City workers fuel Midtown housing boom

Kasmira Jefford
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HOUSE prices in the area dubbed Midtown have outpaced the greater London market in the first three months of the year due to a surge in demand from buyers working in the capital’s financial sector, new research out yesterday shows.

According to property consultants CBRE, the price of a property in Midtown – between the West End and the City – rose by 19 per cent to £1,758 to per square foot in the quarter compared with the same time last year.

That compared with a 16 per cent rise in prices across the greater London area to £720 per square feet.

UK buyers dominated sales and accounted for 56 per cent of total sales, while a fifth of properties were snapped up by workers in the financial sector, CBRE said.

“Over the last few years, the area has been widely regenerated. A lot of new brands have moved in commercial units have turned into residential and it has become of new prime area,” CBRE’s residential director Ana Hutchinson said.

“We are seeing a shift of buyers coming from areas like Chelsea and South Kensington to Covent Garden.”

In total CBRE sold £45m worth of property during the first quarter – up 11 per cent on last year – with almost half of sales worth over £2m as demand for high-end homes in the area soars.

The highest value sale during the quarter was a penthouse apartment in a new development on Bedfordbury in Covent Garden for £5.65m (£2,638 per sq ft). The highest price achieved for an existing property resale as opposed to a new build was £2,000 per sq ft.

UK buyers defied the usual trend of preferring existing housing stock and accounted for over 60 per cent of new-build home sales.