There’s a new home on the horizon for Tatler editor Kate Reardon, while agents reveal just how much money you can make on a prime central London penthouse property investment

From Tatler to twins

It’s been a busy 12 months for Kate Reardon, Editor of  Tatler. Not only has she had a BBC camera crew following her around for six months filming a documentary about the magazine, but she is also pregnant with twins – and is now selling her Notting Hill apartment. ‘I have loved living in Notting Hill,’ says Kate. ‘I don’t think there’s a borough in London that has the same mix of vibrant, authentic energy and absurdly chic fabulousness.’ 

Kate’s two-bedroom apartment on Colville Gardens, W11, forms the raised ground floor of a period building. ‘Living on Colville Gardens you really are in the thick of things,’ she says, ‘just two blocks from both Portobello Road and the swankiest bit of Westbourne Grove, but being on the cul-de-sac next to the church means it’s always peaceful and you can always park. It’s breaking my heart to move, but I’m pregnant with twins so have to find a larger space!’

The rise of the penthouse

Everyone knows you get the best views of the city from a swanky penthouse but did you also know that it can be a great investment? According to figures from Lonres, prices rise by 1.5% per sq. ft. on each storey of prime London properties, peaking at 2.2% at penthouse level. The average price of a London penthouse is currently £13.3m, with the most expensive penthouse selling for over £140m at the One Hyde Park development.

‘Penthouses are becoming the most sought-after properties in London,’ comments Alan Russell, Founder of Russell Simpson estate agents. ‘Social hierarchy is built into the architecture of London property, with capital concentrating at the top. As property prices continue to grow across London, we¹ll begin to see the highest values at the highest points.’ 

The Harrods effect

It won’t come as a surprise to hear that wealthy buyers and tenants from around the world often want to live as close as possible to Harrods, driving up property prices in the immediate vicinity. Indeed, some would suggest the ‘Harrods effect’ has paved the way for projects such as 15-22 Trevor Square, Number One Hans Crescent, 199 The Knightsbridge and One Hyde Park. However, all of this has been mere conjecture and never statistically analysed – until now.

In a new report Harrods Estates commissioned Dataloft, in association with Lonres data, to apply state-of-the-art computer modelling to produce a hotspot map of sales values and volumes within a five to 20-minute walk from Harrods. The results prove for the first time the huge leaps in property value the closer a resident lives to the store. The average price of a property five minutes from the store is £2.4m, some 94% higher than the £1.24m average for the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. The rental market around the store is extremely strong too – values of £5,000-£10,000 pw are typical for apartment buildings close to the store.

‘This report supports what we’ve known for some time – that ‘super rich’ buyers like Knightsbridge because of Harrods,’ says Simon Barry of Harrods Estates. ‘However as the findings have demonstrated, being within walking distance of the only department store of its kind, not only in London but in the whole world, has a ripple effect on prices far wider than we previously thought.’

Words: Karen Tait