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Borough by borough: Kensington and Chelsea
Despite being the smallest London borough, occupying less than 1% of the city’s total area, Kensington and Chelsea often grabs the headlines with news of its exclusive residents and multimillion pound mansions.
Kensington and Chelsea’s prime status means that it has consistently had the highest average property prices, both in London and across the UK. Average prices are currently in the region of £1.3 million; this is almost three times the London average. And the price differential has been widening. Before the global financial crisis prices in Kensington and Chelsea were around double the London average. However, Kensington and Chelsea, as with other affluent areas, has afforded a higher degree of insulation from the recession and prices recovered stronger than the wider market.
Albeit all prime, there are a range of property developments, specification and values across Kensington and Chelsea. Of the developments currently being marketed values average £1,940 per sq. ft. However, this average masks a wide range with prices achieved from £1,130 psf. up to £3,685 psf.
While the location of the property is paramount, for an asset to be considered as prime, a number= of features are now simply to be expected, such as state-of-the- art security systems and a comprehensive concierge service. Most extremely wealthy buyers would not consider a scheme without these fundamental features.
Moving higher up the value curve, expectations increase to include business and leisure amenities. Design is clearly important; units will need to be finished to the highest specification possible, while allowing some freedom for the buyer to imprint their own personal taste. Externally, the building will need to be stunning, either with a powerful historic facade or if it is new build, be the craft of an award winning architect. To go straight to the top of the class, the building itself will be iconic; a landmark within the city and an overt symbol of wealth. For a development to acquire super-prime status it would need a full and comprehensive service offering. Branding is extremely powerful; purchasers like to know they are buying the best.