London’s South Bank has undergone a significant regeneration in the last 20 years with more development to come. The South Bank regeneration stretches from Shad Thames in the east to Battersea Power Station in the west, buoyed by the opening of the Jubilee Line extension in 1999 which brought new connectivity to the area.
The majority of the area lies in Zone 1 of the Tube, which is ideal as cultural shifts bring people closer to central areas. Often having been previously seen as the poor cousin of the north, the South Bank’s new developments such as More London, Neo Bankside, and St George’s Wharf have created new riverside destinations balancing work, living, and culture.
The London Borough of Southwark also has significant plans to revitalise areas such as Elephant and Castle, creating new homes, jobs, and infrastructure.
Starting in the east, Shad Thames to the south of Tower Bridge, has seen significant regeneration in the past 20 years. A derelict wasteland for many years, new developments and warehouse conversions such as Galliard’s Cayenne Court and Tea Trade Wharf have re-energised the district, making it a destination for leisure and culture alike.
More recently, the site between Tower Bridge and London Bridge has been developed as More London, establishing the area as an office destination rather than a city spillover. Firms such as Ernst & Young, PwC, and Norton Rose now have their London campuses at More London alongside the home of the Mayor of London at Cityhall. The development is ripe with cafes, bars, and restaurants as well playing host to a Hilton Hotel and an array of cultural offerings such as open-air theatre and food markets.
Further along the river, the area around London Bridge has undergone some of the most stark transformations seen in recent years. The unmissable icon is Sellar Group’s ‘The Shard’, bringing a mix of business, leisure, and living space to the South Bank. The residences at the Shard will offer unparalleled views across the capital and 24/7 high-end living fit for royalty.
If something a little closer to ground level is more to your taste, the revitalisation of Borough Market has been fascinating to witness over the last 20 years. Once-dormant warehouses and a forgotten transport thoroughfare now comprise the culinary quarter of London, offering a bustling food market twice a week under the rail arches, supported by an incredible selection of eateries.
Buildings have been rejuvenated and converted to offer some of London’s best loft style living and new developments have sought to balance modern needs with local history.
Areas such as Waterloo have also seen development over the last 20 years, with the IMAX and British Film Institute becoming established cultural landmarks, and iconic structures such as the OXO Tower and the London Eye drawing people to this part of the river. Further west, the riverside at Vauxhall Bridge has undergone a significant transformation with the development of St George’s Wharf offering trophy riverside living.
What you can buy along the South Bank
The South Bank covers a vast area offering an array of choices to students, young professionals, families, and investors alike. For young professionals the area offers a number of riverside developments and warehouse conversions, as well as more affordable new developments set back from the river in Southwark, Lambeth North, Elephant & Castle, and Waterloo. These areas offer contemporary living within a short travelling distance to the City and West End, with theatres and top restaurants on your doorstep.
The South Bank comprises the whole spectrum of dwellings from the high-specification, 7-star living to the basic, traditional student digs. For those looking at more affordable options, new developments in and around Jamaica Street, close to Bermondsey tube station and Tower Bridge Road should be considered – such as Linden Homes’ Salters Yard and Hyde Vale’s Bermondsey Spa developments.
Choices around Elephant & Castle can also offer value as prices are often below Zone 1 comparables, while the area is currently benefiting from significant regeneration and investment. An improved transport infrastructure means that the City and West End can be reached within 15 mins, as well as proximity to some of London’s best universities such as London School of Economics, Kings College, and South Bank University. Continued rental demand from young professionals and students for apartment living are positive investment considerations for this area.
For the travelling city professional looking for that perfect pied-a-terre close to the office but with inspiring views, the South Bank’s established and new developments offer inspired living a short walk (or an even shorter run) from the main central business districts. Butler’s Wharf, The Shard, and Neo Bankside tick all the boxes for the modern business person demanding excellence and uniqueness.
From an investment perspective, the South Bank has excellent long-term investment credentials, with good prospects for rental and capital value growth. Demand from young professionals and students is strong, while the excellent transport links underpin the destination’s connectivity to the rest of London.