Cheaper than central London but with some of the usual advantages
Unless you currently live there, you may have only been aware of Collier Row on road signs from the nearby A12 and the occasional map when looking at its larger neighbour Romford.
As it is, this area in the London Borough of Havering some 14 miles from the centre of the capital offers an attractive blend of larger city amenities but with easy access to quieter and greener areas such as the nearby Hainault Forest Country Park.
Property prices are usefully less than central London and there’s a reasonable choice if you bide your time including – somewhat elusive in some locations – decent sized bungalows. The services of a knowledgable and local Collier Row estate agent should be sought to help identify suitable properties.
Orientation: where and what is Collier Row?
It’s an area of Greater London to the east of the capital just north of Romford with Chadwell Heath to the south, Havering to the north, Hainault to the west and Gidea Park to the east.
It’s bordered on its south side by the A12 trunk road that links East Anglia and areas of Essex with east London including an intersection with the M25 motorway nearby at Brentwood.
Collier Row is primarily suburban having developed from large scale house building during the interwar years. Its name stems from it being a centre for charcoal burners dating back to when it was a village settlement.
What to look for
Property – when it comes to property, Collier Row – in common with nearby Romford – has a predominance of thirties built terraced or semi-detached housing. If you’re looking for bungalows, Collier Row is well stocked including chalet-style types.
Properties constructed by Nash, local builders of some repute from the 1930s housing construction boom, are particularly sought after.
Transport – Collier Row isn’t on any direct rail links but they’re not far away; the nearest main line railway station is Romford or Gidea Park (both around two miles distance) and the nearest tube, Hainault, is about three miles away on the central line.
It takes usually less than 20 minutes by train from Romford to London Liverpool Street station, and just over 40 minutes by tube from Hainault to Oxford Circus.
As mentioned above, road links are good with the A12, M25 and M11 nearby, and transport links will be boosted further when Crossrail begins with nearby stops at Gidea Park, Romford and Chadwell Heath.
This will have the effect – as with many transport infrastructure upgrades – of boosting nearby property demand and therefore prices, especially with the implications it has for commuters heading to and from central London.
Buses are plentiful and convenient.
So if transport links are key, then properties in the more southern areas of Collier Row nearer to Romford would be your best bet. If these aren’t so crucial, then house hunting more to the north brings into play the quieter village areas of Havering-atte-Bower and Stapleford Abbotts.
Schooling and amenities – Collier Row itself has a selection of ‘everyday’ shops, but nearby Romford can lay claim to being the fourth largest retail centre in London behind heavyweights such as Westfield Stratford and Bluewater near the Dartford Crossing. Over 25 million people visit Romford for shopping each year.
Schooling is considered to be of a high standard in the Collier Row area with many achieving strong Ofsted scores; this resource covers schools in the Havering district.
Collier Row and its immediate locality offers strong options depending on what exactly you’re looking for in a property and its location. There’s a good level of housing stock, so if you’re prepared to bide your time something suitable should appear on the market.
Depending on your priorities whether transport links, open spaces, plenty of amenities or good schooling different areas of Collier Row can be chosen.
For a slightly quieter environment, the northern part closer to one of the ‘desirable’ post code areas (RM4 covering the villages of Stapleford Abbotts and Havering-atte-Bower) might be preferable.
For stronger transport links and easier access to vibrant nightlife and shopping, it might be better to look at properties in the more central or southern area of Collier Row closer to Romford.
Factors to consider when house hunting in Collier Row including nearest transport links, what property types are available, proximity to amenities and schools.