Share in the wealth of this millionaires’ hotspot: Ladbroke Grove’s shared-ownership homes for first-time buyers

The Grand Union Centre, a new development close to the Grand Union Canal, is offering first-time buyers the chance to join the rich and famous of Kensington and Chelsea.
With the average price of a home standing at £1.3 million in Kensington and Chelsea, you might think that all but the wealthiest of first-time buyers would be excluded from the royal borough.
 
However, a new development close to the Grand Union Canal in Ladbroke Grove — admittedly at the “cheaper” end of the borough — is offering a chunk of a starter home from just less than £126,000.

IMAGE GALLERY: LONDON'S NEW HOMES FOR FIRST-TIME BUYERS


The Grand Union Centre, in Ladbroke Grove, will launch this month. Housing association Affinity Sutton has 22 homes on offer, all featuring either a terrace or balcony.
 
The development, designed by the award-winning Allford Hall Monaghan Morris architects, is a 10-minute walk from Ladbroke Grove Tube station in Zone 2 and served by the Hammersmith and City and Circle lines.
 
It is also within walking distance of the cafés, restaurants, bars and stalls of Portobello Road and the pretty Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance Park.
 
“It has definitely got good potential for price growth,” says Gemma Wallace, senior sales manager at Affinity Sutton.
 
Prices at the Grand Union Centre start at £125,875 for a 25 per cent share of a one-bedroom flat with a full market value of £503,500. Two-bedroom properties start at £153,625 for a 25 per cent share of a home valued at £614,500.
 
In total, the site has 133 homes, and the development, which is by Taylor Wimpey, is due to be completed at the end of this year.
 
Priority will be given to those already living or working in the area.
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The Grand Union Centre: Ladbroke Grove Tube station in Zone 2 is a 10-minute walk from the development
 
On the downside, it is a car-free development and access to the communal garden, which many of the flats overlook, will be reserved for buyers of private flats on the site, which are being sold by John D Wood.
 
Buying agent Gilly Holloway, a partner at Heaton & Partners, and a former resident of the area, says: “Ladbroke Grove is a fantastic investment. Some of the streets in the area have really improved and attract the wealthy who can no longer afford Notting Hill.”
 
For example, the St Helens Café & Deli, that used to be on Portobello Road, has moved to St Helens Gardens - less than a mile away - to take advantage of cheaper rent, and others have followed. Ladbroke Grove will benefit from the touristification of the Notting Hill Gate end of Portobello Road.

  
Holloway says: “When the high street chains and trendy trainers brigade moved in to Notting Hill, a lot of the character and charm left. Thankfully, the shops they replaced are now moving to Ladbroke Grove.”
 
Her tip for the future? “I believe Ladbroke Grove will soon begin to become too expensive and the next place to watch will be up the Harrow Road towards Acton, where transport links are good and it is still affordable,” she adds.
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Millionaires’ playground: all but the wealthiest of first-time buyers are excluded from the Notting Hill end of Ladbroke Grove, where fine, stuccoed terrace houses sell for millions. Image: Alamy
 
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: LADBROKE GROVE W10-W11

Past: In 1837 Victorian entrepreneur John Whyte launched a horse racing track on what is now Ladbroke Grove. It did not prove popular and closed in 1842. I ts curves formed the basis for many of the area’s crescents, including Blenheim, Lansdowne and Elgin.
 
Future: Kensington and Chelsea council is lobbying for a Crossrail station for the area, just off Ladbroke Grove and Canal Way.
 
Trivial pursuit: Notorious serial killer John Christie murdered many of his victims in a squalid flat in Rillington Place during the Forties and Fifties. The address became so notorious the road was renamed Ruston Close.
 
What it costs: Average price in the area is a hefty £1.14 million, up 4.96 per cent in the last year according to Zoopla. Flats sell for an average £753,498. The average rent for a two-bedroom flat is £2,818pcm.
 
First-time buy: No such thing as a bargain buy in this neighbourhood, but you could opt for a well-designed one-bedroom flat in Ladbroke Grove itself, on the market for £450,000 with Fraser & Co. Visit homesandproperty.co.uk/lad.
 
Landmarks: Rosmead Garden, one of the area’s garden squares, where Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant hopped the fence in the movie Notting Hill.
 
Eat: A pan-global menu at the Dock Kitchen overlooking the Grand Union Canal.
 
Drink: At KPH, formerly the Kensington Park Hotel and recently taken over by the Mean Fiddler Group. Features live music and retro gaming rooms.
 
Buy: Fantastic homewares at Tom Dixon, Portobello Dock, if you can afford it.

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