Are you looking for a home that will increase in value or produce a rental income in central London? The area north of Hyde Park is a good bet. It is less fashionable than, say Notting Hill, yet has Georgian town houses to rival many areas, and often provides more property for your pound.
When investing in property look for two things: close-proximity to public transport and homes that are cheaper than surrounding properties or areas. They are not easy to spot, but from our 35 years of experience working around Hyde Park, Martin Bikhit (Managing Director of Kay & Co) identifies eight streets to consider.
Connaught Square, London W2
This grand address still seems undervalued, given its proximity to central London. It is proving popular with both celebrities and politicians. Nearby Portman Village is being given an overhaul by landlord Portman Estates and Marble Arch Tower is having a facelift, which should add further appeal to the neighbourhood. This impeccable Georgian town house is on the market for £7.5m
Just a street from the northern edge of Hyde Park, Portsea Place is a hidden cache of Georgian town houses. With imposing mansion blocks all around, these period properties often go unnoticed, making them potentially some of the best value homes in W2. If you are postcode savvy, you will also spot that they are only one street from W1. This attractive four-bedroom house is on the market for £2.8m, while there’s also a one-bedroom apartment in a mansion block for £625,000.
This quiet road can be found about halfway between Hyde Park and Paddington Basin. The architect intended it to rival Belgravia, hence the attractive terraces. It’s the perfect location to make use of the excellent transport links, with Paddington station on the doorstep giving easy access to the Heathrow Express. Star Street is less expensive than its neighbours (Connaught Village and Hyde Park Estates). This four-bedroom town house is for sale for £2.25m.
This tranquil-sounding address is actually a main artery linking Bayswater Road to Edgware Road. However, it is wide and tree-lined, with blocks of flats set back from the road, making it seem less urban than it really is. Transport links are the key thing here, and these properties have enduring appeal. When Crossrail comes to Paddington next year, it will be even more sought after, adding to this investment opportunity. You can find a one-bedroom apartment for under £750,000 and there’s currently a two-bedroom flat available for £899,950.
The north side of this garden square is a terrace of early 19th century town houses in brick and stucco with pillared porches. Residents have access to the gardens and most of the houses have been turned into period conversions. Look out for first floor apartments with high ceilings as they are often in the most demand. Buildings with lifts are a big bonus around Hyde Park, but they are very rare, too. This two-bedroom third floor apartment benefits from both large windows and high ceilings but, best of all, it has a lift. The property is on the market for £1.175m. It would make a central London bolt-hole that should rent well.
Between Paddington station and Hyde Park, Gloucester Terrace is a gently curving street of imposing stucco town houses. The properties offer close-proximity to open-space and transport link – two must haves when considering investment potential. And here transport links are first class. Period apartments offer spacious rooms with high ceilings and plenty of light. This two-bedroom apartment on the first floor is on the market for £999,950.
This modern (Seventies) development of low-rise flats is coming into its own as people begin to appreciate the leafy surroundings along with the space inside and out. Many properties come with underground parking or have private outside space, making them an attractive rental investment. The Ziggurat or pyramid formation of the blocks allows each unit to have a good-size terrace. London’s oldest plane tree stands in the 2.5 acre grounds. The development is now part of the Bayswater Road Conservation Area. This generous penthouse apartment has been created from two separate flats, and is on the market for £1.925m.
Apartments on the upper floors of this development offer breathtaking views of the city and command premium prices. There are three blocks set in landscaped gardens close to public transport and the shops of Oxford Street. They were built in the Sixties as luxury apartments with penthouses. One bedroom-flats on the lower floors go for around £600,000, while this two-bedroom property on the 11th floor is available for just over £1m.