Borough by borough: Islington

This vibrant and populous borough has long been popular with students, families and young professionals attracted not least to the area’s traditional housing stock. Since the creation of Tech City in the south east of the borough, it is now also a popular choice for IT and creative professionals.

The London borough of Islington is the most densely populated borough in London with an average of 139 persons per hectare, this compares with a London average of 52 persons per hectare. The area is mainly residential extending from Islington High Street to Highbury Fields, encompasing the area around Upper Street, Essex Road and Southgate Road to the east. The area appeals to families, students, young City professionals and young tech professionals alike. 

Central Islington has always been popular for its traditional housing and cafe culture, but there is a relativity new string to Islington’s bow; this has been driven by local employment opportunities. 

‘Tech City’ or Silicon Roundabout is a technology cluster located around the Old Street roundabout including the south east corner of Islington. It has been encouraged by both local and national government with the aim of producing a cluster of technology and web businesses, start-ups and overseas entrants looking to set up a European HQ. The scheme has been a success with estimates suggesting around 5,000 tech companies now located in the wider area around the Old Street roundabout.

The Borough has seen a 25% rise in its population between the 2011 Census and 2014, placing increased pressure on the housing situation and contributing to house price growth of 113% over the last decade. In response to this pressure, and the housing challenges across London in general, the borough has agreed a strategy based on the 2011 London Plan to deliver a minimum of 12,641 homes between 2015 and 2025, or 1,264 homes per annum. To this end, there are currently 1,500 units under construction, and a further 2,300 units with planning permission in the borough; of which a good number of these schemes are situated along the popular City Road corridor between the Old Street roundabout and Angel tube station, and along the canal basin area.

Recently added to market is 250 City Road, one of the largest and tallest developments of all the current schemes in Islington. It has 930 residential units and will incorporate amenities like secure bicycle parking for every unit and free wifi across all common areas and open spaces, in order to appeal to young tech professionals lured by the proximity to the nearby creative hub at ‘Tech City’.

Key facts

  • Population: 220,544
  • 113% house price growth over the last decade
  • 25% increase in population between 2011 and 2014
  • 1,500 units currently under construction
  • 2,300 units with planning permission