Paddington is one of the fastest growing residential hotspots in the capital. With a new Crossrail station on the way, Notting Hill and Bayswater on its doorstep and the West End within strolling distance, this well-connected suburb is attracting homebuyers and investors from across the globe.
Spacious maisonettes and apartments within grand white stucco-fronted buildings overlook garden squares, while a modern residential quarter at Paddington Basin offers good-value flats and penthouses overlooking offices, shops and a busy waterway below.
Chris Shaw of Hamptons International has worked in this area for eight years and says Paddington is more popular with homebuyers than ever, with property prices increasing by about 10-15 per cent in the past 12 months.
He says: "More and more people are looking in this area who previously might have only considered Notting Hill or Kensington. Paddington is central and conveniently located for transport links and many central London attractions, such as Hyde Park and Oxford Street."
Paddington is already a swift commute from Heathrow Airport. And a new Crossrail station, due to open by 2018, will make this area even more accessible, connecting Paddington to the east London hubs of Canary Wharf and Stratford. Buyers are already taking this into consideration when investing in this part of central London.
What properties are typical to the area?
Grade II-listed, five-storey town houses and large, spacious apartments located within grand, stucco-fronted buildings overlooking garden squares. Paddington Basin is a modern residential quarter created over the past 12 years with contemporary apartments and penthouses.
Who is buying here?
Recently demand has been fuelled by overseas investors, mainly from the Middle East, Far East and Russia, or those who are based abroad but looking for a central London second home. International demand can be attributed to the ongoing new-build waterside developments offering modern living and 24-hour concierge and parking - all of which are important to the overseas market.
Buyers from Europe, in particular Italians and Greeks, have also been drawn to the W2 area as it still represents good value for money compared to neighbouring Notting Hill, Kensington and Chelsea.
City workers also buy here as Lancaster Gate Tube station is so close. And homebuyers based in the country who work in London during the week, or need easy access to the Eurostar, are also significant investors in Paddington.
What are the 'hottest' properties?
Houses on Connaught Square or on roads bordering Hyde Park, such as Albion Street. Apartments within the Hyde Park Estate are also popular, on streets such as Hyde Park Gardens, Hyde Park Square and Gloucester Square.
Further west, Lancaster Gate, Craven Hill Gardens, Queens Gardens and Cleveland Square are extremely desirable. In particular, any raised ground-floor and first-floor apartments that benefit from grand reception rooms with wonderful ceiling heights.
Where are the 'hidden gems'?
Due to the desirability of the area it would seem that all of the 'hidden gems' have been unearthed. However, Paddington still represents good value for money compared to other parts of prime central London. As an alternative to Paddington Basin, buyers could consider developments north of Connaught Village, such as Water Gardens and The Quadrangle, which are nearby.
What are the best investment opportunities?
Apartments at Paddington Basin have always proved to be excellent investment opportunities. They offer excellent capital growth, good yields and almost no void periods due to high demand from tenants.
How is local parking?
Good, certainly a lot easier to get a space then in most parts of Kensington and Chelsea.
What are service charges in the area like?
On average between £2,500 and £5,000 a year.
Where would your dream home be in this area?
A first floor apartment on Hyde Park Gardens.
Chris Shaw is the sales manager at Hamptons International in Paddington and Bayswater
All properties available at time of publication