Flanked by the famously fashionable neighbourhoods of Notting Hill, Holland Park and Maida Vale, North Kensington has long been one of west London’s more unassuming neighbourhoods. But perhaps that is about to change.
© Barry Phillips
Recent regeneration has begun to transform North Kensington into the sort of London “quarter” that appeals to young homebuyers who seek funky flats virtually on top of trendy boutiques and pleasant little cafés.
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Meanwhile, families are seeking out its large stock of Edwardian and Victorian houses within the St Quintin conservation area - many of them set on attractive tree-lined streets. Recent buyers have included a generous proportion of media types, politicians and shrewd international investors.
Local estate agent Matt Biggadike of Marsh & Parsons has worked in this area for more than 12 years. He describes North Kensington as a residential area of contrasts, “with some vibrant and urban areas jostling with leafy residential streets. The area is largely defined by the eclectic Portobello and Golborne Road markets, intersecting with the A40 Westway running overhead.”
Ladbroke Grove is the area’s main transport hub, with Tube services via the Hammersmith & City line and frequent buses to the West End and south-west London.
Which properties are typical to the area?
Two- to four-storey Victorian and Edwardian terraces dominate much of the area; many of the larger houses have been converted into flats. The renowned, listed 31-storey Trellick Tower on Golborne Road is visible over much of West London.
Who is buying here?
Young professionals, growing families, media types, City workers, and some very successful politicians all live here. Europeans are also attracted to this area, particularly Italian and French buyers.
Where are the 'hottest' properties?
The family houses in the St Quintin conservation area are sought after. This takes in St Quintin Avenue, Wallingford Avenue, Kingsbridge Road (where David Cameron used to live), Highlever Road and the top half of Oxford Gardens.
There are also some impressive lateral conversions in Oxford Gardens and Bassett Road, as well as the occasional double-fronted trophy house. There is a good range of funky flats above shops in Portobello and Golborne Roads that are also popular.
Where are the 'hidden gems'?
The spacious flats and maisonettes in St Charles Square and Chesterton Road offer great value compared to similar properties in Notting Hill Gate. Also, there are charming Victorian cottages in the Queens Park conservation area just to the north of Ladbroke Grove.
What are the best investment opportunities?
Major regeneration and gentrification around Mornington Green, Golborne Road and the northern section of Portobello Road mean this is a good pocket to invest in. New shops and restaurant chains are adding to the fashionable vibe in the area.
How is local parking?
The coveted Kensington & Chelsea parking permit covers the whole borough and it’s generally easy to park.
What are service charges in the area like?
Service charges are very reasonable and can range from £1,000-£2,000 a year, however there are very few portered blocks in North Kensington.
What are your favourite viewings to show potential buyers?
The funky flats that are found around Portobello Road.
If money were no object, where would you buy in this area?
To really show off it would have to be a Victorian villa on Oxford Gardens or Basset Road.
Matt Biggadike is the Associate Director and Sales Manager of Marsh and Parsons in North Kensington