The past few years have witnessed a growing trend among London’s senior financial professionals towards owning two types of property – a main (or, perhaps, family) home just outside the capital and a pied-a-terre-type residence in the city centre that doubles up as a long-term investment opportunity. Mews houses - namely, former carriage houses, typically accessed via a courtyard or alleyway - are a perfect fit for the latter, offering a combination of investor appeal and high quality living, ideal for those with busy lifestyles and an eye on the future.
Mews homes are natural urban crash pads for several reasons. Due to their historic function as stables, mews are often located just off some of the finest and most famous streets in London. Therefore, they enjoy the best-of-both-worlds: always near a buzzing area, while retaining an ambience of seclusion and privacy. In addition, very few mews are listed buildings, so they can be modified and upgraded far more easily than many other historic London properties. Lastly but certainly not least, they are very rare. A 2015 survey estimated there are less than 500 mews left in London as many were demolished in the early 20th century. So to own one is to own a vestige of history – no small boast.
These characteristics have led to mews homes becoming excellent investment opportunities as well. According to Savills, the average value of a mews house in prime London rose from £350,955 to £2,346,227 between 2005 and 2016 – an almost seven-fold increase in little over 10 years. That is remarkable even by the standards of the capital’s housing market. Moreover, this type of housing fares very favourably against properties more typically thought of as “luxury” within London. In Mayfair, for example (a postcode heaving with huge Georgian townhouses) recent research revealed that redeveloped mews in the area fetch £2,750 per sq. ft. – above the local average of £2,500 sq. ft..
Given their popularity and scarcity, mews properties can be difficult for first-time investors or those not particularly familiar with such homes to acquire. This is no truer than in Holborn. London’s unofficial professional services heartland, Holborn is an area teaming with big financial institutions – Goldman Sachs and Deloitte both have head offices there – alongside a wealth of internationally renowned law firms and consulting outfits, from Macfarlanes to Bain & Company, which naturally form part of most finance workers’ extended professional circle. Holborn is also rapidly becoming a popular place for financial professionals to live, as well as work. Figures from CBRE show that average residential values there have increased by an impressive 64.6% over the last five years.
Yet, despite evident demand, there are relatively few homes in Holborn – and even fewer mews properties, meaning that finding one is a bit like unearthing a hidden gem. This is exactly what Pinks Mews is. A luxury development nestled in a private walkway off High Holborn and equipped with the latest mod-cons, Pinks Mews is unique. It ticks all the boxes of an archetypally perfect mews, as well as being one of the few mews to be newly developed, removing many of the maintenance and refurb issues some traditional mews homes have. The rare combination of qualities Pinks Mews possesses makes it an apt example of both the rebirth of Holborn and the establishment of mews properties as great places to live and invest in.
Alex Stocker is the founder & CEO of Sons & Co.