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Kensington and Chelsea property finder

Forget the Italian boot, The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is appropriately shaped like a hockey stick that likes to have a ‘jolly’ good time. Once home too many aristocrats, its residents are now made up of families, old money, overseas investors and international jet setters. To be part of this tight knit community is to be part of the ‘in’ crowd. You can buy your way into this VIP section of London, but acceptance takes time. Opulent and successful, Kensington and Chelsea is always well groomed and impeccably preserved.

Who lives where in Kensington and Chelsea

Like any borough there are different nuances depending on where you geographically position yourself. Predominantly conservative, the main districts in Kensington & Chelsea are Brompton, Chelsea, Earls Court, Holland Park, Kensington and Notting Hill.

In North Kensington, you will find a more bohemian crowd, full of artists, media types and creatives. Notting Hill Carnival and Portobello Market attracts numerous tourists to the area, however locals can be seen shopping and eating on Westbourne Grove.  South Kensington is considered cultured, generationally older and French. The numerous museums and The Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle – London’s largest French co-educational primary and secondary school initiating this trend.  Knightsbridge, has seen many of its older, wealthier, residents replaced with international buyers from overseas spending their money on Brompton road in Harrods and Harvey Nichols.  Whilst Chelsea is a mix of established families, around the ten acres estate, new money and acclaimed artisans. This character breakdown is naturally exaggerated but it is this cocktail of culture, celebrate, money and creativity that has made it the cosmopolitan heart of the city, for wealthy individuals.

Architecture and Property in Kensington and Chelsea

kensington and chelsea property

The late 18th and 19th centuries were a period of great expansion in the borough. Hans Town, created by Henry Holland on the Cadogan Estate, and Knightsbridge were among the first to be developed. Residents keen to demonstrate status with style adopted Italianate stoccoed or half stuccoed terrace houses with pillared porticoes. Along with red brick gabled houses in the Pont Street Dutch style,  Queen Anne villas, mews houses and Victoria terraces.

Post the industrial revolution came the arrival of the mansion blocks with all the latest mod cons: lifts and electric lights. It’s believed the Albert Hall Mansions in Kensington was the first-ever mansion block to be built, in 1876. Providing alternative accommodation for those Victorians tired of endless stairs, staffing and maintenance costs.

Due to the lack of available space, today’s new developments are few and far between. But when planning is granted, expect them to be the very best displays of modern design and technology. The Candy Brothers One Hyde Park or 80 Holland Park, being prime examples.

Sales values in Kensington and Chelsea post pandemic

House prices in Kensington and Chelsea are on average the highest in the country but since the pandemic prices have started to slip across the borough. As restrictions are lifted, International buyers have begun to return along with sales. However, prices have a way to go before recovering to the heady levels of 5 years ago.

Knightsbridge took the biggest hit with prices now 28.1% lower than they were 5 years ago. Drops in Chelsea (17%) and South Kensington (15.8%) are less dramatic. But the area least impacted is around Notting Hill and Holland Park, with a drop of just (6.1%).

With an average price per sq ft ranging from 1,500-1,800 depending on positioning, it remains a punchy postcode in the City.

Rental Values in Kensington and Chelsea

For many who sold during the past year finding an onward purchase has been tricky. High end rentals have consequently been in short supply. Below are average rental prices, for the past three months, according to Lonres, in the borough.

Knightsbridge – £1,180 per week for flats and £2,992 per week for houses

South Kensington – £583 per week for flats and £1,653 per week for houses

Notting Hill, Holland Park and Kensington – £640 per week for flats and £2,241 per week for houses

Chelsea – £583 per week for flats and £1,653 per week for houses

Parks and gardens in Kensington and Chelsea

Kensington and chelsea gardensThere are many original community garden squares surrounded by beautiful Georgian or Victorian properties that are accessible for residents alone. Dog owners beware though. Many of our four-legged friends aren’t permitted within them, which can make the evening walk frustrating as you pace the street, around your opulent green square.

Salvation can be sought in the numerous Green Flag status parks in the area: Holland Park, Kensington Gardens, Kensington Memorial Park and The Wildlife Garden at the Natural History Museum and St Luke’s Gardens.

Kensington and Chelsea crime rate

Unexpectedly, crime in Kensington and Chelsea is high. Given the number of super cars cruising around it’s not surprising vehicle crime is prolific but it also explains the contrast in vehicles in the area. For many residents, once burnt, twice shy.  Given how good the transport links are in the area they have foregone upgrading their wheels. Reserving their wheels for trips out to second homes or further afield. Safe in the knowledge their car will still be there when they need it. (A garage is a wonderful thing, if you can get it.)

What is surprising is the number of anti-social, violent and sexual offences. With 4,203 offences during 2020, it made the top 5 most dangerous of London’s 33 towns, villages and cities.

Social Housing in Kensington and Chelsea

Predominantly social housing in the borough is isolated to the top handle of the hockey stick in North Kensington and the heel in Chelsea.

Schools in Kensington and Chelsea

Parents moving to Kensington and Chelsea don’t need to fear the drop off. There are a plethora of outstanding primary and secondary schools within the area.

Please see here to compare performance of all schools and colleges in Kensington and Chelsea

Please click here for Map locations of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea schools

Transport in Kensington and Chelsea

If the chauffeur is off and the car is in the garage.  There is always public transport. For those with the luxury of time there are numerous buses, alternatively these are the key stations to get you in and around town.

  • High Street Kensington (Circle District Lines)
  • Notting Hill (Circle, DistrictCentral)
  • Earls Court (District & Piccadilly)
  • Gloucester Road (CircleDistrict & Piccadilly)
  • South Kensington (Circle, District Piccadilly)
  • Knightsbridge (Piccadilly)
  • Sloane Square (Circle & District)
  • West Brompton (District)
  • Latimer Road (Circle & Hammersmith & City)
  • Ladbroke Grove (Circle & Hammersmith & City)
  • Holland Park (Central)

Please click here for a location map of station and ward boundaries in Kensington and Chelsea.

Pricing for residents parking permits in Kensington and Chelsea depend on CO2 transmissions and engine size. To apply please click here.

Kensington and Chelsea private members clubs

Exclusivity and privacy go hand in hand in Kensington and Chelsea. To access all areas, below are 5 private members clubs in the borough frequented by its residents.

Chelsea Arts Club

Royal Thames Yacht Club

Beaufort House

The South Kensington Club

The Sloane Club

If you are considering moving to the area or within it and want a buying agent to source on and off property within the borough. Please get in contact.