Covent Garden Is Prime Central London
If a map of Prime Central London (PCL) existed, it would certainly include Mayfair, Kensington and Knightsbridge, but Covent Garden? Maybe not.
The boundary of this invisible map is drawn by identifying properties with a high achieved capital value, also classed as high-quality stock due to their fabric and finish. Parameters that properties in and around Covent Garden’s historic Italianate Piazza designed by Inigo Jones have easily satisfied and exceeded to challenge the definition of PCL.
Furthermore, the positioning of residences across the estate is inconspicuous but a vital draw for purchasers and tenants who appreciate discreet living. This adds to the surprise of Covent Garden as a residential neighbourhood, let alone to be a contender as a Prime Central London locale.
The area has historically attracted a varied demographic of residents, from city workers to those in the arts, creative and media industries. A desire to be part of this community dates back to when this historic corner of the West End was once a thriving fruit and vegetable market. Today it has developed into a world-class shopping destination and foodie haven.
Record sale prices have been achieved on King Street, Henrietta Street and Russell Street, pushing prices to heights well above the £2,000 psf mark. All share prominent locations with impressive views over the Piazza within a refurbished, handsome period building. Finishes are meticulous, featuring Miele appliances, bespoke Intervari kitchens and Lutron lighting.
Residents have luxury fashion and beauty retailers on their doorstep, like Tom Ford, Gucci, Tiffany & Co, Aesop and London’s flagship Apple Store, and can pop home for a quick drink during the interval of a performance at The Royal Opera House. Moreover, properties benefit from an exclusive management service for the ease of day-to-day living, including a 24-hour Privee concierge.
Investors snapping up these properties are an equal mix of domestic and international buyers. However, unlike other PCL strongholds where exchange rate dips accredit transaction volumes, Covent Garden buyers are looking for a place to rest their heads and not just to park their money. A purchase here is not simply a trophy asset.
78% of buyers are owner-occupiers, of which 60% will use the property as a permanent home, the remainder as a pied-à-terre. A trend that Craig Simpson, partner at Tavistock Bow, expects to continue as more buy-to-let properties make their way onto the sales market as the excitement of Covent Garden continues.
This appetite is visible in the lettings market too. Tenants range from professionals from the finance, media, tech or law fields to students attending the London School of Economics, University of Central London and Kings College London, some with budgets to contend with high net-worth individuals.
Regardless of their working status, they all share the same desire to walk to where they work, study, and spend their leisure time. An unachievable feat in the likes of Kensington, Knightsbridge, and further afield to Chelsea and Maida Vale that are starting to edge onto the Prime Central London map.
Landlords in Covent Garden have always been astute to market demands and have been instrumental in carving out Covent Garden as the place to live. Lettings properties do not look out of place in a boutique hotel, some with services to match.
In 2021, a stunning collection of beautifully refurbished lateral apartments was launched on James Street and designed by MABER architects. The average void across the development is a mere two days, with record rent increases of 16% and 18%. Tenants have jumped at the chance to live off the Piazza and in an apartment furnished to a high standard, leaving them the simplicity of only needing to move in with only their bags.
Just like the sales market, these properties warrant the highest returns. Properties off the Piazza enjoy rents of between £70 and £88 per square foot, with weekly rents of around £1,900 per week being the norm. Another collection of boutique apartments on Russell Street recently launched with new stylish furniture. The beds are made, pillows plumped, and a desk is ready for the new tenant, potentially a professional working in a nearby finance or law firm.
Architecture in the area is grand. Georgian buildings dating back from the 1700s dominate the streets around the Piazza. Inside, lovingly refurbished apartments curated with the latest interior trends might be the standard but Covent Garden’s location will remain hard to beat as it effortlessly glides into a Prime Central London postcode.
Tavistock Bow offer the full suite of property services including Residential Sales, Lettings, Property Management, Property Search & Acquisition along with professional services including Block Management, Asset Management and Development Consultancy.