Less than a mile up the road in Mayfair, property sells for at least £2,000 per square foot. Covent Garden, arguably a more vibrant area of central London, is still roughly half as expensive – homes can be had at prices from £1,000 per square foot.
Perhaps not for long, though: one of the reasons Covent Garden prices have stayed a little lower than you might expect is the hotchpotch nature of the residential offering; a flat here, a flat there, and often above commercial premises. Christopher Saye, of Chesterton Humberts’ Covent Garden office, says: “There isn’t road after road of residential streets, like in Belgravia and Knightsbridge; it’s a bit scattered. Prices are more reasonable in Covent Garden also because people are not buying into status as they might in Mayfair or Chelsea and Kensington: it’s for people who actually want to be here. That said, the demand is there and if priced right, we’re seeing properties sell within 48 hours.”
Investors and developers are moving in on the area: the Central St Giles development, which includes expensive apartments as well as up-market retail and food joints (such as Jamie Oliver’s Union Jacks restaurant), was the first big premium new-build in the area. Planning permission has been sought to turn some of Centre Point Tower, by Tottenham Court Road, into residential (Centre Point House, a smaller building next to it, already contains apartments).
But the arrival of the plushly elegant Henrietta signals a fresh wave of residential interest in Covent Garden proper. For sale are four luxury apartments on the historic Piazza (My Fair Lady, anyone?). Covent Garden Living and Argent Design have created contemporary interiors for the space: three large lateral apartments and a penthouse that complement the building’s traditional architecture. Mayfair’s finest should watch out: each of the Henrietta’s apartments has been designed to a luxurious specification with direct lift access, three bedroom suites, spacious open plan living and wonderful views of the famous Piazza. Residents will have access to the concierge services of Quintessentially, the luxury lifestyle group.