The Capitals' house prices continue to rise depsite the big house price freeze elsewhere, and three of its postcodes look set to benefit as their average asking prices approach £1m for the first time. Jessie Hewitson reports
It’s a landmark event for these three property markets, each a mini-hotspot. More precisely, the average house price in Barbican (postcode EC1M) is £983,846; in central Clerkenwell, around St John Street (postcode EC2Y) it is £980,182 and in Earls Court (postcode SW5) the figure is £955,421.
With these areas registering around 8% to 10% price growth over the past 12 months, it is a certainty that a typical property in all three areas will top the £1m mark soon.
So why are they performing so well? In the Barbican Estate’s case, it is likely to be the impact of a new development, The Frobisher Crescent (pictured, left) former offices converted by United House in 2010.
This scheme offered modern-style living in this covetable 1970s estate - the existing homes have small kitchens and not very open-plan living space - and set a new benchmark for prices achieved here. Chesterton Humberts’ Carl Davenport sold a one-bed apartment in Frobisher Crescent measuring just 400 sq ft for £500,000.
Prices also go up because of lack of supply. “There are a total of 2,014 flats in the Barbican and I would say we have no more than 100 for sale in a year. The volume is low, it’s in the heart of the centre, and it has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe.” The type of people who live here are varied: High Court judges co-exist happily with journalists, architects and cabbies.
The profile of the central Clerkenwell (pictured, right) buyer is younger - mostly young couples who don’t have children who come here for the warehouse flats. Generally they work in the City, or may be well-paid creatives, but want a bit more life, bars and restaurants than the Barbican can offer.
The reason for the rise in prices is because of the desirability of these converted warehouses; people are happy to pay a premium for them, and that is pushing the averages up. For a 1,000 sq ft two-bed apartment you’re now looking at between £800,000 and £900,000 says Davenport.
Earls Court may seem a rather unexpected hotspot to those who don’t know it - in the past it was where newly-arrived Antipdeans would go in search of cheap B&Bs. But since prices in nearby South Ken went stratospheric, the fortunes of SW5 rose too.
The average two-bed here costs in the region of £795,000 according to Douglas & Gordon, while in South Ken it would be £1.1m. Generally, the profile of buyers are families and young professional in search of the attractive white stucco-fronted houses that you find here (as well as South Ken) on the - very relative - cheap.
High Court judges co-exist happily with journalists, architects and cabbies