Thinking of making a move to the big smoke? Whether you’re looking to invest in the luxury home of your dreams or simply get your hands on some premium property as an additional stream of rental income or a nest-egg for the future, there’s no denying that London plays host to some of the best, and most expensive, houses in the country.
But in such a big city, which has a population of over 9 million, it can be difficult to know where to begin your search, and arming yourself with some knowledge of the most affluent neighbourhoods will stand you in good stead to find just what you’re looking for.
From Chelsea to Knightsbridge, there are some names that need little introduction, and London is now one of the most expensive places to live in the world. But which other boroughs are now the highest value areas in the capital?
And what do you need to know about moving to London or buying property in the city before you take the plunge?
What you need to know
The logistics of moving into or across London can be tricky, particularly with the current congestion charges in place and the constantly backed-up traffic. Most people who live in the city choose to travel by tube or train – that is, unless they want to cruise in their luxury Lamborghini, with nowhere in particular to go.
With this in mind, many movers choose to keep some of their belongings in storage until they have moved the main essentials into their new abode, which can be a particularly useful service for those moving from abroad and having to go through a lengthier process of finding and purchasing a property before they can move in.
The best areas to buy
One of the fanciest neighbourhoods in the world, Knightsbridge is renowned for its high-end fashion boutiques and opulent department stores such as the iconic Harrods. It is also home to the kinds of banks that cater specifically to wealthy individuals, with many of the nation’s rich and famous choosing to call it their home.
When it comes to luxury real estate, Knightsbridge is rich pickings, with property prices in the area averaging £2.8 million. In a city where space is traditionally limited, the sprawling town houses here have got it all – from swimming pools and wine cellars to saunas and golf simulators.
Home to the opulent gardens and royal abode of Kensington Palace, it’s to be expected that property prices in Kensington would remain high for the long-haul. And, with the likes of Sir Richard Branson, Eric Clapton and Madonna all being your potential new neighbours, the area clearly holds a special appeal that the wealthy just can’t get enough of.
One home here features a private museum for vintage Ferraris, in a demonstration of sheer extravagance at its best. From underground swimming pools to monstrous hidden cinemas, nothing in Kensington is considered too over the top – yet everything here is done with the utmost in class and sophistication; ostentatious, it is not.
Properties in Kensington currently average around £1.2 million, and with demand for the area strong, those investing in rental properties will have little trouble attracting wealthy tenants who are willing to pay handsomely for the privilege of a Kensington address.
With a long history of glamour and sophistication, Chelsea is one of London’s original most affluent neighbourhoods, with artists including the Rolling Stones, Kylie Minogue and even the Beatles residing here in the past.
Still a popular celebrity haunt and a playground for the rich and famous, it is still frequented by the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Gwyneth Paltrow until today.
Here, you can expect to pay upwards of £1.2 million to bag yourself your dream property, with some of the most beautiful homes in London occasionally up for grabs.
City of Westminster
One of the most popular areas to live in inner London, Westminster is also home to royalty. Here, property owners can live just a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace, making it an excellent place to invest in. If you’re considering renting your property out in the long-term, then demand here is sky-high, so you’ll have no trouble finding someone to move in when the time comes.
With Parliament and 10 Downing Street also nearby, Westminster is a highly sought-after location for wealthy tourists, too – so you might like to consider accepting shorter term lets to make some very handsome returns.
With Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street also nearby, this borough wins extra points for its central location, with easy access to all of the key points of interest. It’s little wonder, then, that properties here come with an average £1.6 million price tag – but make for an investment you’re unlikely to ever regret.