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Known For Pretty Homes and Gardens, Notting Hill Draws Tourists and Buyers in Droves.

Thursday 22 June 2017

Known For Pretty Homes and Gardens, Notting Hill Draws Tourists and Buyers in Droves. 

The boho-chic London neighborhood is filled with high-end amenities

Bohemian, vibrant and affluent, Notting Hill has lots of charm and many beautiful properties, from its signature pastel-colored terraced homes to elegant white stucco townhouses overlooking garden squares. Famed as the host to Europe’s largest street festival every August and home to the iconic Portobello Road Market, open every day of the week, the area is popular with Londoners and tourists alike.

The boundaries

The streets that make up the borders are Queensway to the east, Westway to the north, Holland Park Avenue and Bayswater Road to the south and the A3220 West Cross Route to the west. Portobello Road, Westbourne Grove and Ladbroke Grove are the neighborhood’s main streets.

Price range

One-bedroom apartments range from £550,000 to £1 million according to Caroline Foord of estate agency Knight Frank.

Miles Meacock of Strutt & Parker, another estate agency, gives a slightly higher estimate. He said that in his experience, one-bedroom flats range from £600,000 to £2 million.

Prices for four-bedroom houses typically range from £3.25 million to £8 million Ms. Foord said. Those four-bedroom single-family houses generally go up to around £5 million Mr. Meacock  said.

But many homes in the neighborhood sell for tens of millions. A detached grade II listed Victorian villa on Pembridge Square, for example, is currently for sale with Knight Frank for £35 million . The renovated property has a gym, spa, sauna and a garage with a lift.

Housing stock

Alongside the Victorian-era crescents of white stucco townhouses and detached villas overlooking garden squares, there are mews houses, Edwardian and Modernist mansion blocks, council (public) housing and some new-build homes, according to agents.

“Notting Hill is a quirky mix,” Ms. Foord said. “Some homes are so well-hidden you wouldn’t know they were there. It also has many different types of properties, ranging from studio apartments to grand mansions.”

Notting Hill is famous for its private garden squares that are only open to the residents of the houses adjoining them. The Ladbroke Estate, designed in the mid-19th century with a layout of concentric crescents, has 16 and some are as large as several acres.

In the 1999 film “Notting Hill,” the main characters, Will Thacker and Anna Scott, played by Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts respectively, break into one of these gardens at night.

Properties that have direct access to the gardens are attractive to families as they provide safe spaces for children to play outdoors. The Ladbroke Estate is an aspirational area. The shared gardens are “highly regarded and they are what characterizes the area,” Mr. Meacock said.

“They are a strong selling point and you pay a premium for a property that backs onto a garden.”

Notting Hill was developed in the 19th century as a suburb and its grand houses were popular with wealthy families. It fell out of fashion with the well-heeled crowd in the 20th century and many of its large properties were divided into apartments.  

In the 1980s, creative and city types started moving into the area and bought and renovated houses, driving regentrification.

Today, it remains culturally diverse, is trendy yet upmarket, or “cool meets boho,” as Ms. Foord described it. It is also one of the most expensive places to live in London. The “Notting Hill” movie boosted its appeal and the locations made famous in the British rom-com still attract tourists today. These include Rosmead Gardens, the garden square Will and Anna sneak into, and 142 Portobello Road, a gift shop that was used as the location for Will’s independent bookshop, The Travel Book Co. It was based on a real-life bookshop, now called The Notting Hill Bookshop, which is located on a nearby street, Blenheim Crescent.

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