Known as the Beverly Hills of London, Totteridge has an elevated position high on a hill and many big houses with celebrity owners. But that’s were the comparison begins to drift.
The residents of this north London suburb are less A-list stars of the silver screen and more football stars: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and the club’s former vice-chairman David Dein, along with ex-Spurs player and Newcastle boss Joe Kinnear, have all lived in the area, which has a unique ambience — though little in the way of nightlife.
On the cusp of the green belt, though still in Zone 4, Totteridge is perfect for those who would really rather live in the country. Weekends can be spent rambling on Totteridge Common, turning out for Totteridge Millhillians Cricket Club, golfing at one of the local clubs, and finishing off with a pint at The Orange Tree, probably London’s prettiest “country pub”.
All this leafy splendour doesn’t come cheap. The mansions lining Totteridge Lane, with their picket fences and electric gates, can change hands for tens of millions. But if you want a Totteridge-Whetstone address on a first-time buyer budget, housing association Network Homes has flats in its latest development, Northway House, starting at just a fraction over £90,000.
Northway House was a Seventies office block, but Network Homes has been able to convert it into flats by taking advantage of newly relaxed planning rules on changing commercial buildings to residential.
The bad news is that, from the outside, the building is unmistakably corporate — grey and boxy. But inside the open-plan flats, which each have a balcony or terrace, are light, bright and overlook a landscaped courtyard.
A 25 per cent share of a one-bedroom flat starts at £90,625 and buyers will need to budget £623 a month for rent, £86 for service charge, and £454 in mortgage costs, bringing the monthly total to £1,163.
A quarter share of a two-bedroom flat starts at £120,625, and the monthly cost will be £829 in rent, £106.52 for service charge and about £604 in mortgage payments, totalling £1,540. Three-bedroom homes are priced at £155,625 for a 25 per cent share. Monthly costs total £1,984.
Northway House is technically in Totteridge but given its price point it is not right in the heart of Totteridge Village. Instead it is in an arguably more convenient location at the head of the High Road and around the corner from Totteridge & Whetstone Tube, on the Northern line in Zone 4.
As for that local nightlife, the wildest it gets in these genteel streets is a few drinks at The Griffin or in one of the area’s smart gastropubs. There are some quality neighbourhood restaurants, a Waitrose — obviously — and a disproportionate number of boutiques to tempt the local ladies who lunch.
“We are excited for our buyers to experience the unique lifestyle offering in Totteridge and Whetstone, with excellent urban-style living and transport links complemented by an abundance of charming green spaces,” says Vicky Savage, executive director of development at Network Homes. “The well-designed apartments are sleek, with a good spec, representing excellent value for money.”
WHAT ELSE CAN I BUY?
This is a low-key kind of location, so average property prices in the last six months have seen an unshowy 2.4 per cent increase, from £789,954 to £809,500, according to Rightmove.
The N20 postcode offers a wide range of home styles. At the top of the ladder, the big detached houses in Totteridge Village run into seven figures. Real Estates is selling a splendid double-fronted Georgian house with six bedrooms for £3,750,000.
More realistically for a first-time buyer, two-bedroom cottages around the High Road cost £450,000-£500,000. Maunder Taylor estate agents has a house handy for Tube and shops, on the market for £475,000.
A two-bedroom flat will set you back between £350,000 and £400,000, and there is a choice of period conversions or purpose-built homes, including a modern apartment with private balcony in a gated development, listed with Rash & Rash estate agents for £380,000. This two double-bedroom home in Fitzwilliam Close is smart and roomy. One-bedroom flats in Totteridge start at about £250,000.