Category Archives: Area guide

Hounslow a true London hotspot

Hounslow is a suburb on the outskirts of west London. Its proximity to central London and Heathrow Airport, along with its affordable house prices, means that the town and its borough are rising in appeal, fast becoming one of the capital’s next “up and coming” areas.

Despite uncertain times for much of the country, Hounslow is defying the trend and was recently named one of the United Kingdom’s top ten hotspots. City A.M’s recent National Hotspots Index also found that the Borough of Hounslow had seen the greatest increase in demand for housing across the whole of London.

A little look into this area’s attributes, and it’s not hard to see why.

Affordable housing

The increased demand for housing in Hounslow is due in part to many of London’s more central boroughs becoming unaffordable in times of stagnant wages and high inflation. In addition, as the local borough looks to attract new residents, there have been a number of new housing initiatives from the local authority and commitments to creating a space for desirable yet affordable living. In fact, Hounslow’s average house price currently sits comfortably below the London-wide average of £600,000.

Unrivalled road and rail links

Hounslow is London’s best connected borough, Hounslow town boats several underground stations and is conveniently located on the Piccadilly line. Just 38 minutes from Piccadilly Circus to the east and 11 minutes to London Heathrow Airport to the west, Hounslow is an attractive choice for commuters. Furthermore, the highly anticipated Crossrail – scheduled to open in 2018 – is set to make travel even more convenient and is expected to add tens of thousands of pounds onto the average house price.

An are on the up

The image and reputation of Hounslow is also improving. Various regeneration initiatives by the local council include the new High Street Quarter development, which promises to bring more than 500 contemporary apartments, popular bars and restaurants to the area – as well as a new public square and a 10-screen multiplex cinema.

Green spaces

Despite Hounslow’s built-up town centre, the borough enjoys what is arguably some of London’s prettiest green spaces. These parks are firm favourites for families and young professionals alike, and bring a sense of countryside living to a town that is otherwise fairly built up. Pay a visit to Hounslow Health or nearby Lampton Park and you are bound to find children playing, couples strolling and dog owners walking their beloved pets – at any time of day. Chiswick House and Gardens, Syon Park and Osterley House and Gardens complete a trio of some of London’s finest Country homes and gardens.

Crouch End – One of London’s most fashionable villages

One of the pockets of North London that combines a village feel with a cosmopolitan vibe, Crouch End is close to good transport connections and boasts all the things people want in the city – good schools, a variety of different housing and a vibrant combination of chain and independent shops, pubs and restaurants at its centre.

Only eight miles north of the City, with Hampstead to the west, Islington to the south and Tottenham to the east, Crouch End has been overshadowed by its better-known neighbours and has managed to stay out of the limelight, and it’s all the better for it.

Communications

One of the characteristics of Crouch End that’s kept it slightly off the beaten track is that there is no tube station right at its heart. But, within a radius of less than a mile and a half, there are two tube stations on the Northern Line (Archway and Highgate), an Overground station (Upper Holloway) and two mainline stations going into King’s Cross (Harringay and Hornsey).

The key to Crouch End’s connectivity is Finsbury Park station just to the south-east. Here, the mainline, Overground and Piccadilly and Victoria tube lines all meet, there’s a large bus station and, by 2018, it will be linked to the Thameslink network.

Lifestyle

The vibrant centre of Crouch End is the Broadway where shops, banks, pubs and restaurants cluster around two road junctions. This is another area where the location benefits Crouch End as the roads are, while busy, not major thoroughfares like the nearby Archway and Seven Sisters roads. Major brands like Waitrose and M&S are present and there is an arthouse cinema too.

Further away from the centre there’s a leisure centre with outdoor and indoor pools on the edge of the playing fields, Alexandra Park, a large open space topped by Alexandra Palace, and the smaller Priory Park with its sports facilities, playground and paddling pool. Primary schools are generally very good, as is the local secondary school, and this has put pressure on prices as families vie to secure the right streets for the best schools.

Investment potential

Crouch End offers a broad mix of housing to suit buyers, whether for investment or living. Much of the housing comprises terraced and semi-detached Victorian and Edwardian properties on tree-lined streets, interspersed with a variety of more modern developments.

The trend of separating Victorian and Edwardian properties has hit Crouch End but not as much as in some other inner suburbs. There are still properties for families as well as singles and couples, a mix that keeps the area better maintained and extends its appeal to a wider group of buyers and tenants. According to Land Registry data, house prices rose 16.59% between August 2015 and August 2017.

Crouch End offers, therefore, excellent balance for property buyers, providing strong demand combined with better value than many other areas of London.