For many years, Kensington and Chelsea was thought to be the last word in west London property for well-heeled individuals. But if the increasing migration over the border to Hammersmith is anything to go by, its time may be over.
Increasingly, upsizers and families are fleeing the Royal Borough for W6 to find similar properties in size and style that are 50 per cent cheaper on average. “We’re continuing to see a prominent overspill from Kensington and Chelsea,” says Paul Cosgrove, director at local estate agent Finlay Brewer. “A lot of families are either priced out... or are simply looking for a better community atmosphere, which is being lost there with a high number of international owners that only occupy their homes for part of the year.”
The large Victorian terraces of Brook Green and Brackenbury Village, often with gardens to match, are especially popular with families, with St Paul’s and The Harrodian schools just across the bridge.
The arrival of Westfield 10 years ago less than a mile to the north sent shivers through the heart of Hammersmith
Access to the A3, A306 connecting to the M3 and the A4 is also attractive to those wishing to flee London for the country at the weekend. “Quite a few purchasers comment on moving ahead of the Holland Park build-up a major reason for moving,” Cosgrove adds.
This phenomenon, coupled with a recent influx of new build development, has pushed year-on-year house price growth to 6 per cent, according to data from estate agent Hamptons International, which compares favourably to the London average of 3.8 per cent. The figures also show that the average house price broke the £1m barrier last year, and the number of properties selling for seven figures went from 25 per cent of sales in 2016 to 42 per cent of sales in 2017.
And the future is only set to get brighter. Excellent public transport – the Underground station is connected to four Tube lines – and improvements made to nearby Shepherd’s Bush have rubbed off.
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“The arrival of Westfield 10 years ago less than a mile to the north sent shivers through the heart of Hammersmith,” says David Fell, research analyst at Hamptons International. “But in the intervening decade, W6 has reinvented itself with the arrival of a growing number of independent shops and a high street increasingly dominated by food and drink.” With plans to revamp King Street and a Westfield expansion on the cards, the buzz is only set to get louder.
The riverside has also been opened up by Queens Wharf, where two bedroom apartments start at £1.85m. The scheme also sees the redevelopment of Riverside Studios, once home to Top of the Pops and Dr Who, into a new art complex with a cinema, restaurant, bar and cafe.
“The river Thames is easily accessible offering the tow path where many residents enjoy walks and cycle rides and newer developments are making the most of the river frontage,” says Hannah Hewett at KFH Hammersmith.
Stake out a coveted spot on Hammersmith Bridge to watch the annual Boat Race, in which pumped up students from Oxford and Cambridge go head-to-head on the River Thames. King Street is the main shopping street in Hammersmith with great independent boozers and neighbourhood restaurants. It’s also set to be home to new residential homes, offices and a Curzon cinema in the future. For riverside dining, The Crabtree on Rainville Road is a fine choice, with a beer garden and lounge bar overlooking the picturesque stretch of river between Hammersmith and Putney bridges. It’s also a great place to see all the Six Nations fixtures next month. The Hammersmith Apollo, renamed the Eventim Apollo, is a historic venue housed in a Grade II listed building, designed by Robert Cromie in an Art Deco style. Acts as diverse as Flight of the Conchords and Bryan Ferry are set to play in the coming weeks. For ground-breaking new theatre, the Lyric on King Street is a must and the William Morris Society museum by the river is also worth a look for fans of the Arts and Crafts designer.
House prices Source: Zoopla
Transport Source: TfL
Time to Canary Wharf: 36 mins
Time to Bank: 32 mins
Nearest train station: Hammersmith