the new residents that the project will bring.

Further and Higher Education: London is home to some of the world’s top universities, it has a reputation for academic excellence and attracts many students from around the globe. International students from wealthy backgrounds who attend London’s top universities often look for prime rentals and make respectful tenants. The high spec, new builds in Wapping would appeal to these tenants are perfectly placed to access all the best universities from LSE to the University of Greenwich.

Shops & Leisure

Shopping & Dining: The close proximity to one of the most significant financial centres means that there is no shortage of fashionable pubs, bars and eateries. Conran’s Le Pont de la Tour, The Chop House and Gordon Ramsay’s gastropub The Narrow, offer a superb selection of excellent food. Wapping is also home to one of London’s oldest pubs, The Prospect of Whitby, which dates back to 1543.

Culture: The Wapping Project is contemporary art, performance and restaurant complex in a former hydraulic power station. Across the river, old and new are represented by The Globe Theatre and Tate Modern Gallery and all the cultural offerings of the Southbank.

Sport: John Orwell Sports Centre features a gym with city skyline panoramas, a sports hall and outdoor astroturf. There’s a Fitness First at Thomas More Square and there will also be a state-of-the-art residents gym, squash court, pool & sauna at London Docks.

Green Spaces: Wapping is scattered with green spaces. Wapping Woods is a 5-hectare park with tree-lined floodlit pathways, it is popular with joggers. King Edward Memorial Park is set in 3.3 hectares, it contains a bandstand, waterfront benches, children’s play area, bowling green, all-weather football pitch and tennis courts. It has received a green flag award for quality.


Brett Alegre-Wood
October 25, 2015

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