New Homes | Competitive for Summer 2012
Date of Article
May 28 2012

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May 2012, Stuart Harris, partner and head of residential at Carter Jonas in Cambridge, is feeling competitive ahead of Summer 2012 as he takes us by the hand and leads us through the streets of Cambridge.

The influence of London on the Cambridge property market cannot be denied and, in all likelihood, it’s an influence that will continue to strengthen.

But I recently heard that a local estate agent, in describing a property on Mill Road in the city to a potential buyer who was more familiar with London than with Cambridge, called this area of our city the equivalent of London’s ‘Notting Hill’.

For those unfamiliar with our historic university city, to describe its residential areas in terms of their London equivalents is probably not a bad strategy.

So in taking this creative approach, I’d probably agree with the Notting Hill analogy but wouldn’t apply it to all of Mill Road and the surrounding area.  It’s certainly more bohemian than most other areas of the city and is the most diverse area of Cambridge in terms of cultural, retail and leisure offering. 

Yet, not far away and moving through streets towards Hills Road, we find much bigger houses which resemble those smart, family residences found south of the River Thames in and around Clapham South.

The Clapham Common property style and wider vibe is echoed in The Kite area, especially those properties towards Parkside and Parker’s Piece and Christ’s Pieces.

Newnham is most definitely our Highgate or Kensington equivalent in terms of residential desirability and price range if not property style or extensive retail facilities.

With the addition of hill and a heath and Great Shelford is certainly a match for Hampstead, relatively speaking, and very much combines the village and community feel and good transport links that Londoners are prepared to pay a premium for in Hampstead.

Moving out to Cherry Hinton and then out of the city towards Teversham and Fulbourn, I’d say they were the Tooting and Streatham equivalents – a mix of houses and flat conversions that are popular with families, couples and young professionals in small flats or large, shared houses.

It’s often said that London is really a collection of villages as opposed to having one, homogenous identity because it is so vast, diverse and heavily populated which is why its residents are so protective of their limited parks, commons and green spaces.

In Cambridge city we are so fortunate to be surrounded by proper villages and proper countryside. While I enjoy travelling to London, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of, after a long day in meetings, getting on that train at King’s Cross or Liverpool Street and thinking that in under an hour from London’s West End or an hour and a half from the City of London you’ll be back in Cambridge.