From revamped historic quarters to former industrial zones to cutting-edge high-tech hubs, Kate Everett-Allen curates a selection of the urban districts whose location, infrastructure and vibe mean they're set to outperform the competition
Perhaps the question Knight Frank’s residential research teams around the world are most frequently asked by clients and journalists is: “where next?” The ability to identify future hotspots is arguably the one superpower most investors and second home buyers would choose to be blessed with to help them stay one step ahead of the crowd.
Our global teams share their local market insights, pinpointing the neighbourhoods they think will outperform their wider city or regional markets over the next five years. For some, transport improvements play a significant role; for others, new industries or an area’s comparative value explain the selection. To assist international purchasers, we have included not only the 2017 price change in the local currency ( LC) from the PIRI 100 for the wider city areas, but also displayed the price change in other key currencies to assist international purchasers.
Once home to a number of Berlin’s newspaper and publishing companies – and also to its red light district – the area south of Potsdamer Platz is giving way to trendy art galleries, stylish restaurants and hip bars. On the south-western side of the city, the neighbourhood benefits from its proximity to the 250-acre Tiergarten park, and to both the Technical University of Berlin and Humboldt University.
The rejuvenation now extends west as far as Gleisdreieck, once little more than warehouses and scrubland, the new urban neighbourhood has the community-led Park am Gleisdreieck at its heart. In Wohnpanorama, a new development on one of the last plots directly overlooking the park, around €650,000 will buy a two-bedroom apartment and €775,000 a four-bedder, with values typically around €5,000-€9,000 per sq m.
Till Johannes Brühöfener-McCourt, Ziegert Immobilien
The beating heart of ancient Milan, Sant’ Ambrogio is one of Milan’s most prestigious residential areas. Long favoured by the Milanese bourgeoisie, this luxurious district stands at the crossroads of the Roman trading centre, and is packed with ateliers, workshops, art studios and elegant boutiques.
Now, its period buildings and outstanding location inside Milan’s inner ring road, close to Cinque Vie – the iconic crossroads which forms the city’s historic heart – and the prestigious Catholic University are attracting the attention of investors, who are also looking ahead to 2022 and the completion of a new metro line which will directly connect Sant’ Ambrogio with Milan Linate Airport.
Prices across the district start at around €6,500 per sq m with particularly fine and well-located properties fetching up to €8,500 per sq m.
Alessandro Riboni, Knight Frank Italy
Nestled between the 2nd, 9th and 10th arrondissements, the area around Les Grands Boulevards and Bonne Nouvelle – stretching roughly from Opéra in the west to Porte Saint Denis in the east – is a neighbourhood very much on the up. Already a magnet for new IT and tech companies, trendy bars and chic restaurants are now following in their wake, along with a large number of small retail shops and concept stores.
The eclectic vibe combined with the tree-lined roads and classic Haussmannian architecture is attracting strong demand from a new clientele of hipsters, fashionistas and well-to-do “bourgeois bohemians”, including UK buyers attracted by the proximity of the Gare du Nord and the area’s convenient location just 10 minutes’ walk from Les Halles and Montorgueil, and close to Drouot and the historic Le Marais. Interest from Swiss and US buyers is on the increase too; as a result, €10,000 per sq m is no longer a rare and aspirational price threshold for vendors.
Roddy Aris, Knight Frank International
The Palm Jumeirah, the world’s first series of artificial archipelagos, has quickly established itself as an address with a global reputation. Traditionally the island, which is shaped like a palm tree, has featured luxury apartments on its stem and sprawling garden homes and villas on its 16 fronds, attracting young professionals and families respectively.
Now, with the development of The Pointe and Nakheel Mall, which together offer some 5.9 million sq ft of entertainment, dining and retail destinations, the appeal of the stem is set to broaden. A two-bedroom apartment starts at US$750,000, while and garden homes and villas start at US$3 million.
Taimur Khan, Knight Frank Middle East
Despite being one of Madrid’s traditional prime residential districts, Justicia is undergoing something of a transformation as vendors and investors update their spacious, high-ceilinged apartments to meet the demands of a new wave of buyers seeking state-of-the-art design features and high-spec homes.
The district’s evolution is in part thanks to the Centro Canalejas Madrid Project, which is set to transform seven historic buildings into a single space which will house Spain’s first Four Seasons hotel as well as big-name boutiques and gourmet restaurants.
At the heart of Justicia lie Chueca and Salesas, two enclaves that are now home to numerous independent shops, art galleries and boutique hotels as well as restaurants and fashion stores. A three-bedroom apartment covering around 200 sq m here will cost in the region of €1.2 million.
Rosa Uriol, Knight Frank Spain
Perched in the hills overlooking the Bay of St Tropez, the village of La Garde Freinet is characterised by its surrounding forests of oak and cork trees – historically, the source of much of its wealth. Typified by its cobbled streets and offering traditional bastides, estates, and large villas, the region attracts international buyers looking for Provençal charm within striking distance of both Nice International Airport and the sea – but without the hustle, bustle and stratospheric price tags of coastal locations.
Around €1.5 million will buy a four-bedroom house within one hectare of private gardens, while €2.5 million will secure a more substantial six-bedroom home with large grounds and an enviable view.
Jack Harris, Knight Frank International
Just 90-minute drive from Geneva Airport, this stunning south-facing resort with its breath-taking views has recently invested close to SFr40 million on upgrading its ski and in-resort facilities, with a further SFr60 million-plus planned over the next few years.
Villars saw prices fall by more than 10% following the introduction of the Lex Weber law designed to curb the boom in second homes and also due to the strength of the Swiss franc, which slowed transactions.
However, there is now a real sense of change following the recent investments and the expansion of the area’s world-renowned boarding schools – among them Beau Soleil, La Garenne and Aiglon College – that together draw over 800 students into the village every year. A typical two-apartment will fetch between SFr400,000 and SFr1 million, while a four-bedroom chalet commands a figure of close to SFr3 million.
Alex Koch de Gooreyend, Knight Frank International
A world-renowned business address, Cape Town’s CBD is now emerging as a sought-after residential postcode too. The city’s central core extends from the Harbour, with Stand Street and the Railway Station at its heart. Once dominated by high-rise office blocks, an injection of new capital and innovative ideas is changing both the atmosphere and the skyline.
Initiatives such as First Thursday, when galleries and museums stay open late, the area’s world-class restaurants and its views of Table Mountain and Cape Town Harbour have led to an upsurge in interest from CBD workers anxious to spend more time enjoying their leisure and less commuting in this notoriously congested city. Typical prices range from 1.2 million rand for a studio to 30 million rand for a penthouse, with a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with secure parking fetching an average 5 million rand.
Richard Hardie, Knight Frank South Africa
Karen is a wealthy suburb of Nairobi some 10 miles west of the CBD, named after Karen Blixen, the Danish expatriate who lived here in the early 20th century and famously wrote about her experiences in the book Out of Africa, subsequently made into an Oscar-winning film. From the early 2000s, growth was rapid, with many of the original five- and ten-acre plots developing into modern housing clusters with shared amenities such as club houses, gyms and swimming pools.
This period saw land prices soar from 2.3 shillings per acre to their current levels of over 50 shillings per acre, where they have now stabilised. The market for these townhouses has become somewhat saturated, with a subsequent plateauing of both house prices and land values, with the former selling for typically around 80 million to 110 million although we are now seeing record prices being achieved for larger stand-alone houses with more substantial gardens.
Ben Woodhams, Knight Frank Kenya
There has been much speculation over the last 10 years about Bayswater’s potential as a prime address. To date, though, it has not outperformed as forecast; surprising, given its position close to Hyde Park and when compared with its neighbours Notting Hill and Marylebone. However, things may be about to change, following the announcement of plans for a major redevelopment of the Whiteleys shopping centre and the northern end of Queensway.
Architects Foster + Partners have been appointed to create a major mixed-use scheme, which will offer a transformative mix of retail and amenity facilities centred around a large courtyard and anchored by a 5-star boutique hotel offer alongside residential accommodation.
The introduction of a mix of high-quality retailers, restaurants and leisure operators promises to provide the “hub” which has been lacking hitherto and will complete the gentrification of Westbourne Grove. We expect to see a significant impact on prices, with the location materially outperforming the PCL index over the next five years.
Ian Marris, Knight Frank UK
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Everett-Allen curates a selection of the urban districts whose location, infrastructure and vibe make them the latest neighbourhoods to watch.
The latest results of our PIRI 100 index, which tracks the performance of the world’s leading prime second home and city residential markets.