The Best Areas in Prime Central London for Property Investment

06-June-2024 9:52
in Private clients
by Sam Hodgson
The Best Areas in London for Property Investment

Prime Central London's allure as an investment destination is undeniable. While property values in the city centre are among the highest in the world, the area's enduring appeal, limited supply, and strong demand from affluent buyers contribute to its resilience and potential for capital appreciation.

Prestigious addresses, world-class amenities, and unparalleled lifestyle offerings of neighbourhoods like Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Belgravia, Chelsea, and Kensington continue to attract a steady influx of wealthy individuals and investors from around the globe.

For those seeking to diversify their portfolios or establish a foothold in one of the world's most coveted property markets, Prime Central London represents an opportunity not to be overlooked.

Here, we will explore the top areas within Prime Central London that have emerged as the most coveted investment destinations. Looking at; the unique appeal of each neighbourhood, analysing key market trends, and providing insights into financing options tailored for these high-value properties.

Table of Contents

Mayfair and St James’s
Belgravia & Knightsbridge
Exploring Other PCL Property Investment Hotspots
Financing Options for Prime Central London Properties


Mayfair and St James’s

Mayfair and St James’s stand as the epitome of luxury and exclusivity in prime central London. Favoured by high-net-worth individuals. Both neighbourhoods boast world-class amenities, from fine dining and bespoke tailoring to renowned art galleries and lush parks, catering to a discerning clientele that values privacy and quality in one of the world’s most coveted property markets.

In Mayfair & St James’s, during the fourth quarter of 2023, there was a slight uptick in property purchases compared to the previous year, with a 4.2% increase from 71 to 74 properties sold. This area was unique in that it was the only one to report growth in sales volume. Despite this growth, the average discount on properties sold was -13.6%, indicating that properties were generally sold below the asking price.

The average gross rental yield, which is the gross income (before expenses) generated by the property as a percentage of its value, stood at 3.15%.

Breaking down the sales by property price bands:

  • Properties priced under £1 million sold at an average of £1,646 per square foot, a decrease of 4.0% in price compared to the previous year. There was a significant 66.7% drop in the number of these properties sold, with only one sale recorded, which was 28% below the asking price.

  • For properties in the £1 million to £10 million range, the average sales price was £1,922 per square foot, down 5.3% annually. These properties spent an average of 183 days on the market before sale, with 90% being sold at a discount, and the average discount being -13.6%. The quarterly sales volume for this segment decreased by 23.8%.

  • The most expensive properties, priced over £10 million, had an average sales price of £2,047 per square foot, which represented a significant annual price drop of -22.6%. These properties took an average of 323 days to sell, with the average discount reaching -42.3%. The sales volume for this category halved, showing a 50% reduction compared to the previous year.


Belgravia & Knightsbridge

Both Belgravia and Knightsbridge offer prime central living, combining chic sophistication and an urban vibrancy that defines London’s elite real estate market.

According to Coutts London prime property index Q4 2023, a mix of trends prevail. Despite being the second most expensive area in London, Knightsbridge saw a -15.8% decline in annual sales volume growth and offered an average discount of -11.6% on property sales. However, the average gross rental yield was 3.51%, indicating a reasonable return on investment for rental properties.

  • Properties priced below £1 million sold at an average of £1,348 per square foot, which is a -18.2% annual change in price. These properties stayed on the market for an average of 206 days before sale, with an average discount of -13.1%. There were 10 sales in this band, marking an 11.1% increase in quarterly sales volumes.

  • In the £1 million to £10 million range, the average sales price was £1,891 per square foot, a -4.2% annual change in price. These properties typically sold in 148 days and 88.0% of them sold at a discount to the asking price, with an average discount of -11.6%. There were 45 sales in this band, but this represented a -2.2% change in quarterly sales volumes.

  • For the most expensive properties, priced over £10 million, the average sales price was £2,271 per square foot, showing a slight increase of 0.7% in annual price change. These properties had a longer time on the market, averaging 277 days before sale, and a significant average discount of -64.9% was noted. There were 5 sales in this band, which is a substantial 66.7% increase in quarterly sales volumes.

The market dynamics indicate a challenging environment, especially for sellers in the lower price bands, but also show opportunities for buyers to negotiate prices. The rental yield remains modest, suggesting a stable rental market.



Chelsea is a trendy and affluent neighbourhood that has long been a favourite among young professionals, celebrities, and wealthy families.

In the fourth quarter of 2023, house prices in the reported area experienced a marginal decrease from £1,665 to £1,661 per square foot from Q3 to Q4, maintaining a general consistency with the prices from 2022. However, the annual sales volume saw a decline of -13.2%, indicating fewer properties were sold compared to the previous year.

  • For properties priced below £1 million, the average sales price was £1,072 per square foot, which is a -10.6% change in price annually. These properties typically stayed on the market for 140 days before being sold, and 41 properties were sold at an average discount of -12.0%. The quarterly sales volumes for this segment decreased by -26.8%.

  • Properties in the £1 million to £10 million range had an average sales price of £1,661 per square foot, down -3.5% from the previous year. They spent an average of 168 days on the market, with 85.7% sold at a discount. The average discount for these properties was -11.1%, and there were 68 sales, marking a -17.1% change in quarterly sales volumes.

  • The most expensive properties, priced above £10 million, saw a significant decrease in price, with an average of £2,327 per square foot, down -24.4% annually. These properties took longer to sell, with an average of 265 days on the market. Only 2 properties were sold, which is a drastic -77.8% change in quarterly sales volumes, and they were sold at an average discount of -6.7%.

The data indicates a cooling property market, with a notable decrease in sales volumes across all price bands and properties generally selling below asking prices. The luxury segment, in particular, faced the steepest price drops and the most significant reduction in sales volume.



Kensington is an upscale residential area known for its grand Victorian and Edwardian properties, as well as its proximity to some of London's most iconic museums and parks. This affluent neighbourhood has long been a favoured haunt of the city's elite, offering a unique blend of historic charm and modern conveniences.

In South Kensington, the property market in Q4 2023 experienced a significant increase in sales, with a 30% rise from 37 to 48 properties sold compared to Q3 2023. This was the largest quarterly increase across the index. However, the area also saw an -11.5% decline in annual sales volume growth and an average discount of -9.5% on property sales. The average gross rental yield was 3.89%, suggesting a stable return for rental properties.

  • For properties priced below £1 million, the average sales price was £1,048 per square foot, a decrease of -20.0% from the previous year. These properties remained on the market for an average of 235 days before sale, with an average discount of -11.3%. There were 9 sales in this band, which is a -10.0% change in quarterly sales volumes.

  • Properties in the £1 million to £10 million range sold for an average of £1,644 per square foot, a -10.5% annual change in price. They typically stayed on the market for 161 days and 90.0% of them sold at a discount to the asking price, with an average discount of -9.5%. There were 48 sales in this band, marking a -9.4% change in quarterly sales volumes.

  • The most expensive properties, priced over £10 million, had an average sales price of £2,781 per square foot, which is a significant -41.6% annual change in price. The average discount for sold stock in this band was -19.4%, and there were 2 sales, representing a 100.0% increase in quarterly sales volumes.

Overall, South Kensington’s property market showed a mixed performance with a notable increase in quarterly sales volumes but a decrease in prices across all bands. The substantial discounts, particularly in the high-end market, reflect a buyer’s market where negotiation is key. The rental yields remain relatively healthy, indicating ongoing demand for rental properties despite the overall downturn in sales prices.


Exploring Other PCL Property Investment Hotspots

Besides the property markets referenced, there are several other areas emerging as attractive investment destinations. Offering a diverse range of opportunities for savvy investors.

Wimble, Richmond, Putney & Barnes

These leafy suburbs in the southwest of the capital were the only areas in London where prime property prices beat their previous peak levels, reaching an all-time high of £985 per square foot.

King's Cross & Islington

For investors seeking value in Prime Central London, King's Cross and Islington represent compelling opportunities. Despite their prime locations and vibrant atmospheres, these areas have yet to reach their full potential, with prices trading more than 20% lower than their previous peaks, according to the Coutts Index.

King's Cross, in particular, has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, with billions of pounds poured into regeneration projects that have revitalised the area and attracted a new wave of businesses, residents, and visitors. Islington's charming streets, buzzing restaurant scene, and proximity to the City of London have made it a hotspot for young professionals and families alike.


Hammersmith and Chiswick

Situated in West London, these two neighbourhoods have experienced a steady rise in prime property values, with a 7.3% increase.

The area's appeal extends beyond its convenient location and amenities. Hammersmith and Chiswick boast a rich architectural heritage, with elegant Georgian and Victorian properties lining tree-lined streets, providing a sense of character and history that is often lacking in more modern developments.

Battersea, Clapham, and Wandsworth

For investors seeking attractive rental yields, these three neighbourhoods in South London have emerged as prime destinations. Battersea, Clapham, and Wandsworth boasted impressive rental yields of 5.3% in 2023, outperforming many other areas in the capital.

The appeal of these neighbourhoods lies in their unique blend of urban convenience and suburban charm. Battersea, in particular, has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, with the redevelopment of the iconic Battersea Power Station and the creation of a new residential and commercial district, attracting a diverse mix of residents and businesses.

Clapham and Wandsworth, on the other hand, have long been favoured by young professionals and families, drawn to their vibrant high streets, excellent transport links, and proximity to some of London's most beloved parks and green spaces.


Financing Options for Prime Central London Properties

When investing in the ultra-prime real estate market of Central London, securing appropriate financing is crucial.

At Clifton, we often find that clients with complex income structures and wealth portfolios require bespoke finance solutions, with repayment terms and lending options tailored to their long term plans.

Interest-only mortgages allow borrowers to pay only the interest portion of the loan during the mortgage term, with the principal amount remaining unchanged.

They suit borrowers who have significant assets in the background, and can be advantageous for several reasons; most notably, cash flow management. Interest-only payments are typically lower than those of a capital repayment mortgage, freeing up cash flow for other investments or living expenses.

However, it's important to note that at the end of the mortgage term, the entire principal amount will still need to be repaid or refinanced. This underscores the importance of having a solid repayment strategy in place, whether through the sale of the property, refinancing, or alternative sources of funds.

In addition to interest-only mortgages, some investors may also consider offset mortgages, which allow them to offset their mortgage balance against their savings accounts, potentially reducing the amount of interest paid.

Regardless of the financing option chosen, it's essential to work with experienced mortgage brokers who specialise in high-value property transactions in Prime Central London.

Our brokers at Clifton Private Finance have in-depth knowledge of the market and can guide you through the complex lending landscape. Ensuring you secure the most favourable terms and conditions for your investment.

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Unlock the Potential of Prime Central London with Us

Investing in the prestigious neighbourhoods of Prime Central London demands a partnership with experts who possess a deep understanding of this exclusive market.

At Clifton Private Finance, we offer a comprehensive suite of services tailored to the unique requirements of high-net-worth individuals and investors.

  • Our Initial Consultation – We will assess your property ambitions, income portfolio and existing assets to understand your borrowing potential and options.
  • Exclusive Lender Partnerships - leveraging our long-standing relationships with prestigious lenders and financial institutions, we navigate the complex lending landscape to secure favourable terms and competitive interest rates. Our extensive network ensures that you have access to the most suitable financing options for your Prime Central London investment.
  • Bespoke Structuring - With a profound understanding of your financial profile, we meticulously structure your mortgage to align with your investment objectives. From interest-only repayment options and flexible repayment schedules to customised loan-to-value ratios and bespoke interest rate arrangements, our tailored solutions are designed to maximise the potential of your investment.
  • Ongoing Guidance and Support - Our commitment extends beyond the initial financing process. Our dedicated team is always available to address your queries and explore further financing options.

Call us at 0203 900 4322 or book a consultation below.

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