Facing an overheated super-prime market, London’s elite are expanding into new postcodes, says Emma Rickwood
For prime property buyers in the UK’s capital, the three points of Belgravia, Knightsbridge and Mayfair – the ‘Golden Triangle’, as it is known to property hands – have long been the logical place to start. However, with the heating of the London property market, even the most devoted Harrods shoppers are now choosing to look outside of these super prime zones in order to get more for their pound, yen or dollar.
St James’s Park, an enclave bordered by Victoria Street to the south and the Royal Park to the north, is emerging as one such of these new premier destinations. February 2016 figures from LonRes shows that, whilst a house in Mayfair has achieved an average of £3,125 per square foot in the last 12 months, a house in St James’s Park is valued at £2,500 per square foot, offering buyers a reduction of up to 20 per cent on the final price.
It is not only the value for money with is drawing buyers to this park-side location. The area is benefiting from the ripple effect coming out from the regeneration of Victoria. No longer just a transport hub, Victoria is home to the headquarters of Bentley, Jimmy Choo and the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation in addition to a number of high-end restaurants and boutiques. Whilst benefiting from proximity to this new lifestyle quarter, St. James’s Park nonetheless retains a quintessential British charm. Situated between two of Britain’s most powerful seats, namely Buckingham Palace and Westminster Palace, are two streets of Georgian and Queen Anne architecture, with the most-sought after houses those which overlook the park.
In addition to examining how luxury property buyers can seek out better value for money by shifting their search radius, we have also examined how property type can impact on price per square foot. In all three prime areas of Belgravia, Knightsbridge and Mayfair, the price per square foot of houses has come in significantly lower than that of flats. In Belgravia, flats are 60 per cent more expensive per square foot than houses; dropping to 40 per cent in Knightsbridge and 25 per cent in Mayfair. Despite the variations in percentage difference, the opposition in value between flats and houses is significant across all three locations and suggests that buyers looking to maximise their value for money in prime locations should look at houses over apartments.
These figures supported the viability of Space Design & Development’s most recent project, the complete restoration of two Georgian townhouses on historic Old Queen Street (Each house is on the market for £19million). Having been converted into offices, we have painstakingly restored them to their former glory as super-luxury family homes. These properties offer the level of finish and design expected by prime property buyers, yet, at £2,500 per square foot, still offers excellent value for money for such a central London location.