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LONDON-The borough of Southwark on the south bank of the Thames has seen the largest leap in property rises of all the 30 London boroughs. According to research released today by property researcher Hometrack, residential prices jumped by 5.8% in May and by 9.4% for the first half of 2001.

‘Property developers began to turn their attention to Southwark in 1999, with the conversion of the old town hall into luxury apartments. Since then activity has just ballooned,’ says John Wriglesworth, Hometrack’s chief economist.

Around 2.5 million sf of commercial space is currently being built in SE1, including the new Greater London Authority headquarters and 500,000 sf for international business advisor Ernst & Young. The increase in business occupancy, together with the surge in leisure activity at venues such as the Globe Theatre, the Tate Modern art gallery and Vinopolis wine museum, has played a highly significant part in driving demand for homes in the area.

Up-market apartment projects are currently underway at Tea Trade Wharf and Butler’s Wharf. ‘Southwark is now most definitely the place to be and to be seen,’ says Wriglesworth.

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