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London Property Market – Belgravia

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SNIPPETT: Belgravia may contain the UK’s most expensive street, but property for sale in this exclusive district takes some finding

Classic Regency-style streets, crescents of fine houses with views over private gardens, Belgravia has rightly earned its place as one of the most desirable places in which to live and work in London.

London Property Market – Belgravia

Someone likely to know more than others not only about the charm of this upmarket area of the capital, but also the potential offered by property for sale in Belgravia is Alistair Boscawen of local estate agent Best Gapp.

Q: Can you give a snapshot picture of the current property market in Belgravia?

A: It is buoyant to say the least. The area remains at the high end of the property market. According to research by Lloyds Bank, Grosvenor Crescent in Belgravia is the UK’s most expensive street with residential property there costing an average of £17m.

Q: Has it always been like this?

A: Not at all. A lot of property in Belgravia is still owned by the Grosvenor Estate, which in the 1820s began development of what was formerly a swampy, scrubby area of land known as the Five Fields. From the very beginning of that transformation, it became a fashionable London address, not only for its grand crescents of white stucco houses, but also because of its proximity of the newly refurbished Buckingham House, which was transformed into Buckingham Palace;

Q: You mentioned that Belgravia has the most expensive street of properties in the UK. Doesn’t that put it out of the reach of many buyers and investors?

A: It is true that Belgravia has perhaps more than its fair share of the super-rich residents, many of whom are overseas investors. But investment on such a scale, at the very top end of the market, also has a way of nurturing the growth in property prices right across the scale.

This is the argument put forward by renowned local developer and designer Alex Michelin, who says it is wrong to complain that foreign investment is destroying opportunities for affordable property investment. Although some overseas investors might be guilty of overheating the market by paying inflated prices, this makes caution and informed advice from your local estate agent all the more important to your own choices for investment.

Q: Is Belgravia a buyers’ or a sellers’ market?

A: It is a difficult question to answer. The market can change almost overnight – in fact it did just that at election time in 2015 when a buyers’ market turned into a sellers’ market in just 24 hours.

With so much money tied up in Belgravia property, the market is likely to turn at break-neck speed in response to the slightest shift in the international economy or politics. The art, of course, is choosing that very moment when the market might be changing – something to which a locally based estate agent may be best tuned to detect.

However, many overseas investors purchase property in Belgravia as a long-term safe haven for their wealth. The increased use of technology, such as the ability to establish a virtual landline in China, means they can live in London while keeping in close contact with their business in Asia or anywhere else in the world. This means estate agents in central London will never be able to offer as many properties as, for example, east London estate agents.