Fashionable housing schemes in the Islington heartland either side of Upper Street are sprouting like spring daffodils. Developments include a "21st-century version of the Victorian mansion block" and a new terrace of flats in a Georgian garden square.
Also for sale are new canalside lofts, modern town houses, homes in the Highbury Fields conservation area and boutique apartments right next to the Screen on the Green cinema.
In tandem with this crop of new homes, regeneration of a hidden canal basin behind Angel Tube station is opening up a new residential quarter.
Young City professionals are the mainstay of this emerging district, says Carl Schmid of estate agent Fyfe McDade."They like the cool apartment buildings and being able to walk to work. And prices are a little cheaper because the area is in transition."
Highbury Gardens, the new mansion flat development, is being built on the site of the former Mann & Overton black taxi showroom by Highbury Corner. Designed along traditional lines by Porphyrios Associates, preferred architects of the Prince's Foundation, the blocks have Mansard roofs and an eco-twist in the form of solar thermal panels, whole-house ventilation and a remote system for monitoring heating and water bills. Apartments (119 in total) overlook a large inner courtyard garden, which resembles a secluded private square. Prices start at £320,000. Call Savills on 020 7409 8756.
Nearby, a Victorian children's home alongside leafy Highbury Fields is being redeveloped into 143 homes, including 18 modern town houses, a property type that always strikes a chord with Islington fashionistas.
Newly created public space will have a nursery and community facilities. Called Highbury Park, prices start at £310,000; houses from £1.1 million. Call Thomson Currie on 020 7354 5224. Up the road is gentrified Highbury Barn, a neighbourhood hub with gourmet retailers such as Le Fromagerie cheese shop.
Islington Green is the heart of the Upper Street action, with the cinema a main attraction. Here, 13 smart apartments have been squeezed on to a small site at Providence Place. Prices from £395,000 (the penthouse is £1.1 million). Finishes include walnut floor, high-gloss kitchens with granite worktops, underfloor heating and timber-decked terraces. Call Fyfe McDade on 020 7613 4044.
Located on the Highbury/Holloway border, not far from Arsenal's Emirates stadium, Islington Central does not quite live up to its name but is a stylish residential complex of loftstyle duplex apartments and newbuild houses. Prices from £500,000 to £1.475 million. Call Chesterton Humberts on 020 7288 0330.
At Compton Avenue, a 19th-century workshop has made way for a pair of modern new-build houses, priced £1.395 million and £1.795 million. Call 020 7288 0330.
A series of interconnecting low-rise apartment blocks has been built on the site of a former bus depot at Arundel Square. Apartments are reached via a new road, gated at each end, which runs across this new side of the square. The central garden area has been extended by a third and improved with landscaping. Prices from £285,000. Call 020 7288 0330.
One-off contemporary houses in the area include a superb 3,316sq ft property at Islington Place. It has a triple-height atrium, double-height open-plan living area, a roof garden with reflecting pool plus two glass-walled courtyards and off-street parking for four cars. Price: £2.75 million. Call 020 7549 0606.
City Road, which runs from Old Street roundabout to Angel, has become a development corridor. Nine-acre City Road Basin is part of a regeneration zone where a Little Venice-type community of small businesses and live/workers has formed. Islington council's masterplan aims to open up the basin and turn it into a mixed-use estate of 900 homes, offices, restaurants, bars, business barges, a hotel, civic space and moorings. The first homes are due to be released later this year.
The Factory and The Canal Building in Shepherdess Walk are two popular loft developments dating back 10 years, when property pioneers first settled in this area. A classic industrial-look loft - 1,560 sq ft with rubber flooring throughout - is selling for £1.05 million. Call Stirling Ackroyd on 020 7749 3838.