Sale value of blue plaque homes with literary connections higher than properties linked to any other profession

Knight Frank has analysed exclusive data provided by English Heritage, revealing the total sale value of homes in London with blue plaques connected to literary figures is more than £91m, far exceeding the total generated by properties linked to any other profession*.

Run by English Heritage, the plaques appear on over 900 buildings across the capital, honouring the notable men and women who have lived or worked in them. To coincide with the organisation’s 150th anniversary, Knight Frank – the sole property sponsors of the blue plaques scheme – examined the locations of each of these properties, analysing price performance via Land Registry data going back to 1995.

The data has been used to create an interactive timeline that provides an in-depth look at the boroughs with the most plaques (Westminster, Camden, and Kensington & Chelsea), how the number of plaques has grown over the last 150 years – the oldest recipient dating back to the 1600s – as well as which professions are the most prevalent in these locations. The timeline can be accessed here.

The results of Knight Frank’s analysis also revealed that:

  • Westminster, Camden, and Kensington & Chelsea were the top three boroughs for blue plaques
  • Hampstead is the area of London with the greatest number of homes with blue plaques (64)
  • Cheyne Walk in Chelsea is the street with the most properties boasting blue plaques (10)
  • There are more properties associated with literary figures (103) than any other profession. Homes associated with figures in politics & administration and fine arts host 78 and 65 respectively
  • The total sale value of homes in London with blue plaques connected to literary figures is £91.3m
  • Composer Hubert Parry’s Kensington home commanded the highest sale price at £18.3m. Homes linked to artist Sir Luke Fildes (£17.5m) and celebrated novelist Mary Shelly (£14m) commanded the next highest sales price

Professor Ronald Hutton, Chair of the English Heritage Blue Plaques Panel, said:

“Since 1866, these modest but distinctive blue roundels have reminded us of the people and places that made history.”

Top 5 highest sales*

Noel Flint, partner at Knight Frank and head of central London residential, comments:

“This year we will celebrate stars of the silver screen and stage, a much loved comedian, sporting legends, and one of the greatest writers of modern times. It’s a roll-call that underlines the wide range of talent who over the centuries have made London their home.”

“Knight Frank is very proud of its sponsorship of English Heritage’s blue plaques scheme, which is synonymous with some of the most influential people who have helped to shape the history of London. This research provides fantastic insight into the geographical spread of the plaques and the diverse fields of interest of their subjects. For the owners of these homes, the plaques are a reminder that they are guardians of buildings of historical interest which is a source of great pride.”

“I have been fortunate enough to have been involved in the sale of a number of these properties and it is always met with great excitement when one comes onto the market. My personal favourites were A.A. Milne’s on Mallord Street and Bram Stoker’s on St. Leonard’s Terrace.”

Aree Rand, partner and head of Knight Frank’s Hampstead office, comments:

“It is no surprise that Hampstead hosts the highest number of blue plaques, the area’s rich history is often a key attraction for people looking to move there. Hampstead has been home to an eclectic mix of celebrated poets, writers and painters such as George Orwell, Henry Cole and Philip De Laszlo. The legacy that these former residents leave behind then certainly adds to the character and appeal of the area.”