London Area Guide

Charing Cross and the London Eye

London Area Guide: London property overview

Nowhere else in the world is quite like the culturally diverse and dynamic city of London, but getting to grips with its vast collection of neighborhoods can be a trying task.

To help ease this difficulty we’ve compiled a comprehensive set of area guides to allow people to explore London from the comfort of their sofa.

So if you’re considering moving to an unknown area, or just want to enrich your knowledge, we hope these local guides can provide succinct insights into the distinctive character of each area.

 

London

London

London is a fascinating place to live and an exciting place to work and socialise. Rich in history and often described as an epicentre of global culture, it is home to some of the world’s best restaurants, bars, theatres, galleries, museums and shops. It is bursting with talent in fashion, finance, professional services and the arts, and the levels of healthcare and education available are also world class.

The British capital is also the best connected city in the world with five airports, a hub of famous train stations and a comprehensive underground system. With the added convenience of its global position and time zone, London is unsurprisingly one of the most visited cities on the planet. 

London is also perceived as a safe haven and wealth-preserving destination for global property investors, particularly during these times of global economic uncertainty. This high demand from international buyers contributes to the increasing supply and demand imbalance in the capital.

The depreciation of property prices across much of the UK has been in some way counter-balanced by strong capital growth in London, particularly in central London, which includes the City of London and areas such as Blackfriars, St Paul’s, Temple, Hoxton, King's Cross and St Pancras.

 

Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly

Central London

The Prime Central London property market continues on an upwards trajectory in stark contrast to the rest of the UK. Packed with fancy bars, delightful restaurants and some of the world’s best theatres, shops and galleries and museums, central London is one of the most prestigious places to live in the world, let alone the UK, and this is reflected in the value of property and rental yields.

From swanky Covent Garden, Holborn and Bloomsbury to trendy Shoreditch, Spitalfields and Clerkenwell, wherever house hunters are looking to buy or rent property, they will find that prices are at an all-time high. Prime Central London residential property prices are rising and quite often highly sought-after homes are achieving in excess of the asking price.

While central London appeals to a wide range of residents, it is typically popular with people working in the City of London, including financial traders who opt for areas near their offices, including Farringdon, Barbican, Aldgate, Monument, Tower Hill, Borough and Bankside.

But while central London’s property markets and prices continue to strengthen, the city’s second-tier markets also look solid.

 

Houses of Parliament, Big Ben

North of the River Thames

In the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games in East London, the race was on as London homeowners, including many investors, attempted to cash in on wide-scale regeneration and the thousandsof visitors that required rental accommodation as they flooded into London over the summer to witness the spectacular sporting event.

While rental demand was generally greatest in and around Stratford, the mass regeneration brought by the 2012 Olympics made much of East London, as a whole, tangibly vibrant and desirable, helping to push property prices and rents higher.

Over the long term, residential property prices in the East End of London are likely to be supported by the Olympic legacy of improved infrastructure and transport links, which is great news for London areas like Stepney, Whitechapel, Haggerston, Wapping and Bethnal Green.

But while east London has been boosted by major renewal schemes in recent years, property markets in West and North West London, including Kensal Rise, Brondesbury, Chalk Farm, Camden Town, Kentish Town, Cricklewood, Willesden Green, Kilburn and West Kilburn, have been underpinned by a fundamental shortage of housing, reflecting high demand to live in this part of the capital.

West and North West London are home to some of the most desirable places to live in the capital, including Hampstead, Primrose Hill, Maida Vale, Belsize Park, Queens Park, West Hampstead, South Hampstead, Little Venice, Mapesbury Estate and Mapesbury Conservation Area.

Meanwhile, demand is growing for properties in traditional north London neighbourhoods, such as Turnpike Lane, Upper Holloway, Holloway, Stroud Green and Islington.

More people are also seeking to live in Crouch End, as well as Harringay to the east, Hornsey, Muswell Hill and Finsbury Park and Archway to the south and Highgate to the west, which is where some of the most sought-after properties in North London are located.

 

Greenwich Park view towards Canary Wharf

South of the River Thames

The River Thames divides Greater London into two parts. The southern part includes the historic central areas of Southwark, Lambeth and Bankside, while other desirable areas such as Borough, Bermondsey and Shad Thames, are growing ever more popular with homebuyers and renters due to their proximity to the City, reasonably priced homes and superb transport links to other parts of London.

Aside from the London Underground network and various bus routes, South London has a more extensive suburban railway system than north London.

Despite the fragile state of the economy and recent recession, South London property market prices have remained stable since spring 2009 when the banking crisis triggered a global economic collapse, with prices actually booming in some districts of this part of the capital.

Yet, most property experts predict that South London property prices and rents will increase further over the next few years, supported by major regeneration schemes, including Crossrail and the renewal of Nine Elms.

Wherever you choose to buy property in London, whether it’s north or  south of the river, values will almost certainly surge, as will rents, over the next five years or so due to the ‘bulletproof’ Central London Prime property market, driven by overseas investment, which is still growing despite the economic turmoil elsewhere in the country.

Historically in London, residential property prices demonstrate a distinct spatial pattern over time, appreciating initially in a cyclical upswing in central London, then wider north and South London, before eventually spreading out over the rest of the city. This is known as the ripple effect, and it looks as if history is going to repeat itself, with values and rents in London set to strengthen further.

 

The Property Ombudsman