The Easter home hunt: London's latest show flats open to home buyers

The slowdown that first hit high-priced homes is spreading. It’s a buyers’ market, and the Easter parade of show homes proves it.

The slowdown in house prices means it will be a buyers’ market this Easter. Developers, tempting us with an Easter parade of show homes, will be open to serious offers. 

With such a wide selection of schemes to view, why not combine hard-nosed house hunting with a spot of sightseeing and retail therapy?


With its “string of pearls” of riverside attractions, Southwark is a good place to start. Head for County Hall, where the office of former mayor Ken Livingstone is part of a marketing suite for Thirty Casson Square at the Southbank Place development, named after Sir Hugh Casson, the late director of architecture for the 1951 Festival of Britain.

Prices from £750,000. This highbrow cultural quarter now includes family attractions such as Shrek’s Adventure and the London Eye.

Borough Market

Stroll past Tate Modern towards Borough Market to find a show home centre for three SE1 schemes by developer Crest. These include Valentine Place — 42 flats and mews houses near the Old Vic theatre, from £735,000, and Snowsfields Yard, 28 flats in the shadow of The Shard, from £765,000.

From £695,000: show apartments in The Stage development have been designed by award-winning Nicola Fontanella


The City

Cross London Bridge into the City to visit The Stage, a 412-home development on land where Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Henry V were first performed. 

Archaeological remains of the original stage will be encased in glass as part of a new heritage centre that includes a 200-seat sunken amphitheatre. Show flats designed by award-winning Nicola Fontanella have been created in refurbished railway arches on the 1.2-acre site. From £695,000.

Finsbury Park

Builders are pushing the boundaries of design and architecture, some collaborating with luxury brands, others focusing on high street chains and specialist local shops to offer flats where first-time buyers can afford to “get the look”.

Furnishing store Heal’s has designed Scandi-style show homes at Woodberry Down, Finsbury Park, where new flats, from £465,000, overlook two reservoirs with a busy sailing club and a nature trail. Call 020 8895 9918.

From £690,000: the new 528-home neighbourhood of St John's Way is opposite Clapham Juction train station


St John’s Way is a new 528-home neighbourhood opposite Clapham Junction train station where Peabody, the developer, is creating a new route through to Wandsworth Common.

Art and architecture come together with relief sculptures depicting the history of the area embedded into the brick façades. Prices start from £690,000. Call 020 3151 4867.

Pick of the show homes: under £750,000

Islington Square, on the site of the former Royal Mail depot, is a new quarter for fashionable Upper Street.

It has a grand double-arched entrance and listed Edwardian warehouses. A new shopping arcade and civic square are being created as well as 263 homes plus an acre of green rooftop space. Call 020 772 6733.

Under £1 million

Reach Sundridge Park in the Bromley suburbs by a leafy road running alongside a golf course leading to a listed Nash mansion.

New homes are being built in the grounds of the 275-acre estate — flats, plus three-storey townhouses that have an open-plan kitchen and family room opening on to a neat garden, and a first-floor lounge with sun terrace. Call 020 8313 9163.


From £675,000:  the Keybridge Lofts development is set within one acre of landscaped open space


Under £1.5 million

The Villas is a scheme of eight freehold houses at a former builder’s yard off Harrow Road in north-west London. The bespoke entrance gates made of polished brass herald the high-quality architecture of handsome Danish brick frontages with floor-to-ceiling glass and designer interiors, in a landscaped courtyard.

Aimed at design-conscious urbanites, the three-bedroom houses have underfloor and solar heating plus a clean-air ventilation system and a basement with an “engine room” that usefully doubles as a utility area.

Each house is cabled for CCTV and entertainment systems, and has a terrace and private parking. Call Aston Chase on 020 7724 4724.

Under £2 million

190 Strand is the first purpose-built housing scheme in this part of central London for more than 100 years. GRID Architects took their cue from the many classical buildings that surround the site and came up with a façade of Portland Stone and mansard roofs with decorative metalwork filigree panels, tying in with the Beaux Arts and Victorian English Baroque buildings in Aldwych and Kingsway.

A ground-floor colonnade with shops runs towards Temple Gardens next to the river. The apartments’ interior design is inspired by the grand Savoy hotel nearby — bold and classic, with coffered ceilings, bespoke joinery and extravagant finishes of marble and polished nickel. 

As well as underground parking and a grand staffed entrance lobby, there are basement storage rooms — these are big, walk-in spaces — plus a package of amenities from spa to private cinema and virtual golf. Call 020 3051 1022.


From £725,000: sliding “pocket” doors, hall cupboards and window bench seats in bedrooms make the most of space at Blake Tower


Designer homes

Developers are bringing in interior architects at an early stage to devise flexible floor plans and storage solutions. One result is “Manhattan-style” homes, where you step straight into the main living space. Sprinkler systems cut the need for fire doors.

In high-rise flats with floor-to-ceiling windows, such a floorplan accentuates the sense of space and light, and the views. See the impact at Keybridge Lofts, Vauxhall, the UK’s tallest brick tower. From £675,000. Call 020 7205 4152.

Dukelease opts for a “broken plan” layout at Artisan, using sliding walls and screens to provide flexible space. A curving oak-and-glass staircase is a standout feature. From £1 million. Call CBRE on 020 7420 3050.

Bling interiors are making way for comfort, using glass, stone, stainless steel, leather, laminates, wood and concrete. At Blake Tower, Barbican, Conran-designed flats have a concrete feature wall and Sixties-style brass and terrazzo fittings and fixtures. Sliding “pocket” doors, hall cupboards and window bench seats in bedrooms make the most of space. Prices from £725,000. Call Redrow on 020 3538 3719.

Other developers are taking inspiration from context and character of the location. At Camden Courtyards, a former optical works in St Pancras Way, 164 new homes are being built. Clad in patterned brick and with a striking rusty Corten steel two-storey roof extension, the architecture picks up on the site’s industrial heritage.

The innovative S-shaped building allows for two tranquil internal courtyards and communal roof terraces. Prices from £610,000. Call Barratt on 0844 2250032.

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