Stratford and the surrounding area of East London is fast becoming one of the most attractive places to live in London. Since playing host to the London Olympics it has seen thousands of new jobs and homes created and has quickly become a vibrant culture with growing and varied community.
For a long time, Stratford was an industrial surburb of London linked by the railway. But when the landmark London Olympic Park was built to host the London Olympic, a new, pioneering history was made for Stratford.
Going out and about
There's so much to see and do around Stratford, you'll never be short of places to go. The incredible Westfield Stratford City is Europe's largest retail centre and boasts a wide range of high street and high end shops from New Look to Louis Vuitton – you can even get your own personal stylist. There are over 60 bars, restaurants and cafés including Jamie's Italian, Waháca and the sensational World Food Court.
In Stratford Town Centre and Hackney Wick you can browse the market stalls, try Lebanese or Caribbean cuisine, tour places like Crate Brewery or grab an authentic stone baked pizza with friends over at Ifratelli. If you want to try something a bit different you could visit the All Star Lanes Bowling Alley, go to the 24hr Aspers Casino or get a breath of fresh air at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, home to BT Sport and an incredible community mobile garden.
What's going on
The art scene is thriving in East London so expect to watch a dance, play or performance at Stratford Circus, or the historic Theatre Royal. The Stratford Picturehouse is a popular cinema hangout, Hackney WickED Art Festival grows every year and music production companies like Urban Development are thriving. There are also plans to open a new £4.5m 'eco-theatre' called The Red Crate in the coming years.
There are many new apartment developments being built in the Stratford area but there are also Victorian terraced houses and family neighbourhoods such as around West Ham Park. The Unex Tower is a 26 floor mixed-use office and residential developement that has recently completed, with luxurious apartments with amenities and views stretching from the Olympic Park to Canary Wharf and beyond. There are various other developments with apartments and penthouses offering high specification finishes and cityscape views such as Stratford Riverside, Stratford Central and Stratosphere ranging at around £680,000.
If you're looking to rent around Stratford, studios and one bedroom flats start from around £900 per month with small 2 bed flats from as little as £1300 a month. Luxury apartments go from around £1,500 to £5000 for a three bedroom penthouse. There are still many affordable homes to buy and rent here, but house prices are predicted to grow nearly 50% between 2015 and 2020, so now is the time to invest.
Stratford and the surrounding area are very well connected on the DLR, TFL Rail and the Central and Jubilee lines. Stratford Station and Stratford International makes getting around easy, from Canary Wharf to London City Airport. Stratford International is soon hoping to become connected to Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne as well as developing direct trains to Birmingham, Manchester and Scotland.
Crossrail, due in 2019, will connect Stratford to fast routes across the east and west of the city, from Heathrow to Kent.
There are many state and independent schools across the area including the Chobham Academy. Universities are also nearby with University Square Stratford and the University of East London. Significant investments have been made in education with more universities expanding here and schools being created as the area develops.
This area is in the London Borough of Newham and their council tax rates are as follows:
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This area has already seen an amazing £12.5bn of investment and property development such as the £300m hotel and residential Manhattan Loft Gardens. Other significant developments include:
- The East Village with a mixture of rental homes and affordable housing. It is still expanding to include 2000 more apartments.
- ‘Olympicopolis’ - a cultural complex on Stratford Waterfront involving the V&A Museum and Sadler's Wells.
- New campuses from UEL, Birkbeck and Loughborough universities.
- Capital Towers - a 14-level City West Tower and 34-level Sky View Tower of luxury residencies.
- The International Quarter (TIQ) with new homes, commercial spaces, hotels, retailers and community facilities.