Bell Street empties, a sign of the times!

A small terrace of properties in my neighbourhood along Bell Street, NW1 have been lying empty in a locality desperate for family housing.  

While prime housing market has gone down in Central London somewhat since certainly Brexit, it also leaves empty many other developments which were going on the tails of that sub-market like those along Bell Street, NW1. The above four 3 bed houses had originally been offices which were converted into residential something l welcomed since the offices were lying empty for many years. But since the residential conversion was completed last November the new homes have also been lying empty in a locality where 3 bed homes are in urgent need. This has meant the number of office conversions have gone down in Central London, so it will be interesting to see how developments in Marylebone like 66 Chiltern Street now progress in the market while still in the construction phase. 

Unfortunately the rent levels of social housing in Central London do not financially permit social housing provider to pick up the properties either at the asking prices nor at the probably costs incurred in building them. So we are left with a terrace of empty properties which are neither being rented out or sold on to owner-occupiers, after their conversion. 

This is at the same time as other prime mega developments like the one being developed in the old Battersea Power Station are trying to convert some of the development into alternative use other than residential which can supplement it well like offices. 

It’s safe to say that whilst the prime housing market is so volatile, such properties along Bell Street are likely to stand empty for a lot longer than is good for anyone.  




2 thoughts on “Bell Street empties, a sign of the times!

  1. Achim von Malotki

    Sign of the times? Only in London and the UK!

    Whenever I go back to Berlin, my former home city, I am being reminded of how much British lawmakers and Mayors could learn from there: any landlord or buy-to-let property owner in Berlin who leaves their property vacant, un-let for over six months faces severe sanctions. Just this measure alone helps focus developers’ and investors’ minds on what local people actually need and can afford, and has a massive corrective influence on the housing market overall. And still, Berlin has a thriving private rental sector that meets demand much better than here!

    1. Murad

      I won’t be surprised if the Bell St properties lie empty for 6 months at all. Then would be a great time to make such a proposal as we have in Berlin…so watch this space on that front.


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