Maida Vale has it all: magnificent stucco villas and spacious mansion flats all set on wide, tree-lined streets and studded with secret communal gardens for the exclusive use of residents.
With luxury waterside homes competing for your attention with the pretty houseboats dotted along the canals of Little Venice, there are enchanting picture-postcard views at every turn.
'Maida Vale is a 'cash rich’ area where 30 per cent of our sales are to cash buyers, free of any mortgage'
It's no wonder this neighbourhood attracts big-name homebuyers, from musicians Paul Weller and Noel Gallagher to television’s queen of retail Mary Portas.
Natasha Greenwood of Marsh and Parsons has worked in this area for over five years, and says: “Little Venice is one of London's prime residential areas. It is a hidden gem with a fantastic local community - the perfect picturesque waterside village.”
She describes Maida Vale as central west London; it's close to the vast open green spaces of Regent’s Park and Paddington Basin, with Notting Hill in the south, St Johns Wood to the east and Kilburn in the west. Little Venice is the name given to the residential area surrounding the junction of the Regent's Canal and the Grand Junction Canal and forms just a small part of Maida Vale.
The lowdown: Natasha Greenwood, Marsh and Parsons
What types of properties are typical to this area?
Maida Vale is renowned for its handsome red-brick mansion blocks from the late-Victorian and Edwardian eras. Many overlook stunning communal gardens with superb lateral living spaces and are great value for money. There are beautiful, period family homes along Clifton Villas, Clifton Gardens and Biddolph Road but these rarely come onto the market.
Who is buying here?
Little Venice has an eclectic mix of residents ranging from “yummy mummys” to young professionals and foreign buyers, all attracted to the area because of the fantastic transport links into the City.
There are great local schools too, including St Joseph's Primary School and the American school in St John's Wood, favoured by those who are making an international move to London. This is a 'cash rich’ area where 30 per cent of our sales are to cash buyers, free of any mortgage.
Once people move to this area they try to stay here. A few people have been pushed out due to high property prices - for example, owners of two-bedroom flats looking to upsize after having children have had to move to nearby Queen's Park to afford a house. Many owners also downsize to stay in Maida Vale.
Where are the 'hottest' properties?
Properties on wide tree-lined avenues with use of communal gardens or along the canal demand the highest premiums in the area. Randolph Crescent is our hottest address at the moment, along with Clifton Gardens and Blomfield Road - all of which come with access to gardens.
Where are the "hidden gems"?
I'm a huge fan of Pindock Mews as it’s tucked away on a quiet cobbled mews in the heart of Little Venice. But you pay a price to live there - we’re currently selling a three-bedroom house for £2.795million!
An area earmarked for long-term growth is Maida Hill. Roads such as Saltram Crescent are becoming more and more popular and properties here are quite affordable in comparison with prime Little Venice.
What are the best investment opportunities?
Again, Maida Hill is a great location to invest in; you can buy property cheaply and it rents well. Maida Hill is the middle ground between Little Venice and Notting Hill and would offer a rental yield of between four and five per cent, making a great medium- to long-term investment. A two-bedroom flat in Saltram Crescent, Maida Hill, is currently for sale for £359,950 (left).
Buyers looking for five- to ten-year investments should also look at mansion blocks in the area, for example Ashworth or Leith Mansions - both are a short walk to the tube and have good two- and three-bedroom apartments.
How is local parking?
Westminster is actually very reasonable and offers, conveniently, pay-by-phone parking. The great benefit of Little Venice is there are no parking restrictions at the weekend which is perfect for people who want to take advantage of the fantastic local cafés and restaurants along the canal.
What are the service charges in the area like?
Service charges can vary a lot. Many of the period conversions have a ‘share of the freehold’ and are very well run with reasonable outgoings. Some of the mansion blocks charge a higher premium for having a lift, porter or communal gardens.
What are your favourite viewings to show potential buyers?
Anything overlooking the canal - the views are breathtaking and you forget that you’re so close to one of the world’s most vibrant cities.
Where would you buy in the area?
I have so many favourite streets for different reasons; my favourite at the moment has to be Randolph Crescent because the gardens are at their best at this time of year.
Natasha Greenwood is the sales manager at Marsh and Parsons' Little Venice office.