Property in Belgravia is some of the most sought after in the world.
So what makes it so popular?
As always, location is a key reason.
Belgravia is part of the Grosvenor Estate and borders Buckingham Palace to the east, Sloane Street to the west, Hyde Park to the north and Pimlico/Victoria to the south. In short it is very central so offers everything that you could want.
It is a short walk to the boutiques on Sloane Square and Sloane Street or the shops and restaurants of Knightsbridge. It is also a short car journey into Mayfair and the West End for more restaurants, shopping and shows. In other words, the best of London is on your doorstep.
Historically, Belgravia has been regarded as possibly a little dull because it is predominantly residential and the streets that did have shops were rather humdrum. However, the Grosvenor Estate, of which Belgravia is a part, has invested considerably into improving this situation.
So, now Halkin Street is a vibrant pedestrianised area with boutiques and restaurants while there has also been an extraordinary change to Elizabeth Street which has been transformed from rather a drab thoroughfare to a destination with a selection of boutiques and restaurants.
Some have derided Belgravia as being dull, but that rather misses the point. Yes, it is heavily residential, but this is part of its attraction. It is incredibly central but the area itself is relatively quiet and tranquil.
For example, Mayfair has garden squares such as Grosvenor and Berkeley Square but these are very busy. Belgrave Square is similar in that respect although the architecture is far grander. Meanwhile, the garden squares of Belgravia are very quiet. This may sound odd if you look at a map to see a main road running through the centre of Eaton Square, but the buildings are so far set back from the road because of the square gardens that the road is far less intrusive than in Mayfair.
Desirable Streets in Belgravia
Eaton Square is probably the most famous address in Belgravia. The Duke of Westminster who owns the Grosvenor Estate has a home there and the entire square is regarded as being extremely safe as it is patrolled by a team of uniformed porters both day and night. They are specially trained and look after the residents exceptionally well.
There are still a few houses on the square but most have been converted into apartments. The most desirable of these are the few first floor apartments which have been converted across two or three buildings. These have 4m high ceilings and are a particular rarity because you would not receive planning permission to convert across buildings now. Consequently, other apartments on higher floors that have been converted across buildings are also highly desirable.
Chester Square is another highly desirable address and lies directly to the south of Eaton Square. While the buildings aren’t as grand, the square has kept its character because almost all the properties are still houses. Therefore, it appeals to families and has been home to some of the world’s most successful businesspeople and politicians, the most famous of whom was probably Margaret Thatcher.
Buying Luxury Property in Belgravia
One thing to note when acquiring a property in Belgravia is that many of the buildings are listed and you also have to conform to the rules of the Grosvenor Estate. This means that there are restrictions on what you can do to the buildings both internally and externally so you should seek specialist advice before putting forward an offer.
Many buyers assume that because they are buying a freehold property, they can do what they like but this is not the case and in the most extreme instances you can face criminal charges. Please also note that there are some houses on the estate that are leasehold and there are many apartments that are on mid-term and even 20 year Grosvenor leases.
On the whole I would avoid the leases that cannot be extended over 20 years. However, short and mid-term leases are not necessarily problematic, but far too many buyers exclude buying leasehold properties, when they are actually great opportunities. This is often because they simply don’t understand the rules, so it will pay dividends to seek specialist advice.
New Developments in Belgravia
One way to avoid planning issues is to acquire a property in a modern development. On the whole I advise clients not to buy in new developments for a host of reasons that I won’t go into here.
And there aren’t many to choose from in Belgravia because of planning restrictions but there are a few including Grosvenor Crescent, Chelsea Barracks (although some would argue that this isn’t technically Belgravia, it is certainly on the border of Belgravia and Chelsea) and the small, discreet Montrose Place.
The most famous new development which is currently being built is the Peninsula Hotel which overlooks Hyde Park Corner and will have private residences on the top floors. The penthouse has already sold for over £10,000 per square foot allegedly.
Summary: Belgravia Property
Belgravia has been a world-renowned address for centuries and it will continue to be one of the most desirable areas in London for years to come due to its proximity to the best shops, restaurants and nightlife.
However, you must be careful when acquiring a property here because not only do prices vary dramatically between streets, they can also vary dramatically within the street and even the buildings themselves. It is essential that you understand what influences prices in Belgravia otherwise you will make an expensive mistake.
Contact Mercury Homesearch
If you would like to discover more about the best opportunities in Belgravia and what really drives property prices in the area, simply email me at email@example.com or call 02034578855 (+442034578855 from outside the UK).
Topics: Belgravia Property; Belgravia London