Property prices in Knightsbridge have dropped sharply, leading one estate agent to brand the upmarket area “one of central London’s best bargains”.
Prime inner-London rents and house prices have plummeted since the start of the crisis, driven by the rise of remote working, the dwindling appeal of city life during lockdown, and restrictions on international travel.
Average prices per square foot have been hit the hardest in Knightsbridge, dropping to £1,546 in the first half of 2021, down 11pc on the area’s five-year average.
However, the number of flats sold peaked at a five-year high during the six-month period, as buyers rushed to lock-in tax savings before the end of the stamp duty holiday.
Tom Bill, of Knight Frank, said the race for space has left bargains for prospective buyers.
Mr Bill said: “Demand for central London apartments has fallen due to successive lockdowns and that has been compounded in markets like Knightsbridge by significantly lower levels of international buyers. Properties in Belgravia, South Kensington and the City and Aldgate were also running at a discount, down 8.3pc, 7.6pc and 10pc respectively in the first half of 2021 compared with longer-term averages.”
International buyers have been locked out of the British market due to ongoing travel restrictions and an additional 2pc stamp duty surcharge, introduced in April.
The bargain will be short-lived and property prices in the area, which has historically been popular among foreign buyers, will rebound when border restrictions are lifted, experts have warned.
Surrounding high-ticket areas in central London have already rebounded from pandemic lows on the back of increased demand for outdoor space.
Average prices per square foot rose 14pc in Chelsea and 12pc in Kensington.
Watch: Martin Roberts shares some top tips on the things to look out for when buying a house