Chelsea - Aspiration to Exasperation

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 by Ed Mead

Working during five different decades the unique thread that has always joined buyers in this rarefied market has been the aspiration to live in a bigger property and the wherewithal to stretch and buy them. Unlike the rest of the Country where needs must, Chelsea attracts those who like to tell people they live there. They also like to show their neighbours they live in a property that matches their own impression of where they sit in life’s pecking order and that has traditionally created a market that is pulled from the top up, rather than being driven as elsewhere from the bottom up. In a recent meeting one of my forthright team, Patrick to be precise, lamented the fact that bigger properties in Chelsea seem now to be beyond the realms of even successful working people and it occurred to me that this may be partly why things are stalling a little in Chelsea.

In other words the aspirational string that pulled on Chelsea residents to upgrade is now broken with the prices of relatively normal property now 40% higher than '07 proving beyond the pale for those who, despite earning large sums, simply can’t even get close to matching similar income gains over the same period.

Quite where it ends is anyone's guess but there's little doubt that the genuine sense of community that existed, albeit in a way many wouldn't recognise, seems to be exiting stage left and is being replaced with something that looks the same but might as well be built of golden Lego bricks.