As the London marathon route nears the finish line in St James's Park, average property prices get progressively nearer the £1 million mark, in part due to the rarity of new development in central London.
It's this very scarcity that means property in the City, Embankment and St James's is likely to be a good long-term investment so, as the runners struggle through the final miles of the race, homebuyers with bigger budgets should focus their property search.
MONUMENT & CITY OF LONDON: 23 and 24 MILES
Tight supply means City homes normally make sound investments, yet values are still quite a bit lower than the best addresses in Westminster borough, Kensington or Chelsea.
Landmark Place is a rare new waterfront scheme between Tower of London and Monument offering 165 unmistakably modern apartments with spectacular views.
Eighty per cent of the buildings’ external surface area is glass and many flats are double aspect with recessed balconies. Prices from £877,500. Call 020 7718 5202.
EMBANKMENT: 25 MILES
Property values go uphill on the final stretch of the race, and few parts of the capital have such a deep, rich history as Strand, Temple and Aldwych. These locations have been urban since the Middle Ages, when bishops and royal courtiers built mansions with boat landings on the banks of the Thames, between City of London and the Palace of Westminster.
A “Northbank” rebranding initiative aims to give this swathe of central London a major facelift by upgrading 40 public spaces that dovetail with new housing developments, including at 190 Strand.
A concrete slab of Sixties offices has been bulldozed to make way for this two-acre scheme that offers 206 apartments set around a private garden square. Prices from £5,715,000. Call 020 3811 2824.
Meanwhile, Aldwych Chambers has 20 apartments in a cul-de-sac with “secret” steps down to the Embankment. Prices from £1,075,000. Call 020 7583 0793.
ST JAMES’S: 26 MILES
With its parks and palaces, gentlemen’s clubs, bespoke outfitters, wine merchants, gun and field sports shops, arcades and art galleries, St James’s proves that “gentrification” — in the truest sense — is far from being a new phenomenon in London.
The bluest of blood has flowed through St James’s since the 17th century when King Charles II allowed the Earl of St Albans to develop the area.
There are relatively few homes here, and the best ones are palaces, so they are not for sale. However, The Crown Estate, the area’s major landowner, is undertaking a right royal revamp that is doubling the amount of residential property.
Imposing 88 St James’s Street, right next to the sentry boxes of St James’s Palace, is being split into 10 apartments by American investment company The Carlyle Group, while in Jermyn Street, Beau House, named after the Regency dandy Beau Brummell, picks up on bespoke British tailoring and fashion brands, with seven high-quality apartments by prime central London developer Dukelease.
Prices start from £2 million. Call CBRE on 020 7240 2255.