Five star: prices soar in London boroughs

IT is not just Arab sheikhs and Russian oligarchs snapping up the best of London’s residential property. Estate agency Marsh & Parsons received interest from would-be buyers in 193 countries over the last month, according to chief executive Peter Rollings.

The firm’s website had the most visits from potential investors from the US, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, Ireland, Greece, Switzerland and Hong Kong.

Chinese buyers are typically looking for small units in Kensington and Knightsbridge in which their adult children can live while studying at Imperial College, Rollings added.

London remains an attractive destination for overseas buyers, with Rollings saying many investors still see it as a “safe haven” for their assets.

Prices at 1 June averages. Source: LSL Property Services.

1 Camden
The borough best-known as the birthplace of Britpop saw average prices go from £532,243 in 2009 to £663,426 in 2010 before dipping to £623,936 this year.

2 Westminster

Westminster remained untainted by its association with “the manure parliament” as prices rose from £746,050 in 2009 to £781,438 in 2010 and £866,777 this year.

3 Islington

The spiritual home of New Labour has enjoyed a prosperity of which politicians could only dream. Prices rose from £386,726 in 2009 to £452,832 in 2010 and £471,405 this year.

4 Hammersmith and Fulham

The borough that serves as a home to technology giant Sony Ericsson has seen a steady rise in prices from £459,676 in 2009 to £587,277 in 2010 and £628,728 last year.

5 Kensington and Chelsea

Prices in Roman Abramovich’s adopted home borough have stayed in seven figures: £1.03m in 2009, rising to £1.12m in 2010 and dipping slightly to £1.09m this year.