N1 is officially the priciest postcode within four miles of Charing Cross, according to research from property website Zoopla, coming in third on its list of London’s property ‘millionaires’ behind the slightly greener but more remote pastures of SW6 and NW3.
Home to trendy Hoxton and De Beauvoir Town, as well as the luxury developments encircling City Road and Kings Cross, it’s little wonder properties here come at a premium; as of February this year, 11,300 N1 properties were worth over £1million.
But before Old Street was tech and Hoxton was hip and Kings Cross traded grime for glamour, there was Angel, the original N1 wunderkind within walking distance of the City.
Pious in name, privileged in a stock of well-preserved Georgian and Victorian homes and packing a punch when it comes to restaurants, bars and shopping, here’s why heaven must be missing an Angel.
What properties are on offer?
A surge of development in the 19th century transformed this former farming land into a bustling village directly north of the Square Mile, and it’s these Victorian and Georgian houses and maisonettes that remain among Angel’s most in-demand housing stock.
James Marshall, associate, office head at Knight Frank Islington says the most sought-after streets include Duncan Terrace, Colebrooke Row and Noel Road behind the Tube station, and the historic pocket of Canonbury just north of Angel central.
But the landscape has certainly changed since the 19th century, particularly in the southern part of Angel, where industrial buildings lining Regent’s Canal have been converted into character-filled loft-style apartments and new developments have crept up from Shoreditch.
“City Road has been completely reinvented over the last 10 years by schemes like Canaletto Tower, Chronicle and 250 City Road, and now a lot of the development is pushing west to King’s Cross,” James says.
Major new schemes include the Plimsoll Building, and Gasholders, the conversion of a trio of Victorian gas holders into flats that are reaching up to £2,000-per-square-foot and are being snapped up quickly, according to James whose office sold seven in the last week alone.
In Angel, three-bedroom houses will set buyers back between £1.5m and £1.8m at a minimum, with some larger homes fetching up to £3m. Two-bedroom garden flats are popular in the area, particularly among professionals and downsizers, who can expect to pay between £900,000 to £1.3m. One-bedroom flats fetch at least £500,000 to £550,000.
“We saw a big uplift between 2012 and 2014 and then the market bottomed out a bit, so over the last year or two we’ve probably seen a 10% drop in prices,” James says.
“Now things are down at a more reasonable level and we’re seeing a lot more buyer confidence this year.”
Put simply, everyone that can afford to.
Angel’s position close to the City and Shoreditch and great lifestyle amenities means it’s a popular choice for young moneyed workers, while families appreciate its stock of larger homes (a rarity this close to central London) as well as good schools, Highbury Fields to the north and the conveniences of Angel Central.
“The Islington market tends to be your end user rather than your overseas investor,” James says. “We get a lot of people who have been living in the area for 20 or 30 years, and they might have upsized and downsized in that time – generally people stay in the area unless they are priced out.”
“We also see quite a few families looking to move across from West Hampstead because they can get better value for their money in Angel,” James says.
You’ll find Angel Tube station smack bang in the middle of the junction served by the Northern Line, which will have City commuters at Bank Junction in five minutes and London Bridge in seven.
Angel is also a candidate for Crossrail 2, which would provide direct links with Euston, Victoria and Clapham Junction.
Head north up Upper Street for Highbury & Islington station with excellent links to Oxford Circus and East London on the Overground. Buses run along City Road to the East End and up Pentonville Road towards Kings Cross.
Food & Drink
Angel residents are unlikely to go hungry living, as they do, at the start of ‘Supper Street’, the long stretch of restaurants lining Upper Street towards Highbury Corner.
While chains dominate Angel Central, there remains solid options around Islington Green in Oldroyd, a tiny but classy modern European restaurant and the perennially popular original Ottolenghi deli.
Further afield, Radici – Francesco Mazzei’s authentic Italian trattoria does near-perfect pizzas on Almeida Street – and Smokehouse does a roaring trade on Sunday roasts from a pretty pocket of Canonbury Road.
The Angel Centre houses major retailers like H&M, Gap, M&S, while Upper Street has independent boutiques and upmarket fashion and chains.
A stroll along Camden Passage reveals quaint antique and homewares shops and there’s also a vintage market every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
This Grade II-listed four-bedroom terrace in Duncan Terrace has five storeys of elegant accommodation and a wonderful west-facing garden. It has just been sold through Knight Frank with an asking price of £3.3m