Despite the worldwide financial crisis causing property development to slow around the world, there are still some areas – such as Paris and London – that are seen as secure investment locations and are attracting an increasing level of investment. “The economic slowdown has certainly not dampened the enthusiasm of the very wealthy buyers,” said Tim Swannie, who runs buyer’s agent Home Hunts with Francois-Xavier de Vial. “In fact it seems to have spurred many on into investing in properties in the right location. London property is very much in demand.”
To meet the desires of clients wishing to purchase in London, Home Hunts has recently launched its buyer’s agent services for luxury London property. So what type of Luxury London property is popular and which locations are the most coveted? “Most buyers are looking for apartments or townhouses in ‘super-prime’ locations in London,” said Swannie. “The investment element is high and so we are focusing on areas that seem to constantly rise and be recession proof, such as Mayfair property and Knightsbridge property. Belgravia and Kensington property is also in demand.”
Buyers, keen to snap up the right property in London to safeguard their wealth are coming from all over the world – and a gap between London property prices and the rest of the UK is growing as a result. With overseas buyers putting billions into the market over the last couple of years existing properties are not on the market for long.
As a result property developments are also in progress in London’s most sought after and “golden postcode” areas, Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Kensington, in a bid to benefit from the stream of investment targeting luxury London property. “For many buyers, leaving their money sitting in the bank gives little return,” said Swannie. “Instead, they feel a property which will certainly increase in value is a much more attractive option than just a set of figures on a monthly statement.”
Mayfair property has long been popular with hedge funds and banks and hosts some of the most exclusive shops, restaurants and hotels in London. According to reports, a restaurant tycoon, now a London property developer, will be redeveloping 20-21 Grosvenor Square into luxury apartments. Another Mayfair property in development is at Audley Square, which should bring a further 20 luxury London properties onto the market as well as a penthouse.
Home to Harrods and Harvey Nichols, as well as the flagship stores of designers such as Prada and Jimmy Choo, Knightsbridge property is very much in demand. Sales at One Hyde Park, one of the most luxurious developments in London, have boomed as a result of investment from Europe and the Middle East.
With a new luxury hotel, the Belgraves, soon to open its doors, Belgravia property is highly desired and offers secure investment opportunities for save haven-seeking property buyers. However, according to reports the price per square foot is set to rocket over the next few years due to a limited number of available luxury Belgravia properties.
Demand for Kensington property continues to increase. The Lancasters in Kensington, on Bayswater Road, is well known for its ultra-prime apartments among affluent investors. Another new development to watch is De Vere Gardens. Following investment from the Middle East, two hotels were demolished to make way for new luxury apartments. According to reports the Kensington property will be finished in 2013.