Islington is a hotspot for City workers and young professionals who are seeking more space than a Square Mile crash pad without the hassle of a long commute.
The borough of Islington covers six square miles of north London, although the neighbourhood of Islington is commonly referred to as taking in Angel as well as Canonbury and Barnsbury, with Highbury to the north west.
Highbury & Islington station is a bustling transport hub, served by London Overground's East and North London lines, the Northern City Line rail route - which runs from Moorgate to Finsbury Park - and Victoria line Tube services. Nearby, Angel Tube station is on the Bank branch of the Northern line.
Crowds spill out onto the pavements of the trendy bars along Upper Street throughout summer, and this popular shopping street also has a good mix of independent boutiques and high street stores. "Islington is a vibrant area with lively cafés, bars and bistros that residents love," says local estate agent Tony Steer of Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward.
And tucked away from the main hubs among tree-lined streets are some of the capital’s most elegant Georgian squares, fine Victorian houses, smart Georgian terraces and modern waterside developments.
What properties are typical to the area?
As Islington has such a diverse mix of architecture, it is common for many streets to have period homes sitting alongside council housing estates, although the area is known for it's picture-perfect Georgian terraces, Victorian homes and converted flats. Canonbury is characterised by semi-detached Georgian homes and Victorian houses, while Barnsbury has elegant garden squares and smart terraces. Highbury is dominated by Victorian conversions and Angel has modern developments and large warehouse conversions.
Who is buying here?
City workers, lawyers, politicians and young professionals. Recently there has also been an increase of cash buyers in their fifties seeking rental properties in order to achieve good investment returns.
Recent property-related trends?
Like many parts of the capital, Islington has seen an increase in prices caused by a lack of housing stock on the market. There are strict building regulations in the area making conversions and extensions rare, however there are more homeowners converting lofts and extending to the rear of their properties. With the high costs of buying, moving and stamp duty, many families are choosing to stay and adapt their homes to grow with them and their needs.
Where are the 'hottest' properties?
The whole area behind Angel station is popular, in particular roads such as Duncan Terrace, Duncan Street and Colebrooke Row, which are just moments from the shops, bars and restaurants of Upper Street.
The Barnsbury conservation area, taking in Richmond Avenue and Richmond Crescent, is sought after, as well as Belitha Villas and Lonsdale Square. In Canonbury, the big Victorian semi-detached houses near the river in the Alwyne Roads are the most popular.
Where are the 'hidden gems'?
Islington has some of the capital’s most beautiful Georgian garden squares which are hidden gems but properties are in high demand. Investment buyers tend to look for ex-local authority flats, such as those found just off Pentonville Road (right) that will provide a good monthly return.
What are the best investment opportunities in the area?
Rental homes within a 10-minute walk of either Highbury & Islington or Angel Tube station are good investments. Cash investors tend to prefer flats within period conversions as the service charges aren’t as high as purpose-built flats.
How is local parking?
There are strict resident parking permits with an annual cost of £95, while business parking permits cost £1,000 a year.
Average service charges?
The average service charge for conversion properties in Islington is about £800 a year. Purpose-built flats can cost about £2,000 per annum.
Where would your dream home be in this area?
The Alwyne Roads in Canonbury - they are tucked away with no traffic congestion.
Tony Steer is the Sales Manager of Kinleigh, Folkward & Hayward in Islington
Click here for Melanie Backe-Hanson's blog on the history of Islington.