Categories: EDITORIAL

The grockles of K&C

Survey of locations with the highest percentage of second homes gives indication as to why so many long-established businesses are closing down in Kensington and Chelsea; in some streets in the borough second home ownership now accounts for 70% of all properties there


It’s no wonder so many businesses are closing in Kensington and Chelsea given a recent government survey has revealed that nearly one in ten properties in the borough are now second homes.


You are now more likely to see a super car driven by an Arab or Russian in Sloane Street than a Dowager Duchess


Third only to the Isles of Scilly, off Cornwall, and the City of London itself – the results for both of which are skewed by the fact that they have relatively small populations anyway – Kensington and Chelsea is described as having the “highest proportion of second homes of any densely-populated area in England” and most tellingly, it is the list of the streets with the most second homes that makes for utterly fascinating reading.


The top five are as follows:


  1. Ashburn Place, SW7 – 92 second homes out of a total of 131 properties (70.2% second homes).


  1. Sloane Avenue, SW3 – 569 second homes out of a total 1,519 properties (37.5% second homes).


  1. Stanhope Gardens, SW7 – 96 second homes out of a total of 453 properties (21.2% second homes).


  1. Sloane Street, SW1 – 108 second homes out of a total of 596 properties (18.1% second homes).


  1. Kensington High Street – 123 second homes out of a total of 824 properties (18.1% second homes).


Previously, in February 2014, we featured a quote from an Evening Standard article about the area that stated: “Just walk around the back streets of Knightsbridge or Kensington at night; the lights aren’t on and no one’s home”. Given this is now fact, it’s no wonder that previously successful established restaurants are closing and being converted into shisha friendly cafés – as has occurred at four sites on Brompton Road, for example, within the last year alone – and it’s no wonder that longstanding residents are cashing in and moving out to places that actually have facilities that appeal to permanent residents and are making way for grockles or second home owners.


A small one-bedroom apartment the size of a shoebox is currently for sale for £649,950 in Nell Gwynn House in Sloane Avenue, SW3 – It’s no wonder it can only be afforded by those in the market for a second home
Picture perfect Salisbury Hall at Newton-in-Bowland in Lancashire is for sale for the same price
Meanwhile, Barholm Castle at Gatehouse of Fleet, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland is on offer for £695,000 and comes with 2.75 acres of land and spectacular views over Wigtown Bay


A simple search reveals that the asking price for a tiny 313 square foot, 1-bedroom apartment in Sloane Avenue’s Nell Gwynn House is currently £649,950 or £2,077 per square foot. For the same price, one could buy a 3,058 square foot Grade II listed hall in the Hodder Valley in Lancashire or a 15th century castle in Scotland for just £695,000. It’s no wonder that more and more lights are turning off in K&C, but truly it’s a sad thing and if the character that makes the borough so appealing is to be retained, something really must be done to encourage long-term residents to return.



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    • I am from Bahrain. Stupid people, very stupid people just will tolerate your article. We spend money in the London and bring you wealth like you people never had before. You should be scrapping the dirt at our feet.

        • What's that saying "Fur coat no knickers". Money has obviously not bought you Class.

          To further your British cultural learning Sir, its definition is:

          "Superficially elegant and beautiful but actually common".

      • Bahrain is such a backward little country. You produce notthing and have to rely upon the equally backward and barbaric Saudi's to put down those of your population who think your rulers stink.
        You country's low educational standards is exemplified by not even knowing that your poxy little country was once a British possession.

          • Mrs M....if you have nothing intelligible to say; then say nothing.
            Living in the barbaric backwater of Bahrain has clearly fried what little brain you might have.

    • Well said!!!!!! London is ruined and Kensington and Chelsea is riddled with idiots like Malik (above). He can't even spell!!!!!!

    • Sloane Avenue is also famous as the location where the most prostitutes in London live! Evening Standard reported this a few years back!

    • How perfect if "Malik" and his ilk buzzed off back to Bahrain and took Miss Church with him.................!

    • Malik.........instead of berating you for you for your poor spelling and endearing lack of comprehension of our British might benefit from learning and understanding the old adage ' When in Rome do as the Romans do '
      And, to add a little polish - not Polish - to your repertoire; ' Form is temporary - class is permanent ' and, if this fails, there may be others who will admonish you instead

    • It pains me to see what Lowndes Square has become , once a very elegant London square. Now, the property prices sky rocketing, resulted in all previous genteel residents departing and being replaced by the brash ilk of kleptocrats, and their courtiers and their hookers. This is also the favoured place for the Gulf Arabs,who race their cars day and night round the area..
      The shisha cafes round the corner are of course thriving . one wonders if in London, or anywhere in the M-E / round here..
      The newsagents in Motcomb street were telling me recently that their business is slowing down rapidly as the neighbourhood is being emptied of residents and just too many houses and flats are empty, no residents, no tenants , not even caretakers, just empty . I do hope the Gov will tackle this issue with a drastic new tax , the current ones are just not punitive enough.

      • Sadly, Mariathena you are right. There wll be a migration of the old established residents to parts of the Borough which still have a feel of the London we used to know and love.

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