Country houses for sale

New London hotspots

A new piece of research showing how some areas of London have grown from being considered ‘badlands’ to joining Knightsbridge and Mayfair as extremely desirable has been published by Savills. Areas including Bayswater, Soho and Primrose Hill have now joined the hallowed ranks of prime areas to buy property, compared with the last list the agent compiled in 1989.

These changes come as people’s tolerance has grown for other kinds of property: for instance demand for 1930s purpose-built apartments (common in Bayswater) has risen, as has the trend for central city living, which saw Covent Garden, Soho and Bloomsbury go back up the ladder of demand.

Other areas which were ruled out as ‘prime’ in 1989, but which are now certainly highly sought-after in London are Islington, Dulwich, Battersea Park, Blackheath and Primrose Hill.

Yolanda Barnes, head of residential research at Savills said: ‘The potential for a rundown area to become a status address depends on three main factors. The first is the type of housing stock predominant in an area. Georgian town houses in quantity practically guarantee prime status as do stucco-fronted Victorian ones but good, large family houses of any period, modest quantities of very-well managed purpose-built apartment blocks and characterful converted flats will often be a factor.

‘The second factor, particularly important, is a sense of place and identifiable neighbourhood. Most prime locations have an easily identifiable focus ? or series of hubs ? where you will find a good selection of local shops and amenities and open space.

Third is the ‘next-door neighbour effect’; up and coming locations adjacent to those that have already ‘up and come’ are more likely to become prime even than high quality outliers that are in a sea of council estates.’

Savills also tipped some areas as ‘not yet prime’, which suggests they may well do so in the future.

Savills ranks areas in London according to their desirability