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Studio flats mean convenience and access to Zone 1

Timothy Barber
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A COUPLE of decades ago it was common enough for City executives to keep a small flat in London to stay in during the week, returning to their family homes in the country at weekends. The heyday of the pied a terre may have passed thanks to improved commuting links and the soaring costs of central London property in the past decade, but the recession is seeing studio and one-bedroom apartments in zone one become viable living options once again – with the difference that now it’s all about renting.

With uncertainty still dominating the buying market, central London has become a tenant friendly area. Rental prices in zone one have dropped by 20 per cent or more since their peak last year, which has opened up opportunities for those prepared to downsize in order to go up-market. And smart, well-designed studio and even one-bedroom apartments don’t just make otherwise out-of-reach locations possible. In cost-sensitive times they also enable savings to be made on overheads, particularly in purpose-built blocks where some utilities are often handled communally.

Shirley Humphrey of Harrods Estates says studio apartments are more popular than ever currently. “They provide tenants, especially young and single executives, with the space they need at a cost they can afford,” she says. “There are some great deals out there at the moment and tenants can get to enjoy locations like Knightsbridge and South Kensington for very reasonable rents.”

And of course for the time-poor City professional – whether based permanently in London or travelling out at weekends – they’re an awful lot less fuss to look after.

BRUTON PLACE, W1
One bedroom apartment in the heart of Mayfair, just off Berkeley Square.
£475 per week

Call Douglas & Gordon: 020 7581 6666
www.douglasandgordon.com

CORNWALL GARDENS, SW7
Chic studio apartment including reception room with pull-down bed, kitchen and shower room.
£350 per week.

Call Wetherell: 020 7529 5588
www.wetherell.co.uk

HANS PLACE, SW1X
Studio apartment with period features and state-of-the-art technology in Knightsbridge
£495 per week

Call Harrods Estates: 020 7225 6506
www.harrodsestates.com