Tall storeys: why townhouses are making a comeback
Historic, roomy and economic – townhouses have enduring appeal
When the producers of television drama Upstairs, Downstairs wanted to portray the grand residence of the upper-crust Bellamy family, they chose a townhouse in Belgravia’s Eaton Place.
And yet, the popularity of the townhouse – a taller and wider version of the humble terrace – wasn’t just an Edwardian phenomenon. It continues to flourish today, as purchasers realise the many positives of this kind of dwelling.
“I’ve been shouting about townhouses for the past 15 years,” declares James Greenwood of Stacks Property Search & Acquisition. “They make incredible homes and are the way forward.”
He believes the location of townhouses in London and market towns – near the centre, but not alarmingly close to the action – is a key attribute.
Research from Savills confirms that townhouses are tops, shooting up in value by nearly 22% over the past decade, contrasting with rural manors, which have dropped by 14.5%.
Despite the price rises, Giles Cook from Best Gapp believes people love townhouses because they still represent good value. “Compared to a lateral flat, you pay 25-50% less for a townhouse.”
They appeal to a wide range of buyers, too, which can be useful when it’s time to sell. Downsizers from detached houses, young families desiring more space and overseas investors wanting a slice of English heritage
all love townhouses.
Despite their allure, townhouses don’t appeal to everyone, cautions Giles. “Some homeowners don’t want to walk up and down several flights of stairs, but you could install a lift if the house isn’t listed.”
Despite this drawback, James thinks spacious, charming and reasonably priced townhouses will continue to pull in purchasers. They might not be the new kids in town, but such enduring quality is always in fashion.