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A guide to period property in London

There are few better places in the UK for period property hunters than London.

Period homes remain hugely popular with buyers in the UK and, below, we’ll explore the kind of incredible period properties on offer in London and the best places to find them.

What is a period property?

A period property is a home built within a specific period of time, usually before the first world war (pre-1914).

The period home style

Period homes are all about character – and London buyers seek out the best examples with retained period features.

Those features include:

• Ornate fireplaces

• Original stained glass or sash windows

• Parquet or tiled flooring

• Decorative cornice and architraves

Types of period property in London

There are several different types of period property still found in the UK – and London is home to most of them – as well as some of the best examples available to buyers.

1. Victorian properties

Victorian properties were built during the reign of Queen Victoria I (1837 – 1901).

There was increased demand for homes during this period, resulting in rows of terraced houses in many areas of London.

Victorian homes generally have high ceilings, with a tall, pitched roof and deep red brick work.

Decorative tiled hallways were common during this period, alongside bricked porches, stained glass windows and ornate fireplaces in every room.

2. Edwardian properties

Although the Edwardian period was a short one – nine years between 1901 and 1910 while Edward VII was King – it coincided with a major change in feel for UK properties.

With Victorian homes dominating areas close to towns and cities, builders started to move out into the suburbs where there was more space.

The Edwardian properties of this era were more spacious than Victorian homes, with a wider footprint and larger hallways.

Many Edwardian homes are also set back from the road with a front garden, but offer buyers the same decorative floor tiles, stained glass and ornate fireplaces as Victorian properties, alongside an increased use of timber for cladding.

3. Georgian properties

The Georgian era – between 1714 and 1830 – is largely considered to be one of the finest for British housebuilding.

Properties built in the early Georgian years gradually became more ornate and glamorous up until the Regency period of the early 1800s where interior and exterior decoration hit new heights.

Georgian properties in London are usually laid out over three or four storeys in terraces of town houses, often built with ornate railings and decorative rendering alongside traditional brick work.

High ceilings, spacious interiors and sash windows are also major features of traditional Georgian homes.

Best areas for Victorian and Edwardian properties in London

London is a real happy hunting ground for buyers looking for Victorian and Edwardian properties, with some incredible examples to be found in these great areas…

1. Willesden Green

Willesden Green in North London is renowned for its rows of superb Victorian terraces and Edwardian semis.

For the best examples, check out the roads just north of Willesden Green station and close to Gladstone Park.

Average property price in Willesden Green: £781,764

2. Finchley

North London hotspot Finchley is another great London area for lovers of Victorian and Edwardian properties.

Expect to find rows of stunning period terraces and semis in the roads North West of Finchley Central station, close to Finchley Golf Club.

Average property price in Finchley: £670,744

Best places to search for a Georgian townhouse in London

Georgian homes were voted the UK’s most desirable properties – and it’s easy to see why.

Some of the best examples in the country are in London, so here’s where you should start your search…

1. Islington

Islington in North London is arguably London’s finest area when it comes to Georgian properties.

Roads and squares in the area feature grand terraces of three or four-storey Georgian townhouses, complete with all the interior and exterior period features that makes these homes so special.

Average property price in Islington: £875,227

2. Bethnal Green

East London’s Bethnal Green is probably best renowned for its mix of converted warehouses, post-war family homes and new developments of flats and apartments.

But the area is also home to some stunning Georgian townhouses, particularly in roads like Cephas Avenue and Paradise Row, where lines of two and three-storey properties are available.

Average property price in Bethnal Green: £534,844

Are period properties worth more?

The demand for period homes in London is showing no sign of slowing up and properties from the Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian era are highly sought-after.

Period properties have timeless appeal and as time moves on and new properties are built, fewer become available – meaning many can command a premium when it comes to asking prices and valuations.

Further reading…

If you’re looking to buy a London property for the first time, take a look at our helpful guide.

We’ve also outlined some of the best areas to buy in London, as well as the hotspots for buy-to-let investors.

Average prices from Rightmove, April 2021

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