Found within the Royal Borough of Greenwich, the historic south east district in London has contributed enormously to the industrial and military sectors. Housing the first branch of McDonalds in the UK and also having its own dockyard, Woolwich can be seen as a little megalopolis of activity.
A community has existed here since early medieval ages, dating back to the 1300s. In 1512, Henry VIII opened the Royal Dockyard in order to build the ‘Great Harry’, the construction of the vessel was a starting point of major naval expansion within the area. This led to the beginning of various military establishments being built, such as The Royal Arsenal, The Royal Military Academy, The Royal Horse Artillery and The Woolwich Dockyard.
The Woolwich Arsenal and Woolwich Docklands stations have direct links to the heart of London and across Greater London. The stations, which are on the DLR and Southeastern North Kent line, provide services to many major stops such as; Charing Cross, London Bridge, Greenwich, Dartford, Stratford and Bank. TfL also administers a very good bus service, which connects those living within the area to surrounding areas.
There is also a ferry service that will be able to take you across the Thames to North Woolwich and back, the ferry is a free operating service and runs every 5-10 minutes.
Parking permits are readily available, obtained either through the Council at The Royal Borough of Greenwich or through individual parking permit providers.
Entertainment & Food
With a variety of top attractions, entertainment and food options, there is always something to do.
From days at The Royal Woolwich Arsenal, where visitors and London home movers can view a collection of old military buildings, to Beresford Square Market, perfect for bargain hunters with a taste for intercontinental food, there’s much to enjoy in the area.
There are many local pubs dotted around to spend the evenings with family or friends. The Dial Arch pub, a local favourite tucked away from the busy high street, has a traditional British, and locally supplied, menu.
When in the area, it is difficult to overlook the Woolwich Dockyards, where visitors can board the Thamesclippers and take a meandering journey to central London. The Woolwich Ferry is also available to board. The three ships, dating from the 1960s and affectionately named John, Ernest and James, will take you across the Woolwich waters.
For the kids there are many fun packed days out on offer, whether it’s visiting the Wet n Wild at Waterfront Leisure Centre, Firepower the Royal Artillery Museum or at the Thames Barrier Info and Learning Centre.
Property Types in Woolwich
Currently the population in Woolwich is believed to be around a staggering 84,959, with the average age of residents being 31 years old.
The area itself obtains a very historic and cultural feel due to its military past. Recently, however, it has said to be undergoing a sense of rebirth. Being injected with high street stores and chains, recent architectural builds like the mammoth 24/7 Tesco Extra store and new housing developments, we can safely say that Woolwich is attracting an increasing number of young First Time Buyers.
The housing in the area can be seen as affordable, great for those at the start of the property ladder, hoping to find their first time home in London. The average property value is estimated at under £300,000 in 2014, around £50,000 less than Royal Borough of Greenwich’s average property price.
With 79% of the properties being flats, a high amount of young professionals are residents in the area, and are easily able to commute to their workplaces and offices.
The Woolwich Council granted permission for space once used by high-street chains and stores to be turned into commercial offices, creating a hub and community that attracts office workers, bankers and business minded individuals.
Living in Woolwich
There are many well renowned educational institutions dotted around, a crucial factor for parents with young families interested in moving to the area.
The area has primary and secondary schools which obtain excellent results. Schools have been visited by The Majesty’s Inspector of Education, Children Service and Skills, and have received very positive comments. Those who are thinking of moving to Woolwich can be assured that the educational system is more than capable of delivering an outstanding educational experience.
Crime rates within Woolwich are marginally decreasing year on year. From August 2011 to August 2014 crime stats have decreased by 36.5%, this percentage takes into consideration offences such as ASB, burglary, robbery, theft, vehicle, violence, drugs and also many public order offences. The Greenwich Council are working hard to decrease crime rates within the area, to ensure that Greenwich becomes an even more safe and secure Borough to live in.
Dependent on which council tax band your property falls into, council tax is estimated at £2,550 (October 2014). This has been calculated using the average property price in the area; for smaller housing the cost of council tax would be reduced. Money payable for council tax has decreased by 0.31% from the previous year, this is reassuring in the long term for those who decide to move and stay in Woolwich.
The Crossrail, a new high frequency railway service for London and the South East, is facilitating the regeneration.
This venture, which reaches from Reading in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east, will decrease the time it takes to travel to the heart of London from Woolwich. Greenwich Council aim to have 6 trains running an hour, and the journey from Woolwich to Tottenham Court Road will be 14 minutes.
The Crossrail will dramatically increase the accessibility of the area, whilst also benefiting residents and commuters who travel daily to the area.
Buying in Woolwich
With the extensive regeneration, improving business, housing and transportation, it is vital to select a professional conveyancing solicitor when buying a home in the area. They will undertake the necessary searches to ensure you have the full information about your property and be able to recommend any further, more detailed searches to discuss how the developments may affect life in your new home.
It should be noted that the south east area is reported to be most affected by subsidence in London, so make sure, before you complete on your property purchase, you employ a surveyor to perform a house survey. A house survey will examine the structural condition of the property to ensure it is a good investment; your surveyor will investigate signs of Japanese Knotweed, and advise you on repair work needed.
When buying a property it is important to enlist the knowledge of a professional conveyancing solicitor and a local Chartered Surveyor to ensure the purchase of your property runs smoothly.