Londoners are flocking to Hampton Court Palace this week for the world’s largest annual flower show, held in an unrivalled setting beside the Thames at Richmond.
This green south-west corner of our city is known for its grand riverside mansions, landscaped open spaces, woodlands and the famous deer park. It can all seem worlds away from the bustle of central London, yet this leafy neighbourhood is only 15 minutes by fast trains from Waterloo.
'Recently we have seen an influx of people from central London attracted by the good value that Richmond offers'
Good schools, a village atmosphere and smart riverside restaurants all help to attract homebuyers in search of a taste of rural living so surprisingly close to the capital’s action.
Catherine Merrett, sales manager at Antony Robert's Richmond office, describes Richmond Hill as "rising magnificently from the town centre where atop it meets Richmond Park to the south." The areas of St Margarets, Kew and East Sheen are immediate neighbours.
"Although Richmond's town centre is hectic, there is a relaxed ‘villagey’ atmosphere, particularly around Richmond Green, on Richmond Hill and around the Old Deer Park area. Local cafes and restaurants are popular with residents and visitors alike," says Merrett.
Insider lowdown: Catherine Merrett and David Reed (Head of Lettings) at Antony Roberts
What types of properties are typical to Richmond?
Richmond has a mix of stunning modern homes and a rich heritage of classical property. There are large semi-detached Victorian houses near Richmond Hill, Thirties semi-detached houses in the ladder of roads between Tangier Road and Upper Richmond Road, cottages in 'The Alberts' area, one-bedroom flats and 2-bedroom/flats,two-bedroom flats near the station, and "lock-up-and-leave" flats in the popular Richmond Bridge development.
Palladian-style two-bedroom houses can be found in Shaftesbury Road and Evelyn Roads. Richmond Green is known for its huge, detached houses - an area which also offers a stunning panoramic glimpse of architectural styles throughout the ages.
What different types of buyers are attracted to the area?
There is no typical buyer as Richmond has many attractive qualities. Young professionals are attracted by the great transport links to central London, families because of the fantastic schools, and long-standing residents downsize but stay within the area. Recently we have seen an influx of people from central London attracted by the better value for money Richmond offers.
Where are the 'hottest' properties?
Commanding family homes on Richmond Hill remain ever-popular. These can range from classical stucco-fronted Victorian residences to ‘between the wars’ houses such as in Queens Crescent (right).
‘The Alberts’, an area of artisan Victorian cottages on the lower slopes of Richmond Hill, is particularly popular with young executives and couples seeking charm and outside space moments from the station and town centre.
For those looking for a south-west London base, the Richmond Bridge development provides spacious apartments within a secure setting.
Where are the 'hidden gems’?
The ‘Old Deer Park’ area and adjacent Beaumont, Selwyn and Pagoda Avenues offer beautiful period family houses in an excellent location close to Richmond station, with Kew also close by. The improving amenities of Kew Road and the proposed redevelopment of Richmond station should bolster the long-term potential of this area.
What are the best investment opportunities in the area?
Richmond's impressive schools and quick transport links to the City attract executive tenants from around the world, providing excellent opportunities for investors.
Tenant demand is highest for quality apartments and spacious family homes in streets such as Larkfield Road, St John’s Road, The Alberts area, The Vineyard and Church Road. The shortage of rental supply is helping landlords minimise void periods and achieve the highest rental levels possible.
How is local parking?
Resident parking permits apply to the area in general and sub-areas in particular. Richmond Council charge rates according to the CO2 emissions. Residents may be happy not to have a car as evidence from our sale of the apartments at the Café Matthias on the Kew Road may suggest. Here, the Council did not grant purchasers any rights to obtain resident permits but this did not deter buyers.
What are service charges in the area like?
Very reasonable compared to purpose-built blocks in Central London. Charges in apartment buildings range from £1,000 up to £2,000, although in a conversion fees aren't as high. Some of the portered blocks with lifts on Richmond Hill attract higher charges.
What are your favourite viewings to show prospective buyers/tenants?
The spectrum of the properties - having so much variety makes viewings exciting.
If money were no object, where would you buy in Richmond?
One of the historic residences of Richmond Green or a commanding home on Richmond Hill.
Catherine Merrett is the Sales Manager at Antony Robert's in Richmond. David Reed is Head of Lettings