There’s been a number of recent articles in the press on everyone’s favourite topic – property prices – and what they’re doing in the borough of Kensington & Chelsea and Notting Hill.
The latest article is published in today’s Evening Standard. House prices have risen by 51% in the “bonus belt” – areas of London that are favoured by city bankers (and international buyers), such as Kensington and Notting Hill – during the tail-end of last year. This follows the property slump that was at its worst in February and means that house prices have now, supposedly, surpassed the peak of 2007 with some properties even going for record prices.
Whilst some may feel that trying to predict what house prices will do next is a bit like sticking your finger in the air, such articles show one quite important thing. Areas such as Kensington and Notting Hill will always be popular with a wide variety of buyers because they’re such prime areas of London. Any general slump in the property market will of course have an effect in Kensington, but in other ways than prices being completely slashed – such as a lack of supply as people hold on to their properties, waiting for an upturn in prices. (Or, I suppose, an offer they can’t refuse.)
Just before Christmas, it was also revealed that one of the most expensive streets in the country is Wycombe Square, W8 – which is, in fact, just south of Notting Hill Gate. Whilst I don’t doubt it’s an incredibly expensive “street”, with an amazingly pricey collection of properties, the new-build nature of this gated community isn’t exactly your average British road. (And not just because of property prices.) This information comes from a report by Halifax, and is based on property sales between 2005 and 2009. A number of other streets in the borough of Kensington & Chelsea are also on the list (of 20 streets), although I can think of many more streets in the area that should be on the list. (The Boltons in Chelsea and the surrounding streets? The mansions of Holland Park? What about “Embassy Row” – Kensington Palace Gardens – where properties go for £50 – £80 million?!) I guess those were streets in which people didn’t sell during this time period; once you’ve bought, how can you possibly trade up?