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The reasons why mews properties remain popular

What makes mews properties so appealing?

By Maurice Shasha  //  Tue 15th May 2018
What makes mews properties in central London so appealing? This article looks at why mews properties continue to be popular, and why they offer more than a prime location in the capital.
Competition remains high for mews properties in central London, mainly because they are limited in number. Though it's easy to find a mews street when walking around the neighbourhoods of Knightsbridge, Kensington and Mayfair, there are only so many mews properties in London – and only a certain number available to buy.

What is a mews property?
The buildings we now call mews properties were built as stables and coach houses. Usually to be found in cobbled lanes, these low-level stable blocks sat behind the more palatial residential townhouses to which they belonged. Despite their rather humble origins, mews properties have become highly desirable dwellings. Though mews buildings can be found in other cities in the UK, they are generally associated with London.

Why are they so appealing?
The main appeal of mews properties is their central location. Because they were typically built close to squares of townhouses and some of London's most sought-after residences in historically wealthy neighbourhoods, mews houses can be found in some of London's most prized locations, including Knightsbridge. A central location also means that mews properties are situated near to a wide range of amenities and attractions.

Aside from location, mews properties tend to be tucked away down quieter streets, away from the faster pace of the world nearby. Their comparative seclusion adds to their charm, while the mews streets also tend to boast attractive exteriors and period features, almost in the same tradition and style as a country 'chocolate-box' cottage.

Parking outside a mews property is not uncommon, and some of these properties have garages intact. In addition, a mews street often feels safe, private and secure, which will always appeal to buyers. While for those who like to have close neighbours and enjoy a sense of community in a central London area, mews properties are ideal.

What should buyers and investors look out for?
Developers have, by and large, improved the interiors of many mews properties, remodeling them to enlarge and reconfigure the space. The main downside of mews properties is that they can be small inside. However, they tend not to be listed, allowing developers and owners greater freedom to remodel the interiors. This could mean excavating into the basement to add a third level, extending into the roof space, or installing a roof terrace.

Rooms inside a mews house can be small, unless the property has been remodeled into an open-plan space. Many mews properties don't have windows at the back or side, which can make the interiors dark. However, modern lighting design will solve this problem, but lighting might still be a key consideration for anyone looking to buy a mews property.

Original features of a mews property to look out for include timber beams, sash windows and coach house doors.

Buyers and investors should look for a mews property where either it has already been remodeled to enlarge the space, or there is flexibility to extend or enlarge the property. Mews properties tend to divide people, but if you are keen to purchase such a property in central London, it's wise to research the mews property market, enlist the help of a local estate agent, and get a feel for the possibilities and limitations of the average mews property.

If you want to invest in a mews property in central London, to buy as a home or to let out, Plaza Estates can help.

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