Islington has always been a destination of note, with a thriving creative community, the Business Design Centre and a fondness among public figures that has beguiled everyone from George Orwell to Lilly Allen. An Islington address carries a lot of weight in influential circles, somehow marking its residents out as social and academic elites.
Forever linked with New Labour’s victory in 1997, the area retains its appeal among politicians professionals and the middle classes with a conscious. When Tony Blair, Emily Thornberry and Margaret Hodge moved to N1 during the 1990s, they were able to snap up large family homes for under £300,0000, kick-starting a process of regeneration that has now morphed into something described by The Guardian newspaper as ‘super gentrification’. In fact, Blair’s former home is now valued in the region of £4 million, and Upper Street is awash with fashionable boutiques and lauded restaurants. Translated, super gentrification means the global elite have arrived, serving to enhance Islington’s appeal among international relocators. You’re just as likely to see a deeply-tanned art dealer sipping an espresso outside Ottolenghi as you are a graphic designer with a beard on a Brompton bike.
Although it benefits from exceptional links to the West End and the City via mainline rail, Tube, London Overground and bus, Islington is set just far enough away from the touristy hub to cultivate its own slightly leftfield, freethinking atmosphere. Journey times from Islington to key destinations almost all come in under 30 minutes: King’s Cross/St Pancras and Paddington – 2 minutes; Tottenham Court Road – 13 minutes; London Bridge – 17 minutes; St Paul’s – 18 minutes and Canary Wharf – 27 minutes.
While it’s easy to hop on the Tube or train and be pretty much anywhere within half an hour, a rented property in Islington offers professionals the chance to walk to work. The Guardian Media Group, City University, London Metropolitan University, Arsenal’s Emirates stadium, the Almeida theatre and Sadler’s Wells are all in the Islington borough, plus King’s Cross, St Pancras, Clerkenwell, Farringdon and Old Street are within a 30-minute walk from most of central Islington.
Islington’s convenience and kudos, however, doesn’t come cheap. Property to rent in N1 can be dizzying in cost. Rents ranging from £3,000 per calendar month (pcm) to £10,000 pcm aren’t unusual but should be offset with reduced or non-existent commuting costs. Islington and the eponymous borough in which it sits is a juxtaposition of housing styles and tenures – with social housing co-existing quite happily with multi-million pound mews houses. The most coveted tend to be period properties – with flat fronted Georgian townhouses and Victorian terraces yielding generous proportions and character features. There’s a liberal sprinkling of industrial warehouse and loft conversions, some decent new build developments and one-off architecturally designed dwellings to delight the most discerning of relocators.
Pockets of superior desirability do exist in Islington and these include: Hemingford Road, Offord Road and Lofting Road in the Barnsbury Conservation Area; Highbury Hill, Highbury Crescent, Corsica Street and the roads around Highbury Fields; Florence Street and Bouton Place on Waterloo Terrace in the Angel Islington area; Upper Street and surrounding roads including Coopers Yard, and Prior Bolton Street and Compton Road in Cannonbury.
Our relocation agents are currently active in Islington, sourcing properties to rent and helping settle home movers. If you have clients relocating to Islington and would like orientation and rental advice, contact Klippa Relocation today.