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AREA FOCUS: HOLLAND PARK

Perfectly situated for transport links and amenities, this tranquil corner of London provides green space and elegant homes

Home to some of London’s most prestigious homes, with the park on its doorstep, a wealth of retail and dining options close by, good transport links and excellent local schools, Holland Park is one of the capital’s most desirable areas. Properties close to the park or on one of the garden squares have the most cachet, while proximity to the underground station is also a plus point.

‘Holland Park is renowned for its communal gardens as well as the park itself,’ comments William Tellwright of John D Wood & Co. ‘It is only natural that the abundance of cherry blossom and green open spaces entice buyers.’
Thomas Holcroft of Savills notes that the area ‘is a perfect retreat for those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, yet keep within easy reach of London’s key business centres. It attracts both UK and international buyers, with close to a 50/50 split between the two’.

Roads near Kensington High Street, such as Melbury Road, are ‘especially popular thanks to their ideal location for outstanding schools, shops and transport links’ he says, while ‘Holland Park Avenue and Portland Road are also sought after, with an array of excellent restaurants and cafés on their doorstep’.

Why buy in Holland Park

Period properties on quiet streets such as St James’s Gardens, Princedale Road and Queensdale Road have proved especially popular, reports Simon Corringham of Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, ‘with four-bedroom houses going for £3.5m-£5m, while the stucco-fronted Grade II listed houses and flats on Holland Park itself are always in extremely high demand, and buyers should expect to pay in excess of £2,000 per square feet for the most spectacular lateral flats situated next to the park.

‘There is a fascinating tapestry of architecture in the area,’ he adds. ‘Charming mews houses, Art Deco mansion apartments, former artisans’ cottages and post-war infill houses provide more affordable alternatives. For example, unmodernised Victorian terraced cottages in the backwaters around Avondale Park sell for between £1.4m-£1.6m, and it is possible to find a small one-bedroom flat for £500,000.’

‘The area is popular with wealthy families who love the villagey feel and sense of tradition,’ says Fay Askarnia of Benham & Reeves Residential Lettings. ‘This is mainly the domain of owner-occupiers so rental properties are in short supply and let quickly. You certainly need a substantial budget to live here but for many applicants, this is the only area they’ll consider and, if a property ticks all the boxes, they’ll happily pay the asking rental.’

House for sale on Woodsford Square

A five-bedroom house on Woodsford Square,£3,950,000 (John D Wood & Co., 020 7727 2233)

That said, Lucy Morton of W.A.Ellis. notes that rental properties offer slightly better value than in Knightsbridge, Belgravia and South Kensington.

‘The immediate pocket around the park remains as popular as ever,’ reports Henrietta Bridgman of Mountgrange Heritage. ‘Period flats on the lower floors of the grand villas make great rentals, with their own outside space. Portland Road remains an old favourite. It’s such an iconic London road with so much character and beautiful houses that get snapped up when they come onto the market.’

‘Many of our tenants are international, and having done their research, they know the streets and areas they want to be in,’ says Michael Palmer of Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward. ‘The majority are keen to secure some form of outside space; whether it’s a private terrace or garden or just access to a communal garden, al fresco living seems to be high on the priority list.’

Flat to rent on Addison Road

Lower ground and ground floor maisonette on Addison Road,£1,950pw (W.A.Ellis, 020 7306 1600)

TYPICAL PRICES: Studios start at around £275,000 while substantial family houses can cost £18m and up

TYPICAL RENTS: Studios from around £125pw rising to large well-located houses at £20,000pw

WHO BUYS/RENTS HERE: Families attracted by the park, city workers seeking good transport links; a mix of international and domestic residents

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