The London property market is unlike any other. Finding – let alone buying – a home in the city is made all the more chaotic by the fact that just about everybody wants a slice. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced investor, approaching your first purchase in London can be daunting. Where do you start?

Well, that’s where we’re here to help, with our Ultimate Guide to finding your perfect property in the capital. In the first blog of this series (which you can find here), we looked at the reasons why London property is always in such high demand and provided an overview of the different areas of the city. We also gave some suggestions for the best places to look for an investment property, the spots where first-time buyers are most likely to find a foothold, and the parts of the city most-suited to raising a family.

In this post, we’re going to look at some of the major developments and engineering works which will affect the London property market, before looking at some of the coolest, most iconic places you could call home.

What’s on the London horizon?

Part of London’s appeal is that it’s always evolving and transforming into something new. Whether it’s a new silhouette on the skyline or another line of colour on the Underground map, constant upgrades and developments keep city residents on their toes. Looking at upcoming projects is vital for making an informed decision about where to buy a home, as construction works can easily restrict the access or boost the value of a nearby area.

Transport

Road, rail, air and water – you can’t think about London without considering the ways to get over, under, around or through it. There are a number of planned works for city infrastructure, which could heavily affect the demand for housing in connected parts of the city.

• The Northern line extension (NLE) to the redeveloped Battersea Power Station will reduce journey times into the West End or the City to around 15 minutes. There will also be a station at Nine Elms, the new embassy district, and proposals have been made to include Clapham Junction into the network.

Crossrail sections will be opening later in 2018 and throughout 2019, relieving congested commuter routes throughout the capital and connecting parts of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Essex. The 40 new and improved stations along its route – particularly the central Elizabeth line – have already caused a spike in nearby house values.

• When HS2 is complete, northern cities including Manchester and Leeds are going to feel a lot closer as journey times are reduced to 67 minutes and 81 minutes respectively. Residents in Sheffield, Crewe, Liverpool and Nottingham will benefit too.

• Debates have raged for decades about increasing London’s air travel capacity, but it finally looks like plans for a third runway (and sixth terminal) at Heathrow will eventually go ahead.

Residential

It would be impossible for a single blog post to cover every residential project currently underway in London, but here are a couple of the major ones coming up.

Meridian Water, in Edmonton, Enfield. The 200-acre development will include 10,000 homes and create 6,700 new jobs, building a whole new neighbourhood in the Angel Road Station area.

• In 2020, Spire London will open in Tower Hamlets, near Canary Wharf, on the site where Hertsmere House once stood. Destined to become the tallest residential building in Western Europe, the 67-storey skyscraper will feature 861 apartment suites.

• For those with bottomless pockets, No 1 Grosvenor Square promises the epitome of luxury. With arguably the most desirable postcode in the country, the former US Embassy and Canadian High Commission will be renovated to include 39 apartments and 5 bespoke duplexes.

Battersea Power Station Image

Commercial

Where there’s employment, there are commuters looking for homes. Expect to see a few changes to the London skyline, thanks to these commercial and mixed-use developments currently unfolding.

• Construction on The Scalpel, Lime Street, began in 2015 and should conclude imminently. Space is currently allocated to a number of finance-based companies, including insurance firms and professional services.

• A billion-pound deal is in place for the Royal Albert Dock to be transformed into the Asian Business Port; a hub of offices, apartments and shops targeting Asian companies wishing to build a European headquarters. Development has not been shaken by the Brexit vote in 2016, and the anticipated launch is currently set to coincide with Crossrail.

• Following the completion of Circus West Village, the development of Battersea Power Station will continue in phases through to the end of 2025. Once the Power Station building is completed in 2021, around 40% of the complex will be dedicated to a new Apple campus, housing approximately 1,400 employees.

Where is the coolest place to live in London?

Surely everyone has a different interpretation of where’s cool? Well, yes and no. While there are certainly areas of London that appeal to different demographics, there are a few spots in the city that are undeniably iconic. Whether you want to live a life immersed in old-world glamour or reside somewhere indisputably edgy, here are the addresses you should search out for the most enviable accommodation in the city.

Iconic Buildings

Walk down almost any street in central London and you’ll find a building that is noted for its history, architecture, previous residents or former use. Did you know you can actually live in some of these?

The Barbican

Whether you love it or hate it, the imposing, brutalist structure of the Barbican Complex is a staple on the London skyline. As well as housing the Museum of London, the Barbican Arts Centre and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Barbican Estate – which feels like more of a village once you’re inside – is also home to around 4,000 residents.

If you’re a fan of retro architecture, take a look at the development’s story and see if you can snag one of the highly desirable flats overlooking the water.

Battersea Power Station

As we’ve already mentioned, the decommissioned power station (previously used for burning coal) is being transformed into a luxury, Art Deco styled development. When it’s completed in 2016, it will be home to shops, offices, restaurants and over 4,200 new homes on the south bank of the Thames.

The first residents – including Sting and Bear Grylls – have already got the keys, so you’ll need to move quickly if you want to snap up one of the upcoming apartments.

The Hoover Building

Another Art Deco delight, the iconic Hoover Building, is being refurbished to accommodate 66 luxury flats in Perivale, west London. Built as a Hoover factory in 1933, the impressive building has housed a Tesco supermarket since 1989. It’s understood that the conversion will honour the original style of the buildings, keeping its atrium and triple-height crittall windows intact.

Barbican Centre Image

The Original Cool

Modernisation and urban development is all well and good, but if you’re looking to enjoy the class and glamour of old-world London, there are a few neighbourhoods that seem utterly untouched (at least on the surface).

Mayfair, W1

Mayfair has long been known as one of the most prestigious and affluent areas of London, thanks in part perhaps to a certain board game. On the eastern edge of Hyde Park, in the City of Westminster, the area was developed by the Grosvenor family in the mid-18th century, and much of the original layout (and some of the original buildings) can still be seen to this day.

This long association with prestige and aristocracy means that Mayfair is an incredibly attractive area for international embassies, luxury hotels and exclusive shops and restaurants. As such, homes in Mayfair continue to be among the most expensive in the world.

Best bit: Excellent boutique shopping opportunities, three-Michelin star dining by Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester and the swathes of green at Hyde Park.

South Kensington, SW7, SW5

On the opposite side of Hyde Park, between the bohemian buzz of Notting Hill and the civilised charm of Chelsea, is Kensington, another of London’s wealthiest, old-world neighbourhoods. Kensington residents can enjoy the capital’s exceptional museum district, the resplendent lawns of Kensington Gardens and a pleasant stroll to the exclusive department stores in Knightsbridge.

Property-wise, South Kensington is made up of an abundance of Edwardian mansion blocks and semi-detached townhouses which overlook private gardens and leafy streets. With excellent transport routes into the city, it’s easy to see why prices are so high.

Best bit: A wander around the Kyoto Garden at Holland Park, lunch at the Roof Garden and a catching a performance at the Royal Albert Hall – and being able to walk between all three.

Richmond, TW9, TW10

In 2016, residents of Richmond-upon-Thames were deemed to be among the happiest in the UK – and you only have to take a wander through Richmond Park or along the vibrant riverside areas to understand why. Despite being outside of central London, the excellent transport options make Waterloo just 21 minutes away, and the area’s proximity to Heathrow make it ideal for frequent international travellers (just be wary of moving under a flight path).

Richmond has a long history of high-profile residents, even aside from the large number of royals who have enjoyed staying at Richmond Palace and Richmond Park. With a home in Richmond, you can brush shoulders with the likes of David Attenborough, Jerry Hall and Richard Ashcroft.

Best bit: The rich history of Kew Gardens or Hampton Court Palace provide plenty of ways to relax on a sunny afternoon.

Streets of Mayfair Image

The Trendsetters

Maybe your pockets aren’t quite deep enough for the most well-heeled areas of the city, or perhaps you’d simply rather live somewhere a little rougher around the edges. Either way, the following areas offer the perfect London blend of cultural diversity, urban community and vibrant, creative living.

Brixton, SW2 and SW9

If you’re looking for a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities, look no further than Brixton, found at the end of the Victoria line. Long past its history of riots and violence, Brixton is now an energetic hub for trendy pop-ups and creative spirits from all walks of life.

The mixture of residents speak over 130 different languages and dialects, although you’ll find that Jamaican Patois is one of the most common. Brixton is the unofficial capital of the British African-Caribbean community, and the spicy, colourful culture infuses everything in the area from restaurants to record shops.

Best bit: Head down to Pop Brixton to explore local food, fashion and music all in one place.

Peckham, SE15

Once known only for high levels of urban decay and gang crime, Peckham snagged the top spot on the Times’ 2017 list of best places to live in London. The area has undergone significant regeneration over the last 20 years, bringing a wealth of job opportunities, waves of fresh creative talent and buckets of trendy bars and cafés.

Gentrification has diluted the existing affordable housing and Peckham boats a wide variety of property types, from converted Georgian terraces to purpose-built ex-council flats.

Best bit: Scout out the rooftop bar and cinema at the Bussey Building for one of the best views in London.

Tooting, SW17

Known for its multiculturalism, “gritty charm” and captivating food scene, Tooting was recently ranked within Lonely Planet’s top 10 coolest neighbourhoods in the world. While this may have baffled some, Tooting’s spot at the southern end of the Northern line makes it an ideal spot for commuters with a humble budget, while the huge mix of people means that there’s always something new and unusual to be found around the corner.

Best bit: Food-wise, the road between Tooting Bec and Tooting Broadway is recognised for being one of the UK’s best curry corridors, and the buzzing Tooting Market is the perfect stop for brunch and a browse.

Take a look at our other blog posts to find out more information about buying your first home, preparing your house for sale and much more, or get in touch with our team if you’re ready to take the plunge and need a property survey or professional conveyancer to help.

At Daily Move, we’re committed to helping your move go as smoothly as possible, and help clients secure their dream home all over London. Whatever you need, get a free quote or give us a call today.