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November 9, 2010
Is Harrods the Centre of London?
Overseas investors still benefit from tremendous opportunities for investing in Central London residential property, as the weak pound provides upto a 30% discount and low interest rates make for a favourable buying climate. Foreign buyers all come to London seeking to acquire residential property in “Central London”.
What is contentious is what these shrewd and savvy investors classify as Central London, thus influencing where they look to safeguard their capital or to acquire a holiday home, or both. Recent acquisitions by our clients have indicated that this question is not as easily answered as one would think. Many would equate central London to Zone 1, analogizing the tube map, others with the West End. Even a quick browse of Wikipedia will not clarify the matter any further. The reality, to many foreign investors, is the term is much narrower than either of these perceptions. Some would not dare consider Central London to be anything beyond the remits of Hyde Park, encompassing Mayfair, Park Lane, Kensington and Knightsbridge. Others are willing to extend this definition to include the desirable detached homes in Hampstead and St John’s Wood. However the question we most encounter in residential acquisitions as to the desirability of locality is: “How far is this place from Harrods?”.
Although it would be foolhardy to suggest that Harrods is indeed the centre of London, we do consider that it is increasingly becoming the centre of luxury London, guiding many acquisitions at the high end of the London property market. Hyde Park would come a close second as a determinant of the prestige of a location.