Renting guide to London: West Hampstead

Great bistros, bars and transport links, including the Bakerloo and Jubilee Tube lines, the Overground - and Crossrail on the horizon - mean West Hampstead is hit with young renters.
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Even 150 years ago, housebuilders knew the importance of branding. West Hampstead, in Zone 2, could so easily have been called East Kilburn. Occupying a slope of land between two ancient highways heading north out of central London, its 1860s developers wanted homes they built associated with the monied hilltop village of Hampstead on the area’s eastern flank, rather than Kilburn, a rural hamlet to the west.

West Hampstead has been popular ever since. Those Victorians built terraces. Then came a generation of mansion blocks, followed in the 20th century by council estates and the conversion of houses into flats.

Buzzy and cosmopolitan, the area is now a fashionable inner suburb, with handsome red-brick houses reverting back to single homes. It is family-friendly with close proximity to highly praised private schools, one reason why Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has chosen to live there.


Transport links are excellent, while  community spirit is “great”, says Jenni Towler of Benham & Reeves Lettings. “In a cultural sense, West Hampstead straddles the best of both worlds. It borders Hampstead with its rich literary tradition and leafy seclusion, and also Kilburn — edgy, bustling, with a vibrant live music scene.”

Kilburn has several more things in its favour. Firstly, it is close-in — straight up Edgware Road from Marble Arch and nearer to the centre than, say, Hammersmith or Hackney. Transport links are very good — Bakerloo and Jubilee line Tube, plus Overground rail and proximity to Paddington, with its Heathrow link, and Crossrail for the future.

“It’s definitely up and coming,” says Debbie Reiter of Benham & Reeves Lettings. “It has street cred, which young professionals like, while corporate tenants favour the semis in the Matesbury conservation area.”

All kinds of homes can be had at prices still a fair bit lower than in trendy nearby areas — from converted flats to artisan cottages, Victorian terraces and Edwardian villas.


Average rental values (per week): 
One-bedroom flat: £300-£400
Two-bedroom flat: £400-£600
Three-bedroom house: £800-£1,100

For tights budgets, rentals start at £220 a week for studios, £285 a week for bigger ex-council flats. You’ll pay a premium, about £650 a week, for a large period conversion.

Best roads
Crediton Hill, Kingdon Road, Dennington Park Road, Sumatra Road and Holmdale Road are popular.

Typical tenants
Mainly young single professionals and no-kids couples wanting to live in a good residential area. They get more for their money than in Hampstead itself and new restaurants, bars and shops are opening. New developments are popping up, pushing up local rents.

New scheme: Mill Apartments, with 39 flats in Mill Lane, near a nature reserve

Major new developments
A former business estate, West Hampstead Square, has apartments, gardens, a new public square, Marks & Spencer, cafés and restaurants, a gym, dance studio, spa and hotel-style reception with concierge (; Mill Apartments, a new scheme of 39 flats in Mill Lane, borders a nature reserve.

Well-connected: transport links
Superb transport links, with Bakerloo and Jubilee Tube lines — Bond Street is a few stops away — plus Overground rail and proximity to Paddington, with its Heathrow link, and Crossrail for the future. There are three train stations, one recently refurbished, and West Hampstead is a main interchange, with Thameslink, Tube and Overground services, and good links to Stansted, Gatwick and Luton airports.

Out and about
There are lots of buzzing bars and good affordable restaurants. The train station forecourt doubles as a farmers’ market and street food hub, complementing West End Lane, the spine of the area, with coffee shops, bakeries, boutiques, bistros and bars. Mill Lane, which cuts across railway tracks to Cricklewood, is gentrifying, with antique shops, delis and gastropubs.

Top local schools
South Hampstead High (private); Northbridge House (private); Hampstead High (state), and  Emmanuel School (state).

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