4th August 2023

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The Perfect London Pied-à-Terre: Prime Locations for Second Homes

In the depths of the pandemic buyers were only after one thing: space.

But as social distancing measures have melted away, and an increasing number of blue chip companies are demanding their staff be present in the office at least part time, the classic London pied a terre has become a hot property.

Whether you need to be close to one of the capital’s financial districts, or in the thick of things in the West End, these are the locations Black Brick considers perfect spots for a London bolthole.

Exploring Canary Wharf: Outstanding Transport Links  

  • Price per sq ft: £689
  • One year price change: -2.4%
  • Five year price change: -1.3%

(source: LonRes)

The rehabilitation of London’s historic docklands has been on a slow burn ever since Margaret Thatcher first decided they would make an ideal spot for a modern new financial district in the 1980s.

In the early years the jury was out on Canary Wharf – building transport links, in the form of the Docklands Light Railway, was a slow and expensive process, and although businesses bought into the Canary Wharf dream after work and at weekends the area shut down. 

But fast forward to the 2020s and Canary Wharf is a modern, inspiring, buzzy destination, with a great range of waterfront shops, restaurants, bars, and cafes, stylish open spaces, and outstanding transport links thanks to the new Elizabeth Line. 

Canary Wharf is also an area which is still evolving – work is ongoing on the five million sq ft Wood Wharf development, which will include a hub for tech companies plus more than 4,000 new homes to rent or buy. 

The wharf will also include lots of new restaurants, including the newly-opened street food sensation Mercato Metropolitano, a life sciences hub, a casino, nightclub, and skatepark.

To counteract all this steel and glass, Canary Wharf chiefs are also working with the Eden Project on plans to create a “green spine” through the docklands. It will feature a network of parks and gardens, boardwalks, bridges, and floating pontoons through the centre of the neighbourhood.


Clerkenwell: Neighborhood for City Professionals 

  • Price per sq ft: £1,002
  • One year price change: 0.4%
  • Five year price change: -2.0%

(source: LonRes)

The fringes of the City of London have become incredibly popular residential options for those who work within the Square Mile, allowing them to walk to the office, but also giving access to central London’s nightlife and culture.

For character and vibrancy, historic Clerkenwell is hard to beat. Streets like Amwell Street and Exmouth Market are full of galleries, bars, cafes, and restaurants. 

It is a magnet for start-ups (Clerkenwell is said to have more creative businesses per square mile than anywhere else in the world), and is within walking distance of the City, King’s Cross, and Soho.

Transport links from nearby Farringdon Station are excellent, including several London Underground lines including the Elizabeth Line. 

It is also, by Zone 1 standards, extremely good value for money, with a good choice of modern luxury apartment buildings and period apartments and houses in Georgian and Victorian streets. 

When a client whose main home is in the country came to Black Brick looking for a pied a terre we steered him to the Barts Square development because of its easy access to his City office and on site facilities including a bar and gardens. Most of the best homes had been sold off plan so we worked with our contacts to buy a resale property off plan. The two bedroom apartment cost £1.325m back in 2017. Today two bedroom properties at the site list for around £1.6m. 


Mayfair: Elegance and Luxury

  • Price per sq ft: £2,426
  • One year price change: 0.5%
  • Five year price change: -0.9%

(source: LonRes)

The elegant townhouses of Mayfair have been in demand ever since the area was developed during 17th and 18th centuries. The area rapidly became the favoured address of the British aristocracy and over the years the collection blue plaques which decorate its buildings chart and august and eclectic range of residents – from George Frideric Handel to Jimi Hendrix -plus military leaders, captains of industry, and diplomats.

Although it began life as a residential neighbourhood, Mayfair rapidly evolved into London’s West End. Almost a third of its Michelin starred restaurants are in Mayfair. The commercial art galleries around Cork Street and the designer fashion on its de-facto high street, Mount Street, have an international reputation. And its private members club scene is thriving. 

For buyers who want to be able to enjoy world class shopping, dining, and socialising on the doorstep, treat Hyde Park and The Green Park as their back gardens, and be able to walk to London’s greatest art galleries and landmarks, Mayfair is the place to be.

Property ranges from grand apartments in redbrick or white stucco townhouses to newly built and highly serviced apartments, which appeal to a rich mix of young tech entrepreneurs and City workers, plus European and American buyers drawn by its historic architecture.

Possibly the most upscale new building in the area is Clarges Mayfair, a boutique development of just 34 homes just around the corner from The Ritz hotel.

Black Brick helped an American client buy a home here after negotiating an unusual arrangement which saw him rent the property for three years before buying it for £10.05m. This structure gave our client the chance to spread payment for the property, whilst still being able to enjoy its use:

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We’re ready when you are

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