Looking back to four or five years ago when Prime Central London property prices were booming, it became commonplace to buy in a neighbouring borough if out-priced more centrally.
Buyers who could no longer afford Belgravia looked next door in Chelsea, and those searching for property in Chelsea moved into neighbouring Fulham instead.
However, with prices taking a dip, we are noticing that the ‘next door neighbour effect’ is starting to reverse somewhat.
Areas within Prime Central London are becoming attainable once again and the British property investors are back.
Middle Eastern and Russian buyers, so prevalent in Prime Central London some three or four years ago when the market was soaring, are now being matched by UK buyers returning to areas of London where they may have been previously out-priced.
These British buyers are more often permanent residents, using their properties as London boltholes or full-time homes, and the life and soul is once again returning to these prestigious boroughs.
Prime London boroughs back in favour
The beauty of Belgravia is its central location, within walking distance to Sloane Square, Knightsbridge, Marylebone and Fitzrovia.
It boasts some lovely little pockets of neighbourhoods such as Eton Square and Chester Square, along with new, trendy areas popping up such as Eccleston Yards.
A favourite street among the team at INHOUS is Kinnerton Mews Road, a hidden street that no-one really knows about yet just short stroll to Knightsbridge.
Belgravia remains popular with international investors, but wealthy British buyers are now starting to return to the area seeking properties as their central London bolthole.
If Belgravia is the elegant, slightly more mature relative, Chelsea offers a younger vibe and remains hugely popular with European and UK buyers.
The children of wealthy families living in Belgravia frequently opt to buy in neighbouring Chelsea which is a bit more affordable.
Centrally located, close to the river and with excellent schools, Chelsea has enduring appeal and with new developments around Chelsea Barracks and nearby Battersea Power Station it looks set to remain top of the list for many affluent London property buyers.
Notting Hill is an eclectic but equally high-end neighbourhood. Notting Hill properties are generally very large, there is excellent schooling nearby and the area offers a more artsy, alternative atmosphere. Residents are generally young money and young professionals and it’s especially popular among French buyers.
A great commuter district with superb connections into central London and to Heathrow Airport, it’s a great option for those who travel a lot for work or pleasure.
When to buy?
Investors looking to purchase in these popular Prime Central London neighbourhoods should take advantage of the current sluggish property prices before they bounce back.
Savills predicts that house prices in Prime Central London will climb 6% in 2021, with a 12.4% overall rise in prices between 2019 and 2023.
With Brexit due at the end of October 2019 and market optimism rising, there could be a limited window of opportunity to snap up property in these desirable areas before prices escalate.
*David Johnson is co-founder of INHOUS, an independent residential property consultancy