The cost of staying close to Harrods
Thu 12 Sep 2013
Most home-hunters in towns and cities want a property thats handy for the shops.
They would probably not put a value on this feature, although for some tenants a rental home has to be near a Tesco Express. Who knows whether wealthy people who insist on living close to Harrods are reliant on the Knightsbridge stores food hall? The estate agency Knight Frank has been doing its sums, so now the super-rich can know how much they pay to reside in this neighbourhood.
Liam Bailey, residential research director of Knight Frank, calculates that a home within 700 ft of Harrods sells for 3,215 per sq ft, which means that a 469 sq ft studio flat in this area around the Brompton Road should fetch 1.5 million. Step outside this hallowed zone and prices begin to drop: within 700-1,000 ft, the average price is 2,644 per sq ft, and prices fall by 3 per cent for every further 350 ft from the store within a 1.2 mile area.
Bailey bases these figures on sales in Knightsbridge over the last year. Land Registry figures show that prices in Kensington and Chelsea have increased by 6.5 per cent over the past 12 months, although some types of home have appreciated more sharply.
Marsh & Parsons, another estate agency, estimates that the average two-bedroom property in prime Central London (which covers the elite postcodes, such as Knightsbridge) is changing hands for 14 per cent more than a year ago.
The price put on being near to Harrods will doubtless cause some to wonder what the Grade-II* listed store, with its distinctive terracotta frontage, could itself be worth if converted from retail to residential (which would never happen, but nevertheless). The store has 1m sq ft of selling space, which suggests a value of 3.2 billion; Qatar Holdings, the investment arm of the Gulf states sovereign wealth fund, paid 1.5 billion for the Harrods group in 2010.
Montpelier Walk is a walk of 1,000 ft walk from Harrods, which means that a 5,291 sq ft duplex penthouse for sale in a 1960s block on this street should have a price of about 13.9 million. The actual selling price for the home, which has five bedrooms and a gym, is 35m. It once belonged to the late Baron Grade of Elstree, better known as Lew Grade, the impresario and TV boss. There is no lingering odour of the cigars that he used to enjoy on the roof terrace, from where you can see Harrods, plus those Victorian gems, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Brompton Oratory.
Elements of the colour and style of these landmarks can be seen in the flats interior, whose decor is contemporary but dignified; there are austere greys and golds and lustrous bronzes and beiges. This renovation is the work of the design arm of CPC Group, which is selling the property. CPC is the vehicle of the Candy brothers, Nick and Christian, development managers to that other famous Knightsbridge address One Hyde Park. Owners at the glass-and-steel towers, which offer every comfort and high security, include the Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhemtov and Naomi Campbells ex-boyfriend, Vladislav Doronin.
As has emerged this week, Strutt & Parker is selling a repossessed 988 sq ft one-bedroom flat in the building for 5.25 million. The pad was bought off-plan for 3.7 million in 2007 by Ray Grehan, the Irish property developer. the National Asset Management Agency, the Irish bad bank, set up after the countrys property crisis, is chasing Grehan for 300 million (252 million) debts.
One Hyde Park is 1,000 ft away from Harrods. The price per sq ft at this flat is 5,313 (other apartments have attracted 7,000 per sq ft). You can gaze upon a luxury store from the bedroom window, but it is Harvey Nichols, not Harrods. Harvey Nichols also has a food hall if you get peckish, although One Hyde Parks 24-hour concierge service should be able to deliver something to your door.