January 17, 2016

Stepney: the Shoreditch of the Future

More than a third of Stepney homes were destroyed in the Blitz, and after their replacement with rather grimly designed council housing, it looked as though Stepney would never shake off its concrete-tenement image. But the times they are a-changin’, and the gentrification of nearby Shoreditch, Spitalfields and Bow is creeping its way through Stepney’s once run-down streets.

The time has come to take another look at an urban district that looks set to become the next East End target on the trendy homebuyer’s hit list.


The makings of a revival


Now forming an enclave between Whitechapel Road and Commercial Road, Stepney may not enjoy the warehouse and factory conversions that Shoreditch is well known for, but it has plenty of its own charms.


It has urban green spaces like Shandy Park, Stepney Green Park and Mile End Park and even its own working city farm that hosts a bustling farmers’ market.


The indicators of gentrification are there, too: investment, redevelopment and the appearance of new high street shops. The regeneration of Stepney’s Ocean Estate is complete after a £220 million investment, the creation of more than 800 new homes, the refurbishment of 1,200 council houses and all the associated landscaping and brand-new facilities that come with it.


Old district, new faces


Despite an abundance of relatively new housing, Stepney isn’t without its historical highlights. Walk along its streets and you’ll see that the district is creating that special blend of old and new that makes the East End so fashionable.


In Stepney High Street, St Dunstan’s church has stood for more than a thousand years and is in fact East London’s oldest surviving church.


You’ll even find hidden architectural gems like the grand Georgian terraces of Stepney Green which overlook the site of the 1381 peasants’ revolt, and the workers’ Dunstan Houses, built in 1899 and used as a location set for BBC One’s Call the Midwife.


But as Stepney remains much cheaper than its neighbouring property hotspots, it is becoming the face of the affordable East End and attracting a new crowd of first-time buyers and would-be-Shoreditchers finding themselves priced out.


Here at Keatons, we know the East End property market inside out, and we’re always happy to provide advice, inside knowledge, and guidance on property values, market conditions and neighbourhood highlights. If you’re thinking about the East End but aren’t sure where to start, get in touch with one of our friendly property specialists.

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