Canary Wharf Area and Property Guide

Located on the Isle of Dogs, Canary Wharf is the secondary Central Business District (CBD) of London. It’s also one of the UK’s most significant financial hubs. However, this wasn’t always the case. From the 1800s to the 1960s, it was a busy dock, until the port industry went into decline.

In the 1980s, the government started regenerating the area. Its personality changed beyond recognition; from a no-frills dock, to an area filled with impressive skyscrapers and modern blocks. However, it’s not just a location for businesses. Canary Wharf also has a thriving property market, with many people seeking to call the area their home.

Canary Wharf property details

A few years ago, Canary Wharf was known for having 100,000 professionals working there, but no residents. This is definitely no longer the case. Unsurprisingly, most people that live in Canary Wharf are of working age, with over 80% being between 16 and 64 (1). Likewise, the majority (around 78%) either live alone, or in a household without any dependent children.

As such, the property market is dominated by apartments. Many of these are new developments, ranging from luxurious penthouses with wraparound balconies, to more modestly proportioned studio flats.

However, there are a few houses available, and these are mostly terraced. There are some beautiful Victorian terraces in locations like Manchester Road, for example; or more modern properties in locations like Bering Square or Wynan Road.

Canary Wharf property styles

Canary Wharf is a world-famous business district, and the property styles of the area reflect this. Expect to see sleek, cutting edge apartments, and urban crash-pads for those looking to stay during the week, then head back to the family at the weekend.

The Park Drive development is classic Canary Wharf architecture at its best; showcasing the classic glass-fronted architecture that’s synonymous with the area. The apartments are modern and spacious, with the excellent facilities you might expect from a CBD property, such as a pool, gym and 24-hour concierge. There are several other iconic contemporary developments here; most famously One Canada Square, which is the country’s second tallest building. Additionally, most of the new builds in Canary Wharf offer spectacular views across the city. Many also come with views of the Thames, like Cubitt Wharf. These types of apartment almost always feature floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies, enabling residents to make the most of the great vistas.

However, while the market is dominated by modern properties, there are a few impressive converted warehouses too. These offer some fabulous original features, like exposed brickwork, metal beams, and huge, open-plan spaces inside. Those looking for houses will be glad to know that there are some terraced properties on the market. Many are recently built, with stylish, open-plan interiors, and some offer outdoor space, such as a generous patio or even a garden. There are a few Victorian homes for sale, and these are always popular with homebuyers.

Property prices

While some Canary Wharf properties are valued in the millions, it’s equally possible to find a great studio flat or one-bedroomed apartment for as little as £415,000.

The Thames-side developments tend to command the highest prices, or apartment blocks offering impressive facilities to residents. A little further away from the river is where you’ll find the more reasonably priced homes; though don’t be fooled, these often come with equally great views of the city itself.

For a house, expect to pay anything from £500,000 to several million. Those on a real budget may also want to consider a houseboat, such as those at Boardwalk Place.

Regeneration in Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf has been transformed beyond recognition over the last three decades. The disused docks have made way for towering skyscrapers and glass-fronted buildings, making this the second most important financial zone in the country.

Regeneration kicked off in earnest in 1987, when Paul Reichmann, a Canadian property tycoon, came up with the idea for creating a vast commercial complex on the Isle of Dogs. By 1990, the tower was built, and throughout this decade, the area was further developed, with residents moving in around this time.

2014 saw some grand plans unveiled for Canary Wharf, with plans introduced for several more buildings at Wood Wharf. The extensive development is set to bring a lot more office space (and 20,000 more jobs), and according to the developers, will attract more tech employees than the whole of Cambridge. The arrival of the Crossrail station in 2018 gave the area a further boost in appeal, making it even easier to commute to the area.

Life in Canary Wharf

These days, Canary Wharf is one of the most desirable locations in the capital. Although it’s widely regarded as a business zone, it’s got plenty of residents, and the numbers of people moving in are growing by the day.

As such, what was once primarily a commercial zone has now evolved into a lively residential location. For example, it has some world-renowned restaurants and bars; some of which offer riverside views while dining or socialising. Those that prefer to cook at home will appreciate the proximity to Billingsgate Fish Market.

It’s also a great spot for culture lovers, with the Winter Lights Festival, the Museum of London Docklands, and the Everyman Cinema, which is at Crossrail Place. The river is a great spot to take a stroll, and there’s also Canada Square Park, which is a pleasant area to while away an afternoon. Residents usually head to Canary Wharf Shopping Centre for some retail therapy. Mudshute is another highlight, particularly for children. It’s a 32-acre green area, with a city farm incorporated, and is run by a local charity, who put on events throughout the year.

The extensive transport links are another reason people choose to live here. Canary Wharf Station is on the Jubilee Line, and it’s also connected to the DLR, with stations at Heron Quays, Canary Wharf, West India Quay, Crossharbour and Poplar. London City Airport is also close by, which has regular flights to several European cities and holiday hotspots, plus New York.

Other interesting facts

  • Canary Wharf takes its name from the quay that used to be there, which received goods from the Canary Islands.
  • Guy Fawkes’ gunpowder plot was exposed in Hoxton Street.
  • Some of the world’s biggest banks are based here; including HSBC and Citibank.
  • The rental market is booming in Canary Wharf, as several people work in the area on short-term contracts. As such, it’s a good idea to invest in a buy-to-let here.

Contact us

Canary Wharf London Estate Agent Morgan Randall, offering properties for sale in Canary Wharf, London, Shoreditch and Islington.

Morgan Randall - London's favourite Estate Agent in Canary Wharf, Shoreditch and Islington are delighted to offer high quality premium properties for sale and rental including houses, flats, apartments for sale, 1, 2 3 and 4 bedroom properties, Penthouses. Browse our properties and get in touch - choosing the right Estate Agent will help you to choose your ideal London property.

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