Country houses for sale

Prime central London expands

Knight Frank’s Prime Central London index is being expanded to include the Southbank area. Stretching from County Hall and Westminster Bridge, the new section is the first south of the Thames and runs east towards Tower Bridge, encompassing Shad Thamas and Butlers Wharf.

Regeneration in the area has been led by cultural initiatives, says the agent, with projects including Borough market, the Globe Theatre and the Tate Modern all changing the face of this section of the Southbank. The residential developments which followed have been of very high quality, some of the most significant being Benbow house, Bankside Lofts, Winchester Wharf and Whitehouse Apartments.

Although growth in Southbank (17.3% in the year to September 2007) doesn’t match the level of growth in Belgravia or Knightsbridge in the same period (36.5%), Knight Frank says it believes the area will eventually outstrip these more traditional areas as it provides a new, more contemporary style of living within walk of the City in an area of international cultural significance.

‘Tate Modern is arguably the world’s leading contemporary cultural facility, and provides the area with international recognition, which will only improve following the completion of the planned Herzog & de Meuron extension,’ the report says as well as pointing out that the Millennium Bridge provides quick access to the City, which together with a river view provides a backdrop to the area.

‘Central London is rich in period properties, but relatively poor compared to New York and Other prime cities, in the supply of high quality and well-designed apartments. The Southbank offers the scope for more development of this type in the future, with several significant schemes in planning or awaiting commencement,’ it continues.

‘The consolidation of this market over the next few years will see the emergence of an urban quarter which will feel very different from the more traditional neighbourhoods of west London. Our view is that over the short to medium term this area will substantially outperform central London in terms of pricing growth.’