Westfield London is the retail icing on the cake for Shepherd’s Bush. The giant shopping centre has joined established organic cafés, smart gastro pubs and independent boutiques, all of which beat a pathway to W12 to provide services for its growing population of young professionals and families.
During the past couple of years, an increasing number of young families have been swapping cramped maisonettes in nearby Notting Hill for one of W12’s spacious late-Victorian townhouses.
Find properties to buy in Shepherd's Bush.
But, apart from good-value homes, newcomers to Shepherd’s Bush also discover a vibrant music and fringe-theatre scene, which give the area a distinctive cultural edge. And next year, the historic local market that runs between Uxbridge and Goldhawk Roads on the east side of the railway viaduct, is set to be remodelled on East London's famous Spitalfields Market.
Local estate agent Simon Waller, the sales manager at Winkworth, likens the Shepherd’s Bush of today to the more well-to-do neighbouring suburb of Notting Hill, as it was 15 years ago. He says: "This area is an interesting place that is very much on the cusp of change. It hasn’t lost it’s essential ‘London-ness’; it’s got enough of an edge but Westfield London showed people it was okay to invest here.”
Transport links are also a huge plus for this well-connected part of west London, with five Tube stations offering access to the Central, Hammersmith & City, and District lines.
What properties are typical to the area?
Shepherd’s Bush has a broad range of property, from grand late-Victorian villas – many retaining their original layout with some modifications – to flat conversions within large period buildings, as well as a handful of Art Deco buildings. The majority of architecture is Victorian and Edwardian.
Which buyers are attracted to the area?
Young, urban professionals getting on the ladder and, as mentioned previously, the new demographic are family homebuyers. Modern developments, such as Bromyard House, are attracting international buyers seeking investment properties or a pied-à-terre within a gated environment.
What are the 'hottest' properties in the area?
The area known as The Groves – taking in Ormiston, Oaklands and Adelaide Grove – is where the Edwardians originally built charming red-brick cottages that are now a collection of self-contained maisonettes and little houses, circa 1908, that are a big draw for young families. And nearby Galloway Road has always been popular. For big family houses, the most sought-after streets include Boscombe, Findum and Percy Roads, which all run off Uxbridge Road.
But at the moment it’s all about Loftus Road – home to the Queen’s Park Rangers and the Loftus Road Football Stadium. Homebuyers are now looking at this once unpopular residential area and realising that this tree-lined street with handsome Victorian homes is only busy with the football crowds for short periods every other Saturday – a small price to pay in exchange for living within a short distance to the convenient transport links of central Shepherd’s Bush.
Where are the 'hidden gems'?
Another new buzz area that is popular with high-profile residents, from politicians to well-known actors, takes in Aldbourne, Wormholt and Sedgeford Roads, each offering homes in smart Edwardian buildings with gardens up to 60ft long.
Wendell Park is an area where buyers can get a bit more for their money as it's a bit further away from transport links. Referred to locally as “Nappy Valley” thanks to the growing number of young families buying here, the area is fed by Askew Road, which has been undergoing something of a quiet revolution over the past few months. According to Waller, “this area is on the cusp of tipping, you only have to walk about to see the evidence. A new Tesco supermarket has led to the opening of a Sainsbury’s, as well as a branch of the well-regarded butchers, deli and eatery chain, The Ginger Pig.”
What are the best investment opportunities?
The gated and secure new-build apartments at Bromyard House on the edge of Acton make perfect sense to investors. Our lettings department let around 30-40 properties in this block. Many international investors like this development as they prefer modern blocks to our period homes, so this creates a buoyant market.
How is local parking?
Parking is very civilised as residents’ parking operates from 9am until 5pm. And apart from roads really close to Westfield there are no parking restrictions on a Saturday.
What are service charges in the area like?
Fees can be anything up to £1,200 a year for a Victorian conversion, with the cost rising for properties that include benefits such as heating and garden maintenance.
Waller advises homebuyers to also consider the energy-efficiency of a home. He says: “people should start looking very closely at Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) as the cost of fuel is only going to go up. How much it costs to heat a property will be the second consideration after a mortgage.”
What are your favourite viewings to show potential buyers?
I love the big houses in this area. My favourite thing about being an estate agent is looking at all the fantastic private collections of art.
If money were no object, where would you buy in this area?
My favourite roads are Rylett Crescent and Findon Road.
Simon Waller is the Sales Manager at Winkworth's Shepherd's Bush office