London mews houses were originally built as stabling for the horses and their hands of the ground houses of the capital. Now many a mews has become a grand house in itself, with incredible interiors in incredible locations. While mews houses might not appeal to everyone, they have a legion of fans in London who are attracted to their individuality and quirkiness – and of course downright attractiveness.
Demand for the mews houses in Kensington, Chelsea and Notting Hill will always be high. Offering the sort of quintessential English living that you expect to find in more rural locations, they tend to be on quiet cobbled streets, set back from the main roads, in very central locations. What’s more, they usually have parking, an immensely attractive feature in The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea where parking spaces can be hard to come across.
It certainly seems to be the season for London mews houses at the moment. In the past few weeks alone, we have sold four in Notting Hill, two of them off market, all around the £2-£3 million mark. In addition, we have been brought in do a valuation for another, where the vendor already has an asking price offer on the table, but is wondering if the asking price should be higher.
The length of time the property is on the market for really depends on the individual house, and often the aesthetics of the mews itself – is it overlooked by larger buildings, for example? Some will sell within a matter of weeks, whereas others may take longer.
The split between unmodernised and modernised mews houses coming onto the market in the area is around 50/50. A fully overhauled property might appeal to a buy-to-let investor or an overseas buyer, while end users, often British, frequently prefer an unmodernised mews – which they can redesign and layout to suit their needs.
In terms of design, there is often an assumption that mews houses are dark and poky, but in reality, no two are the same. Those that have been modernised will often include extremely contemporary glass stairwells and bright décor to bring light into the property, as well as underfloor heating, smart home systems and even internal lifts. Mews houses tend not to have outside space, so you do see terraces being incorporated where a second floor has been added.
There are examples of mews houses with added basements here in Kensington and Notting Hill, but, dare I say it, we have noticed the fad for basements and sub basements is cooling slightly, perhaps due to stricter local authority rules.
On the lettings side, we find that applicants either love or hate mews houses! However, they are extremely lettable, and those that do come onto the market always let quickly.
We’re currently marketing this wonderful modernised mews for £4.75 million:
Associate Director – Sales, Mountgrange Heritage
18 July 2014