Property insider: St Margarets

Fri 13 Jan 2012

Evening Standard Homes and Property Article, written by Kristy Gray and published on 13th January 2012:

Local estate agent Katie White of Fitz Gibbon takes us on a tour of St Margarets, a charming residential pocket of south-west London.

St Margaret's 'village' has a charming range of small shops, pubs and cafés

St Margarets sits on a bend of the Thames in south-west London, opposite Richmond and to the east of Twickenham.

It is now a fashionable residential pocket that has seen its fortunes rise in the past decade, with its’ enviable mix of large period homes and modern riverside flats tempting homebuyers seeking larger homes and more green spaces, but aren’t quite ready to swap city living for the country. 

Find properties to buy in St. Margarets.

Grand Victorian and Edwardian family homes sit on tree-lined streets, with those in the coveted Trust Grounds offering exclusive access to vast acres of secret communal gardens – complete with woodlands, tennis courts and a lake – all within a few minutes of the “village” shops, cafés and well-regarded schools. 

There are plenty of other open spaces too, with Richmond, Bushy Hill and Marble Hill parks all nearby, as well as Kew Gardens and Hampton Court Palace.

First-time buyers and young professionals also love the modern, riverside flats within gated developments next to Richmond Bridge and the swift transport links to the City. There are four trains an hour reaching London Waterloo in about 30 minutes and it’s an easy walk to Richmond station for District Line Tube services.

Which properties are typical to the area?

St Margarets has impressive family homes that make up the wonderful St Margarets Trust Grounds (St Peter's Road, St George's Road and Ailsa Road), well-proportioned maisonettes on Kenley Road, Sidney Road and Godstone Road, which all lead to Moor Mead Gardens, and modern riverside apartments close to Richmond Bridge.

Who is buying here?
St Margarets attracts families and young professionals. For first-time buyers and renters, St Margarets offers more value for money than neighbouring Richmond, but still has easy access to the shops, bars, restaurants and transport links of Richmond.

There are many families looking to buy here as the local state and independent schools have a fantastic reputation and the demand for places is high. Many families tend to rent while they are waiting for the right sales property to come on to the market. 

Many buyers are moving from areas in north London, as well as places such as Dulwich or Kensington as they get more space for their money here and the schools are well regarded. 

What are the 'hottest' properties in the area?
The Trust Grounds are very popular as the houses are large and each property has access to one of three private Pleasure Gardens available for the use of residents only. These "secret" gardens are tucked away between the residential streets of St Peter's Road, St George's Road and Ailsa Road and encompass several acres of parkland, all within a few minutes’ walk of St Margarets Village.

Also, the luxury apartments and houses with river views close to Richmond Lock are sought after.

Where are the 'hidden gems'?
Cambridge Park is a secluded road which has conversion apartments full of charm and character, just moments from Marble Hill Park. Crown Road offers well-proportioned apartments that are above shops and cafés, some of which have been stylishly updated and have the added benefit of a private roof terrace.

Where are the best investment opportunities?
Apartments in St Margarets are very solid buy-to-let investments. Flats always let quickly as the area is popular with young professionals and families. Many investors snap up opportunities to buy the two-bedroom maisonettes with gardens on Kenley Road, Sidney Road and Godstone Road, as well as the purpose-built flats in The Barons.

How is local parking?
Most areas within St Margarets have Resident Permit parking, with off-street parking fairly rare. The newer developments, such as Richmond Lock and the Richmond Bridge scheme, have secure underground parking.

What are service charges in the area like?
Service charges in the modern riverside developments, such as the Richmond Bridge scheme, are typically £2,200 a year for a one-bedroom apartment, which includes security, concierge services, underground parking and a gym.

What are your favourite viewings to show potential buyers?
My favourite viewings are those where the buyer or potential tenant come to view with little or no hope of the property being for them and then totally changing their mind and falling in love with the house or flat. Sometimes we as agents know what will work for an applicant better than the applicant themselves.

Where would your dream home in this area be? 
I would purchase one of the stunning family homes in the Trust Grounds - there is a wonderful sense of community there and having access to the Pleasure Gardens would be a joy.

Katie White is the Manager of Fitz Gibbons’ St Margarets office.