Tufnell Park is a small, quiet, in-between sort of place. Sandwiched in between the leafy village life of Hampstead, with its heath and its cafe culture, and the edgier, up-and-coming Holloway, Tufnell Park is the place for keen observers – close enough to all the action without the need to get involved.
“The area was best known for its dairy farms until the early 19th century when the Victorians began to make their mark on the locality, building smart terraces and larger residential buildings, which were divided into flats in later years,” says Frances Clacy, a research analyst for estate agent Savills.
These Victorian conversion flats are still wildly popular today, with almost all sales last year – 80 per cent in total – being apartments.
East of Holloway Road towards Finsbury Park is the growth area, with cheaper rents – so get in there quick
The railway station opened in 1907, providing links into central London in about 20 minutes and bringing the area into the metropolitan fold. The transport links are still a big draw today, with Archway, Kentish Town and Tufnell Park stations all within two square miles.
As with many other parts of London, it’s benefited from being close to, but crucially cheaper, than its neighbours. “For a very long time, Tufnell Park was overlooked as an area that had been going through a transition period due to the aggressive rise in prices for properties in Kentish Town and Islington,” says Oliver Venn, sales manager at Foxtons Camden.
The challenging London market has worked in buyers’ favour recently though. “Property in the area is being sold for a little less than it was 12 months ago as a result of today’s market conditions,” says Simon Gerrard, managing director of Martyn Gerrard agents, “so those looking to make their first steps onto the ladder are certainly at an advantage.”
This has caused “a real buzz in the market”, according to Carys Doyle from Dexters Tufnell Park. “New buyer registrations are considerably up compared to last year, a large portion of which are looking around the £300,000 to £500,000 price brackets.”
The average second hand flat sale went for around £504,582 according to Savills data, which is just below the London average but is nearly £100,000 below the Islington borough average.
But if you’ve got a bit more to play with than that, £1m plus properties accounted for around 20 per cent of sales in the past year. Buyers are often upsizing from Hampstead and want to be near Ofsted-rated Outstanding schools such as Tufnell Park School, Brookfield, Yerbury Primary and Eleanor Primary. “The most popular roads are the quiet residential streets of Huddleston Road, Lady Margaret Road, St Georges Avenue and the gorgeous mansion flats of Anson Road,” says Laurie Penry-Jones, manager of Fyfe McDade Islington.
If you want to invest, try one of the school catchment hotspots. “East of Holloway Road towards Finsbury Park is the growth area, with cheaper rents – so get in there quick,” says Gerrard. He’s right; prices increased by 46.6 per cent over the last five years, outperforming the wider borough.
There are lots of great independent retailers these days, including local butchers MEAT NW5, The Spence Bakery and fishmongers Jonathan Norris. For some local pub grub, head to Tufnell Park Tavern, an airy modern gastro spot with sofas and charming mismatched tables, serving up Mediterranean food. For drinks, go to the Ace & Eight Saloon Bar, a pizzeria, but also a retro 1950s rock ‘n’ roll cocktail bar with live bands, DJs, neon signs and dark corners to get up to mischief in. The Dome is also a well-respected live music venue, particularly if you’re into punk. Wonkfest is coming up in July, a BBQ and celebration of all things punk, while Brooklyn band Bodega are also playing next month. Hone your considerable martial arts skills at Shoalin Temple, which is also a centre for Buddhist meditation. Lastly, the Future and Found Store is a furniture shop worth making the trip for. The curated collection of design led homewares is displayed in a converted factory turned independent boutique. Brings shabby chic to a whole new level.
House prices Source: Zoopla
Transport Source: TfL
Time to Canary Wharf; 32 mins
Time to Bank: 17 mins
Nearest train station: Tufnell Park