London prime property experts Brendan Roberts and Merton Croisdale-Appleby look at old houses and discus which styles of property are popular now and have been over the years.
Brendan Roberts of Aylesford International
Edwardian and thirties houses used to be artificially lower in price a stay were very much ‘out of fashion’ until say 20 yrs ago and have steadily increased in popularity due to both representing better value when house prices have soared to unaffordable levels, and have become more fashionable as the ‘retro’ style has become more popular.
I think you need to look at this in the different areas – there are more Edwardian and thirties houses in the suburbs than in say Westminster or Belgravia, Kensington and Chelsea. Probably due to the more central areas being developed earlier and then London spreading farther out and the suburbs in Clapham and Wandsworth being further developed in the 1900s to 1930s.
There is a sense that building quality improved in Edwardian times and Edwardian houses feel more solid and substantially built than Victorian properties, and internally the floorplate gives a better arrangement of space on one level with fewer half landings and mezzanine rooms than you find in Victorian houses.
Which has seen better price growth I really don’t know but I sense that certainly in the suburbs where there are more Edwardian and 1930’s houses they have become more popular and if there was a price difference between them and the historically preferred Victorian houses then that has narrowed.
Merton Croisdale-Appleby of Maskells
Different ages of architecture appeal to different types of people, which means that their value increases are mainly related to the profile of buyer at any particular time. As London is such a melting pot of different nationalities, and buyer motivations such as insecurity and financial pressure the buyer profile changes year by year over the long term and value increases are roughly all in line.
On a short term basis however significant increases in value can be seen. For instance after the credit crunch London was inundated with Italian and Greek buyers. Their preference for Victorian grandeur led to incredible increases in value of first and second floor flats of this type.
Similarly when we had an influx of Russian buyers, their preference for low built, wider houses led to a surge in the price of 1930s and 50s houses. This peaked in 2014 and has since fallen away.
Our American friends have a passion for history and their love of it meant that a premium was achievable for Queen Anne and Georgian houses, which is no longer there now that we see so few Americans buying in London.
The most reliable performer are Victorian houses around garden squares. Generally their floorplan still makes sense to the modern family, albeit minus a few walls and their outlook and style still and always will have broad appeal to the domestic and international market.
Hope this can be used in some way.
Very few areas in London have Georgian houses and they are dotted around the more central areas along with Spitalfields and Shoreditch. A few in Mayfair and Kensington Chelsea. They tend to be collectors items and if still single houses are substantial and accordingly in the higher price brackets.