LONDON: The streets in London’s Kensington and Chelsea district have the most expensive U.K. properties with sterling’s slide helping to lure buyers to an area where the average cost of a house exceeds 1 million pounds ($1.6 million).

Wycombe Square, where property values have averaged 5.4 million pounds over the past four years, tops the list, Lloyds Banking Group Plc’s Halifax division said Dec 29. The top 10 streets are all in London with seven in Kensington and Chelsea.

“Kensington and Chelsea has always been an exclusive area that’s popular with entertainers, wealthy business people and foreigners,” Nitesh Patel, housing economist at Halifax, said in an interview. “The fall in sterling has made expensive properties a bit cheaper. For them, it’s a good time to buy.”

The pound has dropped more than 17 percent against a trade- weighted basket of currencies since the start of 2008. The average cost of a property in Kensington and Chelsea topped 1 million pounds for the first time in November, Rightmove Plc said Nov. 20.

Tim Des Forges, a partner at W. A. Ellis real-estate agents in London, said that in recent months he’s seen more interest in Kensington and Chelsea from Italian buyers. The drop in the pound has helped, and the relatively small size of the area supports prices, he said.

“The exchange rate is attracting a lot of European buyers to London, definitely,” he said in an interview. “When you’re in London, you want to buy in an area you know, and this is very concentrated. It’s a very secure place for them to put their money.”

His firm recently sold a two-bedroom apartment in the district in Trevor Square, close to the Harrods department store, for more than 5 million pounds, he said. The flat is on the fifth floor of its building, which includes security, car parking and a 24-hour porter.

The average home price in Wycombe Square is more than 34 times the national average. Hometrack Ltd., a London-based property researcher, said yesterday the average house price in England and Wales was 156,900 pounds.

The second-most expensive street in Halifax’s list is Ingram Avenue in Hampstead, North London, where the average house price was 4.9 million pounds, the report said. The 10th- costliest is Paultons Square in Kensington and Chelsea, where the average price is 2.7 million pounds.

The Lloyds division compiled the rankings using Land Registry data on average annual house prices from September 2005 to September 2009 in England and Wales. Looking at prices over four years is more accurate because some streets may not have many transactions in a single year, Patel said.

Luxury-home prices in London rose 2.1 percent in October from September, the biggest gain since July 2007, Knight Frank LLP said last month. The average value of houses and apartments costing more than 1 million pounds was down 3.2 percent from a year earlier, the smallest annual decline in 15 months, it said.

A separate report today showed registrations to build new homes in the U.K. from September to November rose 45 percent from the same period last year to 27,124, the National House- Building Council said in a statement.