Why Brook Green is London’s new hotspot for US arrivals?
Since the 1970s London has been a magnet for Americans many of whom have made their home within famous areas such as Kensington, Mayfair, Chelsea, Fulham and Holland Park.
But the high house prices and rents now being demanded in these neighbourhoods are persuading many younger US arrivals to seek more affordable areas that suit their needs better but still offer good transport links into the West End and City.
And one area that is a ‘secret’ among Americans here is Brook Green in West London between Shepherd’s Bush, Hammersmith and Kensington.
“Our US clients tell us they love it here because it’s got a vibrant community, a strong economy, plenty of local events to attend, excellent transport links and brilliant schools,” says Finlay Brewer partner Paul Cosgrove.
“Brook Green is also dominated by houses and therefore more popular with families. There are only two apartment-lined streets – Sinclair Road and Addison Gardens.
“Kensington and Chelsea, on the other hand, are much more all about apartment living and both their local and international residents tend to socialise in other parts of London or live there for only a part of the year, so these areas can lack a ‘community feel’.
Brook Green also has several sought-after independent schools including St Paul’s Girls School. It regularly produces stunning academic results and has several famous students including actress Rachel Weisz, who holds both UK and American citizenship.
Other notable schools include Godolphin & Latymer on Iffley Road as well as the Jacques Prevert preparatory school over the Green from St Paul’s.
Brook Green is also a short walk from Shepherd’s Bush which now has Westfield London and will soon be home to a hotel run by fashionable members-only club Soho House.
But transport links are also key to Brook Green’s popularity. Not only does it have nearby Underground stations on the Central, Piccadilly, District and Hammersmith & City lines into central London, but it’s very close to the A4 and A40 Westway, which enable locals to escape on Friday nights for weekends away.
“Brook Green is also unusual because it’s close to Kensington and yet house prices and rentals here are much more affordable,” says Paul.
He says four to five-bedroom family homes with gardens in Brook Green rent for between £1,400 and £2,000 a week and can be bought for between £2.3 and £3 million depending on their size, interior décor and orientation.
“But a more surprising reason why Brook Green is popular with Americans is the area’s churches,” says Paul. “There’s a huge range here from Catholic to Evangelical and it’s often mentioned by US house hunters who contact us.”