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Knightsbridge typically caters to the wealthy international crowd and has had an affluent reputation since early Victorian times. Besides location, Knightsbridge is also attractive due to its diverse range of residential property; the area dominated by the Cadogan and Grosvenor Estates provides quite an extensive selection of mews cottages, modern flats and terraced houses.
Knightsbridge is bordered by Hyde Park to the North, Belgravia to the East, Pont Street to the South and South Kensington to the West. Chelsea and Kensington are close as well. Knightsbridge is made of two boroughs; Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea, which can result in some confusion when trying to park residentially. It is hard to distinguish the actual boundaries of Knightsbridge as its atmosphere and design flow smoothly into the surrounding areas.
One of the biggest attractions to this neighbourhood is its location directly beneath Hyde Park with 600 acres of green space, and still being right in the heart of the bustling shopping area. Nevertheless, Knightsbridge’s luxury setting brings many wealthy foreigners to the area that live here only for the summer months. During this season, the area becomes much louder with many ostentatious attention-seekers who enjoy things such as revving the engines of their foreign sports cars along the main streets.
Foreign centres, embassies and famous cultural scenes can be found in Knightsbridge. Royal Albert Hall and the Victoria and Albert Museum are technically in South Kensington, but they are extremely close to the indistinguishable border between Knightsbridge and the former.
Knightsbridge has good transportation service with the Knightsbridge tube station being the most convenient. It is on the Piccadilly Line and is only about 10 minutes from Oxford Circus, 20 minutes to the City and a little over 40 minutes to Heathrow Airport. The area is home to many prestigious independent private day schools as well, such as the More House School and The Knightsbridge.
Trendy restaurants are beyond prevalent in Knightsbridge; Foliage at the Mandarin Oriental and The Capital Restaurant on Basil Street are both Michelin star rated. Langtry’s at the Cadogan Hotel features an “Oscar Wilde style” brunch. One O One fish and seafood restaurant is also popular. Zuma is also one of the most expensive and celebrity-infested sushi restaurants in the country.
There is definitely no lack of shopping in the area, with the main focus being on Harrods department store. Harrods takes up more than four acres of space, and has become London’s main tourist attraction when it comes to shopping. Harrods flagship has attracted other designer stores to set up shop in the area, especially on Sloane Street. One can find Chanel, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dior, and other famous fashion houses residing here.
Harvey Nichols, another luxurious department store, proffers a slightly less touristy ambiance. There is a manicure booth on the first floor that provides champagne to its clients, as well as a nice restaurant on the fifth floor for ladies who like to lunch, along with many other indulgences. It is located just down Brompton Road from Harrods, along with One Hyde Park on the opposite side of the street.
One Hyde Park is a new residential construction and is next to the prestigious Mandarin Oriental hotel. It is comprised of 86 units, with most apartments starting close to £20 million and averaging over £6,000/sqft. Most three-bedroom units look over the city while the four-beds have direct views of the park. The penthouse sold for £140 million, which holds the record for London’s most expensive property of all time, and includes a panic room, bullet-proof windows and round the clock access to the Mandarin’s room service. All residents have access to the building’s own private tunnel that brings them directly to the hotel.
Besides One Hyde Park, there are many other lavish buildings in the area. The Knightsbridge is the second most recognized luxury property building in the area, average around £3,650/sqft. The building contains 198 apartments, seven of which are penthouses, along with seven mews houses and two mews apartments along the gardens. The building has a view of Hyde Park and units range from studios to five-bedroom residences.
Montpelier Hall is one of the finest boutique residential developments in the area. It is very exclusive and provides only six units. A four bedroom flat extending over the entire first floor with a private lift, terrace, balcony and two underground parking spaces is on the market for £13,950,000, or around £3,600/sqft, with a 999 year lease.
Wellington Court claims to have the most spectacular penthouse in all of London. It is the only penthouse that is actually in Hyde Park and it provides over 10,000 square feet of opulent living space. Six bedroom suites, a gymnasium, six terraces and a private roof garden are some features driving its £35 million guide price. At £3,500/sqft, it is only half the price of a penthouse at One Hyde Park.
Lastly, Lowndes Court is one of the areas highest regarded buildings on famous Lowndes Square. This garden square provides easy access to Sloane Street and is in the heart of Knightsbridge. Three bedroom freehold apartments go for around £10 million or about £3,550/sqft.
Fourteen of the top 200 most expensive streets in London are located in Knightsbridge, including Egerton Crescent, where the average price of a flat is about £3.6 million. Overall, the average price for a property in Knightsbridge is around £3.3 million, where the average flat exceeds the £2.4 million mark and a terraced property is beyond £5 million.
Knightsbridge’s notable residents include important persons in the fashion industry, such as Valentino and Tom Ford. Princess Diana was raised and attended school in the area. Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, also has strong roots in Knightsbridge.
Leasehold properties greatly outweigh the number of freeholds available. Short term leases are most popular in the area and large houses are rare. Conversely, if you can find one, it will be very expensive. Leasehold reform is giving way to more freehold opportunities, however leaseholds still reign. The great majority of the market consists of international buyers and renters. Garden squares, such as Hans Place and Egerton Terrace, are among the most coveted streets to live.
With its grand reputation, proximity to Hyde Park, shopping and cultural scenes, this area is thought to be one of the best in London to invest in for the long term.