Londoners swap flats for houses in Leafy, Thames-Front Richmond


Richmond, England’s affluent city, is a leafy riverside town at the end of the Tube’s District line, both country and city.

The historic, southwest London The suburb boasts an iconic 2,500-acre deer park, a bustling stretch of the River Thames with towpath access and scenic landscapes that have barely changed in around a century.

Richmond agents saw record sales last year as buyers took advantage of the stamp duty holiday, which ended in September.

Due to the pandemic, Richmond is attracting more buyers who are moving for lifestyle reasons. There was notable demand from people selling in central London boroughs such as Chelsea, Kensington and Knightsbridge with budgets between £2-3 million (US$2.7-4 million), said Xavier Marques-Wicks of Chestertons in Richmond.

Some people like the idea of ​​being in the countryside but don’t want to go much further than suburban London, said Oscar Doyle, head of Featherstone Leigh’s Richmond office. “Moving to Richmond offers greenery without becoming completely rural,” he added.

Interest in Richmond has returned to levels not seen in seven years and we expect it to continue, Marques-Wicks added.

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Borders

Richmond covers the postcodes of TW9 and TW10 and is located in the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames. Although it does not have a London postcode (it was once part of Surrey), most locals would consider it a London borough.

The triangle-shaped neighborhood is bordered on its northern side by Lower Mortlake Road, while Petersham Road and Star and Garter Hill form its southern tip. Manor Road and Queens Road form the eastern edge while the River Thames borders its western side.

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Price scale

Prices in Richmond vary from street to street, depending on small factors such as off-street parking or traffic noise or congestion, Mr Doyle said.

Local officers said the Richmond Hill area, or the roads leading to the top of the hill, is the most sought after area in Richmond. Popular roads here include Montague Road, Park Road, Mount Ararat, Onslow Road and Rosemont Road.

Broadly speaking, two- and three-bedroom cottages in the Alberts (a collection of period workers’ cottages on seven roads) cost between £800,000 and £1.35 million, while a flat of three-bedroom garden can sell for £1.465million. In the Richmond Hill area, a four-bedroom house can cost between £2.5m and £3.5m, while a five-bedroom house costs around £4m, Mr Doyle said.

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Detached and semi-detached homes overlooking Richmond Green sell for between £4m and £8m. A few homes can exceed those prices, such as those at The Vineyard, where prices can reach between £14m and £18m, according to Mr Williams.

In 2021, The Wardrobe, a 15th-century house with a large garden off Richmond Green (used by the then royal family to store clothes), sold for around its asking price of 3.15 million pounds after 55 views. The Tudor property was renovated by Sir Christopher Wren and is almost all that remains of Henry VIII’s riverside Richmond Castle.

A number of homes sell off the market every year and some in the past have sold for between £8.5million and £15million, said James Williams of Knight Frank, who has worked in Richmond for 16 years.

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Housing stock

Homes in Richmond are primarily houses and include former workers’ houses, townhouses and semi-detached houses, and detached villas, in addition to a few apartments. Most of its architecture dates from the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras, while a few houses have much older origins.

Situated at the top of Richmond Hill, next to the park is the Royal Star and Garter House, Richmond’s most notable apartment development. It has been converted into 100 private apartments over the past decade from a historic building built for injured servicemen in the 1920s.

Due to the pandemic, Richmond is attracting more buyers who are moving for lifestyle reasons.

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What makes it unique

Richmond has a bustling riverside, a pretty village (with a 12 acre village green), proximity to renowned private schools, a good range of shops, large period houses and some Tudor buildings.

Richmond was the site of Henry VIII’s palace (now demolished), from which its name derives. Richmond Park, or “the park” as locals call it, was established by Charles I in the 1630s and boasts free-roaming deer, open moorland, a 40-acre woodland garden and three viewpoints. On weekends, its seven-mile circular promenade comes alive with spandex-clad cyclists and joggers.

The town is also known for its view from Richmond Hill towards the River Thames, famous in JMW Turner’s large-scale painting of 1809, Thomson’s Aeolian Harp. (It is the only English landscape view protected by an Act of Parliament.)

As well as the “park” there is the 12-acre Richmond Green, which contains the Grade I listed gatehouse of Richmond Palace, Terrace Gardens, the Thames towpath, Petersham Meadows, Buccleuch Gardens, all in Richmond , and the Marble Park at East Twickenham, one mile away.


Richmond is less than eight miles from King’s Road in Chelsea. It has good rail links to the city via Richmond station, which offers Overground, Tube and Overland services. Heathrow Airport, meanwhile, is a 25-minute drive away.

“It has the appeal of the green space, the river, the schools and it’s steeped in history,” Mr Williams said.

Most residents of Richmond consider it a district of London.

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Luxury amenities

Richmond’s bustling dining scene includes Ivy Café, which offers an all-day café-style menu; the Retreat Kitchen, a vegan restaurant; and Antipodea, an Aussie restaurant with a globally inspired menu that includes a wood-roasted barramundi dish, wood-fired pizzas and an Aussie burger.

Popular traditional spots include Al Boccon di’vino, a Venetian restaurant; Chez Lindsay, a French restaurant; and Matsuba, a small Japanese cafe. Newly opened Tapas Brindisi on Whittaker Road, which overlooks the river, offers Spanish dishes and features colorful tiles and orange seating.


Meanwhile, you’ll find white-tablecloth dining at Steven Edwards at Bingham Riverhouse, which features in the Michelin Guide and offers stylish modern dishes, and overlooks a garden and the River Thames.

Posh fish restaurant in Mayfair Scotts is opening a second restaurant in Richmond, taking over a former drinks bar on the riverside Whittaker Road, serving Dover sole, caviar, oysters and champagne.

In addition to a library, Richmond’s cultural hubs include a historic theatre, the Orleans House Gallery and a Curzon cinema.

Many people move to Richmond to be near St Paul’s School, an independent school for boys aged 13 and 18 in Barnes, about four miles away, Mr Williams said. Other popular schools include St. Catherine’s School, an independent Catholic school for girls in Twickenham; Radnor House, a mixed independent day school also in Twickenham; and Lady Eleanor Holles, a private girls’ high school in Hampton.

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Who lives here

It is above all a family district but not exclusively. Interestingly, Richmond has become younger in recent years thanks to London’s booming tech industry. Young entrepreneurs with big budgets to spend are increasingly buying into the region.

Richmond buyers can be senior partners in law firms and accountants such as PwC and Deloitte, wealthy business owners and rugby players (Twickenham Stadium is just down the road). Mr Doyle said half of his agency’s clients are actors and directors due to Richmond’s proximity to Pinewood, Teddington and Twickenham studios.

Interior view of a house in Richmond, London.

Tom Merton/Getty Images

Notable residents

Actor Tom Hardy and his wife, Catherine Riley, who is also an actress, reside in Richmond. Other famous Richmondites include naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, actor Richard E. Grant, singer Rick Astley, McFly bassist Dougie Poynter and American filmmaker Joss Whedon, according to published reports.

Outlook

New inquiries (or new applicants) were up 170% from January 2021 to the same month in 2022, while views were up 105%, Williams said, adding his office saw record sales in 2021.

The strengthening of the Richmond market looks set to continue even without the help of the stamp duty tax exemption. Mr Williams points to the latest Knight Frank Index which predicts that values ​​in outer London suburbs such as Richmond will rise by 24% to 25% over the next five years.

Mr Doyle said that in the first month of 2022 there have been new inquiries every day. “Richmond prices go up or plateau, but they rarely go down,” he said. “Demand may remain high through the spring due to the city’s strong bonus forecast.”

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