Pimlico and Westminster
Pimlico - a few years now since this riverside area of London was best known for its seedy hotels and down-market bed-sits. Its rise to a fashionable place to live began in the 1970's when property conversions, smart new developments and improved transport attracted both ministerial staff and city professionals. Still not yet as smart a postcode as its neighbour to the south, Belgravia, Pimlico offers a stylish, central location for those unable to afford the neighbouring price tags. Westminster, the seat of government, tends to house the better off residents of London. Many members of parliament have homes here because of its proximity to the Houses of Parliament. SW1 also houses diplomatic staff from all over the world and is probably the most prestigious post code in which to live.
In Pimlico, flats and apartments dominate, varying in size and quality - grand apartments for the very wealthy to smaller flats for the less well-oiled. Family homes are hard to find. The central area is made up of elegant streets of tall white stucco buildings, many fine examples can be found in St George's Square and Warwick Square. New purpose-built developments sit happily alongside period properties, Bessborough Gardens is a good example. There are also council housing estates both old and modern. Ex-council blocks line the river next to Dolphin Square. Unlike Belgravia or St James', Pimlico has a down-to-earth atmosphere with its mix of working class, middle-class and wealthy professionals. Westminster boasts elegant period mansion block conversions and Queen Ann Town Houses close to Westminster Abbey. Further very desirable period properties together with new homes abound in Vincent Square. Some 1960's flats as well as neat terraced homes provide a good mix of rent or buy opportunities. New schemes have currently besieged the area, converting any building available into luxury apartments and flats.
Families and young professionals, members of parliament, diplomats, buy-to-let investors in good quality ex-council homes.