Though the name has pious connotations, the Angel is actually named after a pub. Well, the 17th century Angel Inn was a hotel, too, then a restaurant, but is now a Co-Op Bank. Although there is a JD Wetherspoons pub called The Angel next door.
As an incredibly central part of the London borough of Islington, it’s on the verge of two enormous development areas. Old Street has been rechristened Tech City, luring affluent tech entrepreneurs to its doorstep as well as the nation’s biggest property developers to nearby City Road.
Then, there’s King’s Cross, one of the largest new development sites in the country, bringing Google, Universal and Central St Martin’s School of Art and Design to its neighbourhood.
For many newcomers, they’ll find Angel is a short walk away and better value for money when compared to the new towers sprouting up in those locations and once people move in, they rarely leave.
“The wonderful thing about Islington is that people tend to stay,” says Karen Keating, who manages Dexters’ Islington office. “They move from one bed flats to two bed flats to Georgian family houses and then back down again when the family leave. The only reason I tend to hear of people moving out is if they are priced out.”
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And that is becoming more common. Figures from Hamptons International using Land Registry data puts year-on-year house price growth at 8.2 per cent, a drop of 0.4 per cent in two years, but still outperforming London growth as a whole on 4.4 per cent.
“Many property owners have seen their properties more than double in value over the last 10-15 years,” says Alex Leigh, manager of Foxtons’ Islington office, “particularly those that are currently at the £1m plus mark.” And the Hamptons/Land Registry data almost backs this up: the average property price in 2007 was £464,818, rising to £849,177 by 2017.
This can be partly put down to transport infrastructure improvements – Angel station has been around for over a century but it’s now a candidate for Crossrail 2. Recent improvements also include the London Overground at Highbury & Islington and the Eurostar at St Pancras, both within walking distance.
“Certainly in recent years, there’s been a new wave of buyer,” says Paul Williams, head of City & East London residential at Savills. “Having laid down roots in the 80s and 90s, the ad agency heads of yesteryear are now digital media executives, meanwhile those employed by tech companies and start-up businesses at Silicon Roundabout have followed the City workers who came before them.”
“Many property owners have seen their properties more than double in value over the last 10-15 years"
It’s also a top place for beautiful family housing, something that’s in short supply in central London. “Our clients typically spend approximately £2m to £3m for a nice family house, and they usually remain very loyal to the area,” says Jo Eccles, managing director at SP Property Group. “The Georgian architecture doesn’t lend itself well to buy-to-let investors as most period conversions are configured as two bedroom, one bathroom flats with little scope to create a second bathroom.”
Larger three to four storey homes are situated around Regent’s Canal, notably Duncan Terrace, Vincent Terrace and Noel Road, while smaller Victorian/Georgian terraces tend to be south of the station. It’s also a great area for fans of traditional garden squares, with Barnsbury Square and Lonsdale Square popular options within walking distance of Upper Street. Schools catchment areas also play into prices.
Aside from boutique developments, Islington Square is by far the largest new housing project in the area, a £400m Covent Garden-style complex with over 260 new homes.
James Ripp, sales manager at KFH Islington, says first time buyers can expect to pay between £450,000 to £600,00, while a family house will be upwards of £1.3m. The most expensive property on record semi detached house sold on Mountfort Crescent in 2017 for £7.93m.
Two world class performance spaces would be a short walk from your front door if you lived in Angel. The productions at the Almeida Theatre on Upper Street feature A list stars regularly and cover new theatre as well as Shakespeare. Sadler’s Wells is also internationally renowned for contemporary dance. For a bite to eat before, try Oldroyd, a laidback European restaurant named after its proprietor, the former director of Polpo. Not a meat-eater? Try The Gate on St John Street, a long-running vegetarian restaurant with vegan options. For a drink after, 69 Colebrooke Row is an award-winning speak-easy style bar hidden away in a backstreet, serving experimental cocktails by mixology wizard Tony Conigliaro. Or catch some up-and-coming stand up at Angel Comedy, a free, seven day a week live comedy club above the Camden Head pub on Camden Walk.
House prices Source: Zoopla
Transport Source: TfL
Time to King’s Cross: 2 mins
Time to Bank: 6 mins
Nearest train station: Angel