Homes & Property has commissioned exclusive research from Savills based on the Tube map, dividing the capital into rings with central London as the bull’s-eye. In a four-part series we will work from the inside out, starting with the historic wards of the centre and working through the inner and outer suburbs, and beyond.
The most expensive parts of the city, within the prime streets of central west London, are beyond most people’s pockets. Prices in the Knightsbridge and Belgravia ward of Westminster, which lie around the Royal Albert Hall, have more than doubled in five years to an average £4,551,939. The second most expensive ward is Norland, the tract just north of Holland Park Avenue, where homes cost an average £2,440,205, up 20 per cent in the period.
Soho the upstart
The title of most up-and-coming ward goes to a relative upstart, West End, which covers the Mayfair and the Soho streets north of Piccadilly. Prices there have grown by 113 per cent in five years to an average £2,173,142. As the transition continues from commercial to living spaces, new homes that include some stunning lateral flats are appearing, convenient for Soho’s fashionable restaurants and bars. The central location and the imminent arrival of Crossrail at Tottenham Court Road are driving this trend, as is the area’s relative value for money.
Crossrail is key
Another central ward enjoying major price rises is Farringdon Without, the easternmost section of the City of London, just south-west of Farringdon station, where the average of £675,957 reflects a 103 per cent increase.
£1,395,000: the price of a two-bedroom penthouse flat in Farringdon
Ben Babington, residential development director at estate agents Jackson-Stops & Staff, says buyers are flocking to the area - and indeed, to the whole City. Homes in new developments are proving a hit with everyone from financial workers to downsizers who want to swap a country house for a City pad. A new-build, two-bedroom flat in the area will cost between £1.2 million and £1.5 million - hardly chicken feed, but far cheaper than central west London.
If, however, you want central London for less, the only way is south-east. In the Peckham ward of Southwark, between Peckham Road and Burgess Park, the average property costs £245,205, up 16 per cent in five years.
“Five or 10 years ago this area was a bit of a no-go zone,” adds Bishop. “But I think it’s just getting to the point when people are happy to move here.”
Price growth is not rapid but worth waiting for.
One to watch
Lucian Cook, director of residential research at Savills, says overseas buyers have distorted the market. “The most expensive wards have seen an inflow of overseas cash over the last five years. The less expensive wards are far more dependent on local buyers - particularly on those who depend on mortgage finance, at a time when mortgage finance is tight.”
An exception is Faraday in Southwark, between Elephant & Castle and the western edge of Burgess Park, where prices are up 41 per cent to an average £303,513. Elephant & Castle regeneration has brought the area to the cusp of gentrification, says Bishop. It is starting to attract young families priced out of Dulwich or Brixton. “Prices are really low for central London.”