It isn’t often you stumble across a new garden square in London. And of the rare few unveiled over the last few years, you could argue that most aren’t really proper garden squares.
But now you can enjoy life on Arundel Square, a reinvented classic garden square on the borders of Islington and Barnsbury, north London.
A vacant plot of land where a bus station once stood is providing the missing ‘fourth wall’ of one of Islington’s most elegant Victorian squares where 115 apartments and penthouses are being built by United House Developments and Londonewcastle.
Of the 48 homes released so far, 28 have sold, with many going to first-time buyers despite prices ranging from £285,000 to £975,000, says Antony Crovella, United House’s sales and marketing manager.
He says he was surprised by how many of the homes have been reserved by first-time buyers, but the concept of a first-time buyer has changed over the last decade or so.
* For more properties like this every week, subscribe and save
‘The age of first-time buyers has crept up – the average age of a first-timer is 34 now – and many have saved up quite a bit of money by the time they buy a home. Often, they are helped out by their parents too,’ he points out.
‘A £975,000 three-bedroom penthouse at Arundel Square has been bought by a first-time buying couple, a documentary maker and City solicitor in their early 30s. They rented for five years and put down 50% of the money in cash on the 1,450-square foot duplex,’ Mr Crovella adds.
The whole garden square scheme – which happens attracting downsizers as well as young first-time purchasers – has been made possible by a complex piece of construction. A £4 million 3,000-square metre structural deck has been created over the North London Line railway track that runs through the square. Sealing and encasing the newly submerged line in concrete has allowed homes to be built above, opening up the garden itself, which will no longer suffer from a railway cutting it in half.
The joint developers have contributed three-quarters of a million pounds to the renovation of the garden square. Residents living on the square all get to have their say on how the square should be shaped and used.
‘It is a public square for everyone to use, but it will be locked at night for security reasons,’ Mr Crovella explains.
For more information on Arundel Square, contact Chesterton Humberts 020 7288 0330 or Savills on 020 7016 3855.