Where is Britain's most expensive street?

Britain's most expensive street


Britain's Property Rich List has been announced, revealing a massive leap in the number of million pound properties in the UK. There are now 323,684 homes worth over a million pounds - up 32% from this time last year. At the very top end, a typical home on the most expensive street in the UK will now set you back more than £36 million.

So why is the million pound market booming, and where are these multi-million-pound neighbourhoods?
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Why?

The Rich List, put together by Zoopla, found there were 8,230 streets with an average property price of over £1 million. Perhaps unsurprisingly 34% of these streets are in London - including every street in the top 20 most valuable in the country.

The surge in the number of million-pound properties isn't because of some sort of building recovery, it's purely on the grounds of a booming market for super-prime property. Lawrence Hall of Zoopla.co.uk said: "Property values in these super-prime areas are astronomically high and have risen substantially over the past year."

The world's billionaires still want their London pad, so demand in prime neighbourhoods for top end properties is as high as ever. Now that sterling has fallen so far against so many currencies, it means that international buyers are also getting more for their money, which makes them even keener to buy.

Most expensive streets

The exceptionally rich tend to flock to those streets lined with enormous mansions in the centre of the most desirable neighbourhoods. The most expensive in the UK is still Kensington Palace Gardens, otherwise known as Billionaires Row. Here Roman Abramovich, the Sultan of Brunei and Lakshmi Mittal rub shoulders - a stone's throw from Kensington Palace. The average property on this road costs an incredible £36,066,148 - more than 156 times the value of the average UK home.

The road offers exclusivity and privacy, and even has a private gate and a security guard to stop non-residents from driving down the road.

The Boltons in SW10, formerly home to Madonna, takes second place on this year's list with an average house price of £23,375,758, followed closely by Grosvenor Crescent in SW1 where a home will set you back £19,768,963 on average.

Hall says: Only the super-wealthy can entertain the notion of living on the most expensive streets and they are paying as much for the address and location as they are for the size and quality of the property."

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Neighbourhoods

The most expensive neighbourhood was named as Kensington (W8), where the average property is worth £2,326,439. The postcode is home to Dustin Hoffman, Rita Ora and The Beckhams. In the area, floorspace the size of a standard doormat is currently valued at an eye-watering £3,586. Hall points out: "You can find magnificent mansions in other parts of the country for a similar price to even just average properties in areas like Kensington."

Knightsbridge takes second place, where the average house price is now £2,034,706. The neighbourhood overtook Chelsea during the year.

Outside London, Virginia Water in Surrey, home to Bruce Forsyth and Eddie Jordan, is the most expensive area in Britain, with an average property value of £1,034,368. Cobham in Surrey - the home of Chelsea Football Club's training ground - takes second place outside the capital with an average property price of £842,806.

But what do you think? Can these areas really be worth so much? Or is it a sign of just how strange and distorted the UK property market has become? Let us know in the comments.

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10 top ways to add value to your home
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Where is Britain's most expensive street?

Of course with all these things, the value it adds depends on the property you have to start with, and the kinds of improvements you make, but Which? estimates the cost of a new kitchen at £8,000 and HSBC calculates the added value to your property at £4,500 - which is a clear loss.

This has been done by 41% of people in the last three years, and 29% of people plan it in the next three. It's cheaper than a kitchen, and Which? estimates the cost at £3,000. This is roughly the same value that HSBC says it will add to your property - so you'll break-even.

It may be difficult, but getting your property ready for sale means depersonalising it. 

Clutter can distract viewers and more than half (60%) of the property valuers who took part in the 2012 HSBC Home Improvement Survey said that the number one way to increase a property's chance of selling quickly, and for a good price, was to de-clutter.

This has been installed by 31% of us in the last three years, and 15% plan it in the next three. Installing central heating is a disruptive job, and according to WhatPrice it will cost you around £3,235. However, this is the first of the top ten to actually pay off. Property expert Phil Spencer says it will add £5,000 to the value.

A quick splash of paint can work wonders on tired-looking walls, and sticking to neutral tones is the safest bet.

Keeping the colour scheme simple, fresh and inviting will help potential buyers to see themselves living in your home.

Some 18% have added one in the last three years, and 30% will in the next three. This is another huge job, but with more people struggling to move and deciding to improve instead, it's increasingly popular. The amount it costs will depend on an enormous number of things, from the area you have to work with, to the size of the extension. However, assuming you add a single room you could spend around £20,000. HSBC estimates it will add around £15,500 to the value of the property, so you are unlikely to gain as much as you spend.

According to Halifax valuers, loft conversions - which require lofts with a roof height of at least 2.4 metres - are a good way to increase the potential sale price of your home.

Be sure to stick to your budget, though. The average loft conversion will cost between £10,000 and £30,000, while HSBC's figures show that they typically add £20,876 to the value of a property.

Putting in new windows adds around £5,265 to the value of the average property and can reap big rewards when it comes to energy efficiency.

It is, however, sensible to ensure that your new windows are in line with the style of your property to maximise the added value - particularly as putting them in can set you back about £5,000.

Off road parking or a garage can be especially advantageous in areas where parked cars line both sides on the street.

Nationwide's figures show that adding a garage, which can cost anything between £8,000 and £25,000, can increase the value of your property by 11%.

Outside space is just as important as inside - especially when people are seeing your home for the first time.

While 63% of the HSBC survey expert respondents said that repainting or varnishing a front door would make a difference, only 23% of homeowners recognised this. Peter Dockar at HSBC said: "It is often the smaller jobs like painting the front door that can make all the difference when looking for a sale."
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Britain's Top 10 Most Expensive Neighbourhoods (and the average property price)
1 W8 (Kensington) £2,326,439
2 SW7 (Knightsbridge) £2,034,706
3 SW3 (Chelsea) £1,822,560
4 SW10 (West Brompton) £1,497,783
5 W11 (Notting Hill) £1,422,262
6 SW1 (Westminster) £1,297,531
7 W1 (West End) £1,294,766
8 SW13 (Barnes) £1,139,476
9 NW3 (Hampstead) £1,125,499
10 SW5 (Earl's Court) £1,098,182

Britain's Top 10 Most Expensive Streets (and the average property price)
1 Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8 £36,066,148
2 The Boltons, London SW10 £23,375,758
3 Grosvenor Crescent, London SW1X £19,768,963
4 Courtenay Avenue, London N6 £10,750,336
5 Compton Avenue, London N6 £10,006,014
6 Frognal Way, London NW3 £9,513,716
7 Park Place Villas, London W2 £8,980,477
8 Montrose Place, London SW1X £8,980,468
9 Cottesmore Gardens, London W8 £8,813,429
10 Palace Green, London W8 £8,644,535

Britain's Top 10 Most Expensive Towns (and the average property price)
1 Virginia Water, Surrey £1,034,368
2 Cobham, Surrey £842,806
3 Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire £806,459
4 Keston, London £785,399
5 Esher, Surrey £774,265
6 Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire £754,779
7 Richmond, Surrey £718,229
8 Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire £717,319
9 Radlett, Hertfordshire £691,211
10 Welwyn, Hertfordshire £687,558

Highest Number of £1m Streets by Area
1 London (2789)
2 Richmond (184)
3 Guildford (118)
4 Mitcham (100)
5 Leatherhead (96)
6 Beaconsfield (89)
7 Cobham (89)
8 Kingston-upon-Thames (89)
9 Harpenden (84)
10 Esher (83)

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Where is Britain's most expensive street?
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