When the shiny new, highly fortified US Embassy opened for business in January, it was in a Vauxhall that’s vastly changed over the past decade. The embassy’s relocation from Mayfair sparked a massive building programme and the neighourhood became part of central London’s largest regeneration zone, with plans for over 20,000 homes plus countless shops and offices. Residential towers are shooting up and two new Northern Line stations are due to open in 2020. ‘Many of our clients are young professional owner-occupiers working in the West End, and a lot have previously rented in the area and grown to like it,’ says Bernard Cully of JLL. ‘The entry point for a new 550-600sq ft flat is £550,000-£600,000, about £1,000 per sq ft.’
One-bed flat, £690,000
Sunny outlook: A bright flat on the tenth floor of the new Keybridge development, with a combined kitchen/living/dining room opening onto a spacious balcony, a utility room and tons of storage. Mount Anvil, mountanvil.com
Commute time: In Zone 1/2
Commute cost: Annual Travelcard £1,364
Price per sq ft: £1,051
Set in the Surrey Hills, an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the picturesque and unspoilt village of Shere has a 12th-century church, an infants school, a couple of pubs, a café/deli and an acclaimed restaurant, Kinghams. Its timeless charm has made it a popular location for film and TV shoots. ‘Shere is on the global map thanks to its role in The Holiday, Four Weddings And A Funeral and Bridget Jones,’ says Jamie Freeman, director at Haringtons buying agents. ‘People move to the village in search of a chocolate-box cottage but it has its fair share of detached country houses on the outskirts, too. Buyers should expect to pay circa £500,000 for a three-bed cottage and in excess of £1million for a detached family home.’
Four-bed house, £700,000
Central setting: Situated in the heart of Shere, this spacious house has many period features and offers scope for updating. Comes with planning permission for a two-storey extension. Knight Frank, knightfrank.co.uk
Commute time: From 36 mins from Guilford (five miles away) to Waterloo
Commute cost: Annual season ticket £4,476
Price per sq ft: £312
…or why not get 2 for the price of 1?
One-bed flat, £399,900 Dexters, dexters.co.uk
This bright, ex-local authority flat is in a conveniently-located purpose-built block just over a quarter of a mile from the trains and Tubes at Vauxhall station, and within walking distance of Westminster, across the river. It’s in good condition and has a decent-sized living room, a separate fitted kitchen with Metro tiles, a double bedroom and a bathroom. All rooms open off the hall and there’s plenty of useful storage throughout.
One-bed maisonette, £299,950, Hamptons International, hamptons.co.uk
You’ll be hard-pushed to find a flat that’s more full of character than this, part of a converted Grade-II listed building just outside Shere. Arranged over two levels, it has the looks and feel of a cottage and an abundance of original features such as exposed brickwork, an open fireplace and a stable door leading into the garden. The sitting room, bedroom and bathroom are on the ground floor, with the kitchen/diner and cellar at lower ground-floor level.