London’s Chester square tops UK priciest list again

LONDON: The UK capital’s Chester Square retained the top spot for a second year in an annual list of the most expensive UK addresses as luxury property prices recovered from the housing slump, property researcher Mouseprice said.

Home values on the Belgravia street close to Victoria Station, whose residents have included former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, rose 4.8% over the past year to an average of £6.6 million (RM32.96 million), Mouseprice said in a report on March 8.

“It’s obviously a very elegant square and it’s exactly what international people are looking for when they come to London,” Richard Barber, a real-estate agent at WA Ellis, which sells property in the local area, said in an interview. “There’s always a demand for this type of property. It outperforms other areas of the country many times over.”

London’s luxury home prices have recovered faster than the rest of the housing market because of a lack of properties for sale and as the weaker pound lured overseas buyers. While Knight Frank LLP says that prime real-estate values rose an annual 17% in February, overall UK prices on Halifax’s measure climbed 4.5%.

A house in Chester Square, whose past residents also include Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, sold recently for £7 million, the report said. Some highly priced transactions on the street in 2008, including one valued at almost £20 million, helped propel it to the top of the list last year after not appearing in previous surveys.

“Chester Square has continued to experience extremely high sales prices in the past year,” Mouseprice, owned by the company, which calculates the UK Land Registry’s house price index, said in the March 8 report.

Chester Square is off Lower Belgrave Street, where Sandra Rivett, the nanny of Lord Lucan’s children, was found bludgeoned to death in a house there in 1974. The aristocrat then disappeared and a jury at the inquest into the incident named him as the murderer. He has never been found. – Bloomberg LP

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