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 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.
One-bedroom apartments range from £550,000 (US$646,000) to £1 million (US$1.3 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 (US$775,000) to £2 million (US$2.6 million).
Prices for four-bedroom houses typically range from £3.25 million to £8 million (US$4.2 million-US$10 million), Ms. Foord said. Those four-bedroom single-family houses generally go up to around £5 million (US$6.4 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 (US$45.1 million). The renovated property has a gym, spa, sauna and a garage with a lift.
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.”
What makes it unique
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.
Mike Kemp / Getty Images
That movie isn’t the only one to take place in the neighborhood, of course. Alice’s Antiques doubled as Mr. Gruber’s antiques shop in the “Paddington” film in 2014.
Thousands come to party, dance and watch the parades and floats at the Notting Hill Carnival, an annual street party and festival that takes place over two days in August. A community event, the carnival is a celebration of multiculturalism.
The area has “beautiful homes, good schools and is well served for green spaces,” Mr. Meacock said. “You’re not more than a 10-minute walk from a park.”
Once people move here, they don’t want to leave, Ms. Foord said. “When they move, they upsize or downsize within the area. It has a community feel, Heathrow Airport is within easy reach and you can easily escape to the countryside.”
She added: “It does not have a transient community. People who live here may have a second home, but their home in Notting Hill is their primary residence.”
Independent schools lure wealthy families, according to Ms. Foord and Mr. Meacock. Schools such as Wetherby, for boys ages 4 to 18; Norland Place, a co-educational independent school for boys 4 to 8 years old and girls aged 4 to 11 years; Pembridge Hall school, a non-selective preparatory school for girls aged 4 to 11 years; and Notting Hill Preparatory school, a co-educational day school for pupils 4 to 13, are always in high demand.
Westbourne Grove, a high-end shopping street, has the feel of a village albeit an upmarket one. It is lined with interesting and upscale independent shops that include high-end boutiques, cafes and restaurants such as the Farmacy, an elegant plant-filled vegan eatery that is popular with fashionable types who are into eating healthily.
The two Michelin-starred Ledbury is popular for special occasions, with its elegant surroundings and white table linen. It has two tasting menus (one is vegetarian) and an extensive list of fine wines.
Prepare to queue for a table at Granger & Co, a hugely popular restaurant run by Australian restaurateur and cookbook author Bill Granger, as it gets especially busy on the weekends, according to Ms. Foord.
Another popular spot with local residents is Ottolenghi, an upmarket café and restaurant owned by famed chef and cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi.
Daylesford is a farmshop and café that serves artisan cheese, bread, meat, fruit and vegetables which are grown and produced at its organic farm in the Cotswolds, in Gloucestershire.
For those who’ve brushed up on their bargaining skills, Portobello Road can be full of deals. With more than 1,000 vendors, the market is an antique-lover’s dream. There are also many vintage clothing and food stalls. A popular tourist spot, it is crammed with people on Fridays and Saturdays, shopping and taking pictures on Instagram.
Electric Cinema is an independent movie theater owned by Soho House, the private members’ club. Its club, The Electric House, lies adjacent.
Who lives there
It’s a blend of bankers and media and artistic types, Mr. Meacock said. “You might get an art dealer, a hedge-fund manager and a film producer living next door to each other.”
He added: “It does attract buyers from Europe, North America and India, but the market is underpinned by local people.”
It attracts high-net-worth individuals who like to keep a low profile, according to local agents.
Former Prime Minister David Cameron used to live in Notting Hill and still owns a townhouse, which he currently rents out. Mr. Cameron and Michael Gove, the former justice and education secretary, and other members of the Conservative party were once known as the Notting Hill set by the media.
German-born model Claudia Schiffer and her husband, Matthew Vaughn, are said to own a house in the Notting Hill area.
Mr. Meacock said that their office is preparing for a busy May. “I don’t think the forthcoming election is going to have a big effect on the market as there hasn’t been any talk of a mansion tax this time,” he said.
Dollar-rich buyers are more active in the market because they are seeing 20% to 25% savings due to currency fluctuations, according to Mr. Meacock and Ms. Foord.
According to data compiled by Knight Frank, the average price paid for a property in Notting Hill a decade ago was £1,122,546 (US$1,457,401 million). Prices in the neighborhood peaked at £1,440,809 (US$1,870,602) in 2014 and now stand at £1,419,416 (US$1,842,828).
As the data shows, prices have adjusted since 2014, Ms. Foord said. “But the sentiment in the market is good and properties that are priced properly are selling.”
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