The transformation of Archway: why this north London suburb is set to soar

House prices in Archway are a comparative steal compared to its north London neighbours. But plans to replace a gyratory system with two-way traffic, cycle lanes and a central piazza are set to change that...
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A hideous Seventies gyratory system was the blight that brought down Archway, which can boast nothing more than a line of tatty shops at its heart. 

But Transport for London is riding in to rip up the hated one-way system and replace it with two-way streets, cycle lanes and a central piazza. Work is expected to start next year and will be completed by 2017. Then Archway can finally blossom.

At present, house prices are a comparative steal compared to its neighbours at an average of £622,753, up 7.93 per cent in the past year, according to Zoopla. 

Image gallery: hot homes in the north London spot to watch

Half a mile up the hill in Highgate, the average house price is £1.32 million, up 9.85 per cent in the past 12 months, while homes in Kentish Town cost an average of £783,948, up 4.8 per cent in the same period.

The project is being carried out as part of TfL’s £4 billion road modernisation plan and will also involve improvements to Archway Tube station. Meanwhile, Islington council plans to invest in improving shop fronts in the area.

“The Archway gyratory is a notorious, badly designed relic that residents, businesses and road users have long wanted overhauled,” says London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Once the gyratory has been swept away, Archway’s fine stock of Victorian terraces will be an attractive buy, says Gary Rosenthal, managing director of estate agent Whitehalls.

“It is a mess down there presently. I think this will be an improvement for pedestrians and cyclists,” he adds.

“The general perception is that this is an improvement that will make Archway a nicer place to live — and that should impact on house prices.”

Adding to the appeal of the area, St Aloysius’ College for boys is rated “outstanding” by Ofsted, while Mount Carmel Catholic College for Girls has a “good” rating.

But there could be a fatal flaw in the plans for Archway. Rosenthal fears the new road layout may turn some streets into rat runs, and says the area’s reputation as a rather shabby place to live will be hard to sweep away. 

He suggests it should follow in the footsteps of Staines, now renamed Staines-upon-Thames, and call itself Whitehall Park in honour of the conservation area close to Highgate, where Archway’s smartest houses and highest prices can be found.

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