There is a strong sense of community in Barnes and East Sheen, plentiful green open space and great riverside properties. In Barnes, outstanding local schools such as St Pauls, the Harrodian and the Swedish School continue to attract new people to the area from across London and further afield. There are also four outstanding schools in East Sheen, namely East Sheen Primary, Sheen Mount, Thompson House School and St Mary Magdalene Primary School.
The area has always been popular with families, and is increasingly appealing to young professionals looking to rent or buy. There are good transport links enabling an easy commute to the City or the West End. There's a wetland nature reserve, Barnes pond and Richmond Park – the largest Royal Park in London – is also nearby. There are some popular markets, too, including a farmers' market on Station Street, and excellent cafés, bars and restaurants.
The properties in Barnes and East Sheen offer a good mix of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian houses as well as some 1920s and 30s-built properties. There are also apartments dating from the early 2000s, though there haven't been any large-scale development in recent years. However, the Stag Brewery site on the banks of the Thames between Barnes and East Sheen has been earmarked for redevelopment and has the potential for up to 850 new homes. The site was bought by the Singaporean developer Reselton for a reported £158 million at the end of 2015.
The house sales market did slow a little during 2015, as it did across much of London. The number of sales during 2015 was 14.3% lower than in the corresponding period in 20141. The revision of the stamp duty system has had a significant negative impact, with buyers often looking for a cut-price deal to offset the increased tax they face having to pay – properties valued at more than £1.4m attract nearly 20% more in stamp duty under the new system introduced at the end of 2014 and for properties above £2m the tax bill is 54% higher. However, average sold prices in Barnes and East Sheen remained stable throughout 2015 and are now 56.3% above their pre-global recession peak in 2007.