City living: quit the commute

BREAD Street, Poultry, Oat Lane – it doesn’t take a genius to guess that the City is about business. It’s certainly not the first place you imagine yourself living when you arrive in London. Indeed, the aldermen are trying to stop David Cameron’s attempts to turn it into a more residential area by relaxing planning rules.

But Carl Davenport, Chesterton Humberts’ City expert, says the renovation of Cheapside and the One New Change shopping centre are signs that it’s already happening.

Although he adds that the existing property market remains relatively undiscovered, say Davenport. “People just don’t seem to know where the developments are. There are secret pockets of great properties everywhere in the City.”

Prices are a mystery too. “The places on the periphery that require a commute – Tower Bridge, Islington and Shoreditch – are practically the same price.” And with just 10,000 homes in the Square Mile, prices are likely to stay steady. Perhaps now is the time to quit the commute?

FROBISHER CRESCENT, THE BARBICAN

Price: £565,000

This 528 square foot, one-bedroom apartment is on the ninth floor within the Barbican. Its interiors are highly stylised with a private balcony and wood paneling. It has stunning views across the London skyline.

Contact: Frobisher Crescent on 020 7288 033 or go to www.frobishercrescent.co.uk

THE TAPESTRY BUILDING

Price: £3.4m

This 18th century warehouse, formerly owned by the East India Company, has been converted into 14 contemporary apartments. The penthouse offering 2,870 square foot of space is now on the market. It has three bedrooms, a large reception room, a fully-fitted kitchen and two bathrooms. Contact: Savills on 0207 283 7678 or go to www.savills.co.uk

WHAT THE RESIDENTS SAY...

Felicity Deane
LAWYER

After travelling for more than an hour to work from my home in Sydney, I vowed that I would not live so far from the office once I moved to London. Now my commute is 15 mins by foot. I work long hours, so a reliably short commute is ideal. We love living walking distance to so many great places in London. In the evening, there’s nothing better than walking to a restaurant, catching a show and then strolling home along the river bank. But the city is rapidly developing a life of its own and now on weekends we tend to stay local, visiting the Barbican and settling in at Exmouth Market for a snack and some weekend reading. The best part? When I have to work late, my husband can pop up to the office to walk me back home. What a sweetie.

Karen Allen
LLOYD'S BROKER

I got my first job in the City in 2001 after graduating from Queen Mary College. There was no temptation for me to move away from Bethnal Green where I had lived as a student. It’s a great area Despite its lack of gentrification back in 2001, the area was a very attractive 20 mins walk to Liverpool Street. Other than a four year stint I spent in Blackheath, I have always lived within walking distance of the City. The ease of being able to walk into the office and the pleasantness of the stroll in through Spitalfields is something I'm not prepared to sacrifice. Even if that means I never have an excuse to be late on snowy days when train services are disrupted.