Much of the recent public transport limelight has been hogged by the launch of the 24-hour weekend service on the Underground – we even wrote about it ourselves recently.

Before August, many Londoners enjoying late-nights over the weekend suffered from something we call the ‘Cinderella complex’ – cutting short celebrations to dash to a Tube station before the last train.

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Whether you’re for or against the ‘gentrification’ of London neighbourhoods, it’s hard to ignore the transformation of East London, with Tower Hamlets one of the boroughs to emerge as a leading light in the residential and commercial property sectors. Already well serviced by the London Overground, mainline rail, the DLR, the Tube, river taxi and City Airport, Tower Hamlets will also benefit from Crossrail stations at Whitechapel and Canary Wharf come 2018 – making it arguably the best connected borough in London.

The borough is one of the most diverse in London, encompassing the financial powerhouse of Canary Wharf to the South, Whitechapel and Brick Lane to the West (where the borough border stands should-to-shoulder with the City of London), iconic destinations including the Tower of London, St. Katharine Docks and Tower Bridge to the South East, and emerging residential quarters such as Poplar to the East.

As a whole, this corner of the capital was largely overlooked by relocators in favour of Central and West London. Standing and gravitas, however, swept in during 2005, when London won the right to host the 2012 Olympics. Stratford itself sits at the very North East tip of Tower Hamlets, just over the border in Newham, although Tower Hamlets actually claims some of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as its own and has benefited from the Olympic legacy that has blossomed since the sporting extravaganza. In fact, Sweetwater – one of the five villages to emerge after the Games, falls entirely in Tower Hamlets and will comprise around 650 new homes, communal space, new schools and a waterside park along the Lee Navigation canal.

Canary Wharf is arguably the jewel in Tower Hamlet’s crowns. As London’s second financial hub, with 16 million square feet of office and retail space, and over 100,000 employees, many relocation agencies will find themselves placing clients in this mini city. The imposing scale of One Canada Square and its sister towers (occupied by the likes of HSBC and Citigroup) have been mirrored by residential skyscrapers, creating an irresistible skyline and prestige addresses. Developments including South Quay Plaza and Pan Peninsula afford truly luxurious lifestyles, although rents reflect the status.

Rental charges in Canary Wharf vary widely, with some one-bedroom flats available for in the region of £1,700 per calendar month (pcm), ranging to £21,667 pcm for three bedrooms. There’s also a healthy serviced apartments market in Canary Wharf for an ‘all in one’ package. Comparably, expect to pay around £1,480 pcm for a one-bedroom property and £2,200 pcm for three bedrooms in Bethnal Green. Over in Whitechapel the cost rises, with rents in the region of £1,690 for one bedroom and £2,670 pcm for three bedrooms.

While Canary Wharf is an established Tower Hamlets neighbourhood, new mixed-use quarters are under development across the borough, offering places to live, offices to rent and facilities to enjoy. London Docks in Wapping is one example, where apartments, artists’ studios and restaurants are being set against a backdrop of impressive water features and heritage maritime buildings.

London City Island is another enclave to watch, with developer Ballymore (the people behind some of Canary Wharf’s most desirable developments) at the helm of a 12 acre new neighbourhood on Leamouth Peninsula to the far east of Tower Hamlets. Described as a ‘mini Manhattan’ and an ‘ultra connected destination of extraordinary culture and contemporary living’, expect over 1,700 apartments, a new home for the English National Ballet, 4,502 square metres of office space, 2,714 square metres allocated for creative industries and a new footbridge to Canning Town stations.

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Our relocation agents are currently active in Tower Hamlets, charting the development of new homes being released into the private rental market, sourcing properties close to employment hubs and helping settle home movers. If you have clients relocating to Tower Hamlets and would like orientation and rental advice, contact ARPM Relocation today.

Islington has always been a destination of note, with a thriving creative community, the Business Design Centre and a fondness among public figures that has beguiled everyone from George Orwell to Lilly Allen. An Islington address carries a lot of weight in influential circles, somehow marking its residents out as social and academic elites.

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