November 2021 Interview: International Property & Travel Magazine

 

Richard Isadore from York Estates Knightsbridge was asked to contribute to November’s issue of International Property & Travel Magazine. The property feature looks at what keeps Knightsbridge as one of the most sought after areas of London. To read the article in full, please click here.

 

1.    How do you define the Knightsbridge geographical area? What are its physical limits? 

Knightsbridge is a culturally rich and diverse part of central London where the neighbourhood offers the finest restaurants, shopping and schools, as well as world-leading museums and galleries. The area also enjoys the magnificent Royal Parks of Hyde Park, St James’s Park, Kensington and Holland Park which are all within walking distance and is also home to some of London’s premier hotels, that include; the Berkeley, the Bulgari and the Mandarin Oriental. There are no physical limits living in Knightsbridge because of its Central location and easy access to life in and around London.

2.    Historically, Knightsbridge has for some time now been a wealthy area but what is it like to live here?

On the one hand, it feels very much like a village with its Conservation Areas and tree-lined roads, mews and outdoor café society, and on the other with Harrods and Harvey Nichols and the many flagship stores of the leading fashion houses, museums etc. you are aware that you are in the cultural heart of London. It’s a very safe part of London and is surprisingly quiet in the larger Georgian squares and gardens, but is also only moments away from the busier areas of the museums on the Exhibition Road, and the shops and restaurants in Knightsbridge, Chelsea and Belgravia.

3.    What draws people in? Of course, it’s an exclusive area so is it just the name or are there other positives? 

There is a real sense of community in Knightsbridge and living here you start to feel like a local where coffee shops will know your order before you ask and restaurants will know your favourite table as you walk in. With world-class museums and galleries at your disposal, along with fabulous food and parks, the cultural choice is endless.

4.    What are the main property types here? 

Knightsbridge is an architecturally rich area with a wonderful mix of elegant Georgian and Victorian mansion houses and modern apartments and flats all immaculately looked after, most with portered access. The area is also home to many churches of different faiths including the magnificent Brompton Oratory, the CoE Holy Trinity Church, the Russian Orthodox Church in Ennismore Gardens and has a strong military connection by being the home to the Household Cavalry at the Hyde Park Barracks. Many buildings are listed (grades I, II* and II) and most areas have strict planning conditions to meet the enhanced architectural demands of the local Albert Gate and Royal Park Conservation Areas, the Knightsbridge Green Conservation Area, and the boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster.

5.    How much does the conservation area impact on development? Are there any new builds at all? 

Planning is still possible for some incredible new homes like One Hyde Park, however any renovations or modernisations or new builds have to pass strict planning laws. The new Knightsbridge Gardens development and 2-8a Rutland Gate are perfect examples of multinational investments to renovate existing buildings and mansions within Knightsbridge.

6.    What are today’s buyers looking for here? What’s on their list of ‘must haves’

Outdoor balconies, terraces and access to communal gardens/private squares and homes with portered access are top of the list currently. We have also seen an increased interest in homes with a home office and a demand for homes with a second home close by for extended family or staff. Following the Pandemic, access to green space has become a priority and because of the close proximity to the Royal Parks and Conservation Areas, Knightsbridge is a beautifully green place to live. Families love the excellent schools in the area across all age groups and having access to the Royal Parks means outdoor space is unlimited.

7.    Who buys here? Are they owner occupiers or investors?

Knightsbridge is a very global area of London with buyers and Clients from all over the world, especially from the Middle East, Far East and Europe and there is a healthy mix between both owner-occupiers and investors. We see interest from Clients who would like Knightsbridge to be their home or pied-à-terre, and also a second home given their portfolio of properties across the world. As one of the most sought-after boroughs of London to live, from an investment point of view it’s a safe one. You don’t just live in Knightsbridge, you also live the lifestyle of this exclusive part of London.

8.    What budget is required? Are records still being broken here?

There will always be a demand for properties in Knightsbridge because it’s such a wonderful place to live, and yes records are still being broken for those one-off, unique properties that perhaps have not been on the market for a number of years, or are either of historical importance, or ideal for redevelopment.

9.    What about rental properties? How strong is the rental market and what is on offer? 

The rental market is very strong and properties range from mansions to apartments and flats. Some buyers find renting gives them a real insight into the road or area of Knightsbridge they would like to live in and then they are in the perfect position to buy if and when a property they desire becomes available.

10. What are the future prospects for properties and property prices in this area? 

There is nowhere in the world quite like Knightsbridge. The museums, restaurants, parks and schools have all withstood the test of time and are only becoming more exclusive and famous as the years pass. There has never been a better time to live or invest in a home or property in Knightsbridge.

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