Westminster Area Guide

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Westminster is at the very centre of Britain’s political and ceremonial life. Tourists arrive in their droves to see the medieval glories of Westminster Abbey, St Margaret’s Church and the Jewel Tower, along with the high Victorian gothic design of Barry and Pugin’s Houses of Parliament and the building that has come to symbolise the capital more than any other, Big Ben’s clock tower.
But step away from these landmark World Heritage buildings and the tourist crowds and there is another Westminster to discover, the historic Westminster of peaceful cathedral precincts, some of London’s finest streets of Queen Anne and Georgian houses, and period terrace homes.

Although the district is known the world over as the centre of British political life, it is also becoming a much more popular place to live and much more convivial, too. 

Property in Westminster
Westminster has some outstanding early Georgian houses in Queen Anne’s Gate in the Birdcage Walk conservation area. The best have fine wooden decorative door surrounds and canopies and bow windows at the back overlooking St James’s Park. Most of these houses were used as offices but in recent years the local council has allowed many to be converted back into homes.
There are smaller Georgian houses nearby in streets such as Buckingham Place and, closer to Westminster Abbey, in Cowley Street and Barton Street. The very best houses now command prices of up to £2,000 a square foot, with smaller houses starting at about £1,400 a square foot.
There are spacious Edwardian mansion flats in the streets around Westminster Cathedral, and where government offices are becoming redundant they are being replaced with new homes. The period mansion flats sell for between £1,000 and £1,500 a square foot and new-build flats for around £1,600 a square foot.

Average prices: buying in Westminster*
One-bedroom flat: £1.21 million
Two-bedroom flat: £2.12 million
Two-bedroom house: £1.69 million
Three-bedroom house: £3.96 million
Four-bedroom house: £6.15 million

*These statistics also include Knightsbridge, a more expensive area than Westminster.
Rental yields are low, ranging from 2.7 per cent to four per cent, so most landlords invest with capital growth uppermost in mind. Westminster was once popular with politicians as a place to live as well as to work, but since the expenses scandal there are strict limits on what can be claimed in mortgage and rental costs, which has forced many MPs out of the area however, it is still possible to rent reasonably

Average prices: renting in Westminster*
One-bedroom flat: £3,441 a month
Two-bedroom flat: £4,810 a month
Two-bedroom house: £4,795 a month
Three-bedroom house: £13,120 a month
Four-bedroom house: £15,232 a month

*These statistics also include Knightsbridge, a more expensive area than Westminster.