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Once housing horses, these mews houses are now highly sought after 

por Leora Governor (2020-06-19)


\uc5b4\ub9b0\uc774 \uc720\uce58\uc6d0 \ub180\uc774\uc2dc\uc124 \ub180\uc774\ud130\ub9cc\ub4e4\uae30 \uc2dc\uacf5\uc804\ubb38\uc5c5\uccb4\uc785\ub2c8\ub2e4.Madonna and Guy Ritchie have owned one and so has Sir Michael Caine. In the Seventies, Formula 1 ace James Hunt had one, while Sid Vicious, Amy Winehouse and Noel Gallagher are just some of the many musicians to have lived in one.

We're talking about mews houses — those quintessentially British homes typically found in cobbled cul-de-sacs. 

Today, they are a favourite of chic buyers in the handful of British cities where they can be found.

Most date back to Victorian times and are just a street away from far larger houses stretching over four or five storeys. This is because mews were originally built for horses and carriages, with coachmen and grooms living above the animals.

Hot property: Mews houses in London's Knightsbridge 

Those horses and staff served the families who owned the larger homes, but, before the outbreak of World War I, land for housing became scarce in Central London and the first mews were turned into homes.

Mews often had facades that made them look like small terraces — those exteriors have typically been listed by conservation experts, but one of the major advantages of a mews is that the interiors are not protected, so can be updated.

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In the capital, mews are typically found in the wealthiest areas — Westminster, Kensington, Chelsea, Marylebone, Mayfair, Notting Hill, Belgravia and Knightsbridge. Other cities to have mews include Bath, Cheltenham, Bristol and Edinburgh.

'No two examples are the same, and it seems that new owners often totally remodel them,' explains James Robinson, general manager of Lurot Brand, London's specialist mews estate agency.

'Mews commonly have garages or off-street parking. But it's rare for them to have much outside space,' says Stuart Bailey of estate agents Knight Frank.

As a result, some conversions are spectacular: one mews house had the basement dug out to provide space for a dance floor and a DJ booth; others feature a media room, sauna, gym or even a golf simulator.



Although mews look like a relatively cheap way of buying into a well-heeled area, as they are usually far smaller than the surrounding large mansions, the reality is quite the reverse, if you look at how much space you get for your money.

In Central London, where most homes are compared by the price per square foot, instead of the number of bedrooms, mews are revealed as a super-expensive option.

Lurot Brand recently sold a mews house in the Hyde Park area for a cool £2,326 per square foot, while one of the nearby multi-storey grand ??????? houses sold for just £1,438 per square foot.

Popular: Some housebuilders are even cashing in on the popularity by building modern mews, combining classic design elements with 21st-century quality

The rarity factor often adds to their premium. Estate agents report that buyers are willing to wait years for a mews house to come on sale in the area they like. 

For example, Lurot Brand has a list of 1,656 people who want a mews, yet only 227 mews houses changed hands in Central London in 2018.

Sky-high prices created by the demand (no mews is on sale in London for under £1 million on Rightmove) can be inflated if a celebrity moves into the area. 

Some mews back on to railway lines and, as a result, unmodernised ones tend not to have rear windows.

Similarly, the lack of outdoor space often makes them a no-go for families.

But the mews tradition is being resuscitated, with stables being converted to provide homes — in Truro, Cornwall, Retirement Villages has transformed a stable block aimed at the over-55s, for example.

Some housebuilders are even cashing in on the popularity by building modern mews, combining classic design elements with 21st-century quality.

However, purists remain unconvinced, saying that new lookalikes have little of the character and none of the history of the originals. 

When it comes to mews, they say, provenance is everything: if the building hasn't been lived in by a horse, it's not a real mews.

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