Barnes and East Sheen

Barnes and East Sheen
London Living, Country Life

16 February 2016, by Kirsty Bennison

Demand is strong for the varied housing stock and lifestyle these leafy suburbs provide


The sought-after areas of Barnes and East Sheen sit in the borough of Richmond upon Thames. Although historically considered part of Surrey, these days Barnes and East Sheen are within travelcard zone three but they have retained their leafy, village feel.

These neighbouring districts have many similar attributes, attracting young professionals and families for the community and country feel, while still retaining the buzz of London living.

Families in particular are drawn to the area due to the high number of houses available. Houses account for 60% of properties in Barnes and East Sheen, compared with 40% across Greater London and 26% in inner London.

The housing stock varies hugely ranging from Edwardian maisonettes, Victorian cottages, river fronted townhouses to large 1930s family homes.



▲ Barnes is bordered by the Thames on three sides


Barnes is a unique location with the Thames bordering it on three sides and is well known for its village feel. Until the beginning of the nineteenth century, Barnes was regarded as remote and inaccessible however this changed with the construction of Hammersmith Bridge in 1827 and the railway in 1846. This infrastructure opened up Barnes to development and the high quality of houses available drew demand from early commuters, a trend which continues today.

East Sheen

East Sheen, including Mortlake, has a more industrial past than neighbouring Barnes. Historically the area was characterised by enterprises such as potteries, tapestry works and the Mortlake Brewery which drew on the proximity to the Thames for trade routes. Nowadays, this stretch of river is well known for the annual boat race between Oxford and Cambridge Universities with the race ending just past the Mortlake Brewery.

Richmond Park is a big draw for the area. The vast 2,360 acres of parkland makes it the largest of the eight Royal Parks in London. In East Sheen many large homes are located around its perimeter, commanding a significant premium of 20% compared with those located close by, on a £ per sq ft basis.

Property prices

In 2015, the average sale price in Barnes was £1.4m, 53% higher than neighbouring East Sheen at £935k according to Land Registry. Both areas command a significant premium to the average sale price across Greater London (£540k) and Richmond upon Thames (£767k).

Prime property values in Barnes and East Sheen have increased significantly over the long term with price growth of 130.4% and 41.5% in the past ten and five years respectively. In 2015, house price growth outperformed neighbouring areas, increasing by around 9.5% compared with the wider prime south west London market. However, over the final quarter of 2015 price growth was marginal due to pressures from increased stamp duty and mortgage regulation.


The housing market around Barnes and East Sheen: A look at where the sales happened and at what value*

Figure 1

Source: Savills Research using Land Registry (*11 months to November 2015)

The rental market

As seen in the sales market, rental values in Barnes and East Sheen are higher than the borough wide average. The median monthly rent is £2,600 in Barnes and £1,900 in East Sheen according to Rightmove data. In both locations, rental values vary significantly depending on property type and size. The average rent varies from around £1,250 per month for a one-bed to over £3,300 per month for a four-bed property.


The vast majority of those buying property in the area are purchasing their main home. In 2014/15 only 3% of homes were bought as an investment, a significantly lower proportion than across the wider prime London market.

The most popular reasons for tenants to rent in the area is for the lifestyle with those moving due to employment relocation also prominent. Increasingly, both Barnes and East Sheen are seen as attractive places to settle for many years. This is reflected by roughly half the buyers and tenants in the area moving from within Richmond upon Thames in 2014/15.

A further 28% of buyers and 19% of tenants moved from the more expensive markets north of the Thames, attracted by the relative value the area offers and larger properties and gardens.

Although not traditionally dominant in this part of prime London, international residents are an important source of demand for housing in the area. In 2014/15 they accounted for around 29% of buyers and 42% of tenants with those from Western Europe being the most prominent buyer group.

Excellent local schools such as the Swedish School in Barnes and St Paul’s School make the area desirable for families from all over the world.

With four train stations and nearby Hammersmith underground station, commuting to the key employment hubs is quick and convenient. The largest employment industry for people living in Barnes and East Sheen is the Professional, Scientific and Tech sector closely followed by the Information and Communication sector accounting for 18% and 12% of households respectively, according to the 2011 Census.

With the Professional, Scientific and Tech industry forecast to grow to be the largest employment sector in central London over the next five years, the area is well placed to draw on the newly created wealth that will result.


What would the same property sell or rent for on our featured roads?

Figure 2

Source: Savills Research


East Sheen

▲ East Sheen has retained its leafy, village feel


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