Holland Park is home to open-air opera, exotic Japanese gardens and a famous orangery. It also has a cricket pitch, roaming peacocks and woodland reminiscent of deep countryside - all set in 54 acres at the centre of one of the capital’s most exclusive residential districts.
- © Alex Lentati
Homes near the park are loved by international buyers, ambassadors, bankers and the super-wealthy who enjoy living in spacious stucco houses that back on to secret communal gardens.
'Buyers invest in this part of London as they see it as a safe place to put their money'
This area has good transport links, with easy access to the A4 and M4 to Heathrow Airport, and the central line Tube network. Holland Park is in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in west London, bordering with the sought-after enclaves of Kensington and Notting Hill.
"There is a real cross over between Holland Park, Notting Hill and North Kensington, so my patch covers both the W10 and W11 postcodes," says local estate agent Rollo Miles, who has worked in the area for ten years. "People who want to move to Holland Park also want to be close to Notting Hill and the very good schools in the area. I often call my area 'Nappy Valley' due to the amount of young families you see walking about."
Property lowdown: Rollo Miles, Manager of John D Wood's Holland Park office
What types of properties are typical to the area?
This is a very wealthy part of London so I deal mostly with houses, particularly four-to-five bedroom townhouses, but there are also villa-style properties, as well as homes with access to communal gardens. There are some fantastic lateral apartments.
What types of buyers are attracted to the area?
I deal with lots of people who work in the City, as well as lawyers, doctors and other professionals.
We deal with a lot of young families and we are also experiencing a real influx of Europeans buyers who just love the feel of the area and the proximity to some great schools, including Norland Place, The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, Pembridge Hall and Notting Hill Prep. People who have a second home in the country like to live in west London for easy access to the A4 and M4.
What are the 'hottest' properties in the area?
Any homes that back on to communal gardens always command a premium; streets such as Lansdowne Road, Elgin Crescent, Stanley Gardens and St James’s Gardens are very sought after.
Where are the 'hidden gems'?
Roads like Holland Park and Abbotsbury Road because of their proximity to the park, but there are also some real gems like Norland Square which has fantastic communal gardens, or the cottage-style houses of Avondale Park gardens.
What are the investment opportunities in the area?
I think west London in general is a great investment. The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea has proved over time to be a safe area to invest in. Even in 2008 when other parts of London were experiencing real problems, this borough still traded and kept moving.
Property prices have increased so much over the last decade that there is a shortage of stock and a lot of people are renting. As we operate in a demand and surplus economy, the lack of stock on both markets mean that great prices are achieved for both.
European and Middle Eastern buyers invest in this part of London, considering it to be a safe place to put their money. Although the yield may not be as high for buy-to-let, there is still a perceived ‘safeness of investment’.
How is local parking?
If you live in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea you get the world-famous parking permit that enables you to park anywhere in the borough - once you have one you never want to leave the area.
What are service charges in the area like?
It really depends on the property; mansion blocks or apartment buildings with lifts always have higher service charges and as lots of the property here is either listed or in conservation areas, they have to be maintained and that does cost money. Service charges can range from £1,000-£2,000 a year and can go up to £2,500 a year depending on the building.
What are your favourite viewings to show potential buyers?
Many homes in Holland Park are very high end and have amazing art collections, Art Deco furniture and beautiful wooden floor boards. But the houses that have stuck in my mind the most are the rare, unmodernised properties whose owners have lived in the area since the Sixties, watched their home go up 100-fold in value and their interiors are very sweet and normal. You just know an investment banker will come along and totally transform it. I also love to show family houses - I like to find people homes.
If money were no object, where would you buy in this area?
I would love to have a house with access to communal gardens, but I personally love North Kensington, W10, which has a fantastic feel and is so close to Portobello Market. I would love to have a detached house on Bassett Road.
Rollo Miles is manager at John D Wood's Holland Park office