Map your house hunting future: new homes hotspots along the Hammersmith & City Tube line
In part seven of our series finding hot homes on London's Tube network, we take the Hammersmith & City line - the route that runs from Hammersmith to Barking, skirting the capital's prime core.
Launching in May 2014: new flats and houses at St Peter's Place, W6 (020 3667 5113), just moments from St Peter's Square, one of Hammersmith's most coveted addresses.
The Hammersmith & City line came into its own in 1990, when it first appeared on the Tube map. Before that it was part of London’s oldest underground railway service, the Metropolitan, which dates back to 1863 and originally ran from Farringdon to Paddington.
Victorian business tycoons spotted the value of commuter trains serving the emerging suburbs of Shepherd’s Bush and Hammersmith and extended the track west. For the same reason, the line was pushed east to Barking during the interwar period.
The east-west route skirts round rather than cuts through the heart of central London - Mayfair and the West End - partly due to the protests of powerful 19th-century landowners. Then, as now, most Londoners had no alternative but to search for more affordable homes beyond the capital’s core area. Today, property values along the route are what Savills calls “attainable”.
All stations west of Paddington are in Zone 2, while going east from Barking in Zone 4.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICES ALONG THE HAMMERSMITH & CITY LINE
Exclusive research for Homes & Property by Savills
HAMMERSMITH GETS A FACELIFT
While Hammersmith is at the end of the line, the area is about as close-in as you get in west London, with a good range of flats and family houses, and a lively arts and entertainment scene that gives Theatreland a run for its money..
St Peter’s Square is one of the area’s most coveted addresses, with a collection of grand, stucco-fronted houses dating back to the 1820s alongside an imposing domed church and listed public gardens. Crest Nicholson has acquired a rare plot moments from the square to create Georgian-style flats and townhouses at St Peter’s Place, launching at the end of this month. Call 020 3667 5113.
From £730,000: two-bedroom flats at Ashlar Court, refurbished Art Deco former nurses' accommodation near Ravenscourt Gardens, Hammersmith
The west side of Ravenscourt Park is a leafy conservation area with pockets of charming Regency and Victorian villas and terraces plus a pretty square that opens on to the park. Listed Ashlar Court, formerly nurses’ accommodation, is being refurbished into 68 homes. A rooftop extension maintains the Art Deco building’s fine symmetry, while an underground car park and a formal garden are being created behind the lodge-style concierge entrance. Prices start at £730,000 for two-bedroom flats. Call 0844 644 1582.
In King Street, Hammersmith’s high street, a multistorey car park is being transformed into Sovereign Court, offering 418 homes plus offices, shops and restaurants just 160 yards from the Tube station. From £964,950. Call St George on 0800 008 6977.
From £964,950: two-bedroom apartments at Sovereign Court, Hammersmith
THE WESTFIELD EFFECT
Planners are keen to revive Uxbridge and Goldhawk Roads, the two main drags sandwiching the Shepherd’s Bush heartland, with new pavements, shop frontages and cultural attractions. The giant Westfield mall has had a big impact on Shepherd’s Bush and led to small independent shops opening, such as Ginger Pig on Askew Road, the quality butchers with other branches in Marylebone and Borough.
Check out Brackenbury Village, which since the Nineties has moved from up-and-coming to fashionable, boasting just about affordable - if small - family houses, a well-regarded local primary school, a park, smart restaurants and gastropubs.
From the new station at Wood Lane, the line swings round to Paddington via Ladbroke Grove, where a rare new-build scheme of scale on the border with Notting Hill is under way. Prices from £565,000. Call 020 3053 0734.
From £1.65 million: for luxury apartments at Westbourne Gardens, Porchester Road, W2
Westbourne Park, north of Bayswater and up towards the motorway and Harrow Road, stands out as lower priced. One Westbourne Gardens is a scheme of nine apartments along from listed Porchester Hall. Prices from £1.65 million. Call Hamptons International on 020 7034 0404.
When Crossrail is up and running in 2018, the Hammersmith & City line will connect with major stations at Paddington, Farringdon and Liverpool Street. Property prices around these interchanges have jumped and are expected to rise more because the stations will be hubs for big business, too.
Aldgate East is less “City fringe” than it used to be, due to mega developments that are blurring the border with the Square Mile. One of these is Goodman’s Fields (pictured left), where a gated seven-acre business estate has been opened up as a new “urban quarter” with a mix of homes, shops, restaurants, a public park and plaza. Prices from £672,500. Call Berkeley Homes on 020 3217 1000.
Penthouses at One Commercial Street, a 21-storey tower above Aldgate East station, go on sale later this month. Call DTZ on 020 3296 3837. Whitechapel is not as rough or dangerous as is popularly believed, and it is relatively cheap for an area on the cusp of Zone 1. Change is afoot, with council estate regeneration and flats above shops being brought back into use. Brick Lane’s curry restaurants are giving way to designer boutiques and galleries, while the wider area is becoming an extension of trendy Spitalfields.
Budget buyers are advised to head further east, past Bow, to what might be called the “outer East End”. History casts a long shadow. Over a quarter of Newham’s houses were destroyed in the Blitz but the area is rising again on the back of Olympic Park regeneration and is a legacy benefits winner. Most parts seem affordable to anyone from west London, but are not as bargain-basement as they were.
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