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January 11, 2023
Jeremy McGivern
Posted in: Luxury real estate London

Looking for a House in Kensington? Here is what you need to know

In 2021 and 2022, owning a house in Kensington meant that you had one of the best-performing properties in Prime Central London. This was partly due to the demand for more Luxury homes with good gardens after the pandemic lockdown, but the simple fact is that having a house in Kensington has been a popular trend for well over a century.

Where is Kensington in London?

However, there is some confusion as to what actually constitutes Kensington, so where exactly are the houses in Kensington?

It is part of the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea which incorporates several areas. South Kensington is very different to Kensington as is West Kensington which isn’t in RBK&C and all three have their own underground stations.

The northern boundary is Holland Park Avenue, the southern boundary is Cromwell Road, with Hyde Park and Gloucester Road forming the eastern boundary. The western boundary is delineated by the train line just to the west of Holland Road although when you reach High Street Kensington the boundary moves in to Holland Park (the park and area to the west and north of Holland Park are regarded as “Holland Park” rather than Kensington).

Hyde Park near houses in Kensington


Is Kensington Good for Families?

Having a house in Kensington is one of the best options when looking for areas to raise a family because  it is sandwiched between Holland park & Hyde Park, so there is a lot of green space for children to run and play in, but also to walk dogs and there is far more of a village feel with the houses in Kensington than say Mayfair or Knightsbridge making Kensington real estate is some of the most popular in London.

Is Kensington a good place to live?

The architectural features found on your average house in Kensington are very different to many areas in London which tend to be dominated by tall, narrow townhouses with no gardens. Conversely, the houses on Phillimore Gardens, Upper Phillimore Gardens and the Phillimore Estate in general are very popular because they sit on much wider plots of land, so are much wider, i.e. you have more square feet on fewer floors, and have much bigger gardens.

Upper Phillimore Gardens has some of the most popular, biggest and most expensive luxury homes in Kensington. Phillimore Gardens is particularly popular because many of the houses have clear views over and gardens that back onto Holland Park; some even have gates at the end of the garden that lead directly onto it.

Other popular streets are in the De Vere Conservation Area which is very quiet, has wide houses and also Thomas’s Preparatory School.

House in Kensington

There are other large houses and luxury Apartments in Kensington scattered around which have huge plots. As an example, I was advising a client on an 8,000 sq.ft. luxury home in Kensington that had a garden of nearly an acre which also had planning permission to create an additional 10,000 sq.ft. including an underground leisure complex which included a nightclub and squash court.

But even this house in Kensington is eclipsed by the most expensive houses for sale in Kensington, which are in Kensington Palace Gardens, the most expensive road in the U.K. This is a private road which runs between High Street Kensington and Bayswater Road with armed guards at either end because this is also the entrance to Kensington Palace.

Luxury homes in Kensington Palace rarely become available (some are still embassies) and are usually sold off-market; the smaller ones command prices of over £100m. There are also luxury apartments in Kensington available in a small building at the northern end and then a larger apartment block to the southern end of Kensington Palace Gardens which is known as Palace Green.

Shopping in Kensington

One thing that is a slight anomaly is that High Street Kensington is actually quite average in terms of shops and restaurants when one compares it to Knightsbridge, Mayfair, Belgravia, Chelsea, etc. The addition of Whole Foods has been very popular and a slight improvement, so it will be interesting to see if this changes as the High Street has lagged behind other main streets in RBK&C. However, this is a minor issue for most residents as Kensington is so close to Knightsbridge, Mayfair, Notting Hill and Sloane Square.

What do you need to know when looking at houses for sale in Kensington?

It is important to distinguish which are the best parts of Kensington because while the area as a whole has performed very well, there are very distinct parts.

As a simple guide, the houses in the most western part of Kensington are probably the least desirable. However, even this is too crude a statement because Edwardes Square is very popular as are some of the houses on Pembroke Gardens.

Obviously, there are other factors to take into account when trying to value real estate in Kensington like the style of property, location within the “core” part of Kensington, layout and quality of décor, which will all affect the value of a property.

If you are looking to live in Kensington and do not have a clear understanding of which streets are home to the best houses in Kensington, then be very careful – you will probably make an expensive mistake as prices can vary dramatically within each street in Kensington let alone the different areas within it.

I have acquired several houses and luxury apartments in Kensington for my clients and they are often surprised by the range in price per square foot. For example, the prices in the new developments are much higher than for most luxury apartments in Kensington.

In my view, many of the luxury homes in Kensington which are new developments have been poorly thought out and are inferior to those in other parts of prime central London. Consequently, the premium is often far too high and these properties are usually bought by people who simply haven’t done their research because there will often be better options available in Kensington (especially if you are planning to acquire an investment or live in Kensington).

Houses in Kensington

Ultimately, as a buyer you have two goals:

  1. To find the best property your money can buy
  2. To Acquire it for the lowest price possible

Unfortunately, most buyers fail to achieve either because they don’t do their research, don’t know what they don’t know and are often not skilled at negotiating London property transactions. This is unsurprising because the prime London property market is not only opaque but highly competitive. The simple fact is that prices can vary dramatically in each street, let alone between the streets themselves, so you need to be careful.

If you are serious and interested in looking for houses in Kensington to rent or buy or anywhere else in prime central London, would it be a bad idea to discover the proven steps and strategies that will help you find the best property your money can buy and acquire it for the lowest price possible, while avoiding all the wasted time and frustrations suffered by the majority of buyers?

Contact Mercury Homesearch

If you would like to know more you can request a complimentary copy of my book, The Insider’s Guide to Acquiring £1m to £100m Property in London by clicking https://mercuryhomesearch.com/free-book/, emailing dee@mercuryhomesearch.com or calling 02034578855 (+442034578855 from outside the UK).

Whatever you do, please remain selective and focus on our “Best in Breed” strategy.

Best regards,


About the author, Jeremy McGivern

My name is Jeremy McGivern. I am the founder of Mercury Homesearch, the internationally renowned property search consultancy, and author of The Insider’s Guide To Acquiring Luxury Property in Prime Central London. I have been acquiring property in prime central London for clients for over 13 years.

Having physically viewed over 22,000 properties in prime central London, studied the details of over 153,400 apartments, houses and investment opportunities and spoken to 232+ estate agents every week for over a decade.

My advice is in high demand and has featured everywhere from Bloomberg Television, The Financial Times and The Daily Telegraph to Forbes India and Bahrain Confidential.

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