Offering a cooler vibe than Bloomsbury to the west, and more sophistication than neighbouring Shoreditch, Clerkenwell combines city living with a village lifestyle. As prices in EC1 have risen 10%* in the last year, we take a look at this thriving metropolis.
Where should I go?
There’s a great coffee culture in Clerkenwell and an abundance of independent cafes to visit. Favourites include The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, where you can attend Coffee School, Look Mum No Hands, a café, bar and bike workshop, and Workshop Coffee, who also offer master classes in brewing and technique.
The long-established and popular Bleeding Heart offers up delicious French grub. The Modern Pantry delivers modern fare in a casual environment and also has an outdoor terrace, perfect for summer afternoons. Moro is an award-winning restaurant that serves delicious North African and Spanish dishes, as well as all-day tapas.
The Zetter Townhouse Cocktail Lounge offers bespoke drinks served in a sumptuously decorated room. Vinoteca on Saint John Street sells over 250 wines, all of which are available to take home to enjoy. Borough Wines on Exmouth Market is stocked with a variety of natural and organic wines, as well as craft beers.
What is the property like?
There’s a great mixture of property available in Clerkenwell. Converted schools, such as Kingsway Place, and the print work conversion Ziggurat boast double height ceilings and mezzanines. There are a number of new build developments, including Central Square and Worcester Point, which usually provide a concierge service. Popular warehouse conversions such as Paramount offer large lateral, open plan spaces with an industrial theme. There is a lovely mixture of period homes, some of which can be found on Sekeforde Street and St James Walk, amongst others. The amazing penthouses with views of London’s iconic landmarks are also incredibly sought-after.
Who buys and sells in Clerkenwell?
As Clerkenwell has evolved, so has the type of buyer entering the market. Traditionally, due to its central location and close proximity to the City, professionals lived in the area. Mainly those with links to the worlds of finance and law, they bought second homes to live in during the working week.
With so many universities located within EC1 and its neighbouring postcodes, there are now many students in the area. Helped out by the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’, these students are living in apartments bought as investments by their parents.
When people sell, they tend to move out to more traditionally family friendly locations, such as Hampstead, Crouch End and Muswell Hill. If leaving London altogether, they migrate into the commuter belt with its easy access to the city.
How is the market faring?
Although an expensive part of London, with the average property price currently standing at £837,962*, Clerkenwell does offer greater value for money than neighbouring Marylebone, prime Bloomsbury and Covent Garden. Prices range from approximately £1,000-£1,400 per square foot, although penthouses in luxurious schemes can trade in excess of these prices. Historically, transaction numbers in the area are relatively low, but since the influx of developments, this number has risen, mainly through purchases from investors, those looking for a pied-a-terre, and first time buyers.
If you’re thinking of buying or selling, contact one of the KFH branches to talk to one of our local experts.
Source: Land Registry, March 2016