If you're at one of the big four accounting firms in the world, it's safe to say that you are part of the creme de la creme. KPMG might not bring with it the same level of excitement as tech brands like Google and Facebook, but the firm are responsible for employing more than 200,000 people across 153 countries.
One of those countries includes England and more specifically, London. The company recently moved all 7,300 of its staff to the plush Canada Square in Canary Wharf which, along with the City of London, is a major financial hub in the UK.
If you’re one of the current seven thousand-plus members of staff or are thinking of working for KPMG, you might be wondering where to find the best places to live that are close to their Canada Square office.
Well, wonder no more, put your maps away and read on. In the same fashion as our where to live if you work at Facebook, Google and WeWork, we’ve compiled a list of the best places to live if you work at KPMG or more generally for all young professionals.
It makes sense to start as close to KPMG as possible, which means heading over to Canary Wharf. The E14 postcode is a mecca of skyscrapers that is more akin to New York than it is London. If “brand spanking new” is your thing, then Canary Wharf is the area for you.
Well-known developments include The Landmark and Pan Peninsula, with the latter offering a restaurant and nightclub inside the building. The area is a bit too built up and shiny for some, while others love the fact that everything is ultra modern. Transport connections in Canary Wharf are also good, with a tube stop on the Jubilee Line, DLR access and the soon to be Elizabeth Line stop.
One-bedroom properties average around £1,700 per month, two beds fetch in the region of £2,500, and three bedroom homes average £3,750. Surrey Quays is the primary residential hub in Canary Wharf.
The southeast London area of Lewisham has become a viable alternative for those who work in Canary Wharf but want to save a penny or two. The SE13 postcode provides direct access to London’s financial hub, and rental accommodation is several hundred pounds cheaper per month.
Of course, you don’t get the same shiny high rises and quaint waterside settings that you find in Canary Wharf. But the area has seen plenty of redevelopment over the years while still keeping its soul. There is a mix of period properties and new developments, and Lewisham market has a reputation for being one of South London’s liveliest.
One-bedroom properties average £1,250 per month, two beds cost in the region of £1,500, and homes with three or more beds range between £2,000 and £2,800.
Sticking with South London, this time in the SE10 postcode of Greenwich, where you will find an area popular with many who work in Canary Wharf- especially if they have families. Greenwich is, let’s say, slightly more residential than Canary Wharf, and has plenty of green space, including Greenwich Park.
There is also the Royal Observatory, Cutty Sark, the Maritime Museum and the O2 Arena. DLR access means that Canary Wharf is a stone’s throw away, so KPMG employees can afford to hit the snooze button a few times in the morning and still not worry about turning up for work late.
Rents are slightly lower than the E14 postcode: a one-bedroom property averages £1,500 per month, two beds fetch in the region of £2,000, and properties with three or more bedrooms range between £2,450 and £4,410.
Perhaps you don’t necessarily need to be close your place of work (at least in miles), but want easy access for your commute during the week. If that’s the case, St John’s Wood could be for you. The affluent northwest London area is around eight miles from Canary Wharf but only 20 minutes on the tube.
Those living in St John’s Wood can expect tree-lined streets, period properties and a small high street filled with boutique shops and restaurants. Lord's Cricket Ground is also within walking distance, and the West End is a mere two miles away.
One-bedroom properties average £2,000 per month, two beds achieve in the region of £2,600 per month, and three-bedroom properties average more than £5,000 per month.
The Olympics in 2012 gave Stratford a new lease of life, and now the area is thriving as it grows in popularity by the day. There is plenty of new residential developments as well as a smattering of period homes. Olympic Park is a primary attraction, as is the London Stadium.
Residents will also enjoy having Westfield Stratford, one of Europe’s largest shopping centres, right on their doorstep, while transport options include a tube station that takes you to Canary Wharf in around 10 minutes.
Despite its popularity, rental prices in Stratford remain mostly affordable. One-bedroom properties average £1,350 per month, two-bedroom homes achieve in the region of £1,700 per month, and three-bedroom-and-up properties go for between £1,900 and £2,750 per month.
West Ham, E13
West Ham is the most affordable on the list and is called "home" by many workers from the City and Canary Wharf. Given it is less glitzy compared to the other areas, there is a high street with a few shops, pubs and restaurants, but there is nothing quite like a Westfield.
Most of the properties are Victorian and Edwardian, so if you prefer living in a home with period features as opposed to modern developments, West Ham could be a strong contender. The tube station takes you to Canary Wharf in an even quicker time than Stratford.
One-bedroom properties average £1,150 per month, two beds cost in the region of £1,350 per month, and properties with three or more beds range between £1,750 and £2,180 per month.
KPMG’s position in Canary Wharf provides plenty of options for areas to live - no matter your budget. You can be at work in no time at all, even if you go as far as North London. There is something for everyone, from skyscrapers to cottages and everything in between.
What do you think? Do these areas work if you're employed at KPMG? We'd love to hear from current employees about where they live. Let us know in the comments.