Super prime property in London hard to get, while southwest grows in popularity

Multi-million-pound property in central London, so-called super-prime property, is hard to come by at the moment, according to the capital’s leading estate agencies.

Recent reports say that homes costing between £50million and £200million are now extremely rare – despite the world’s super-rich ready to part with huge sums of cash for a luxury home.

Meanwhile, property consultancy Savills reports this month that while prime central London house prices continue to show steady year-on-year growth, the predominantly domestic markets of southwest London have recorded double digit rises, thanks to a wave of equity pushes moving outwards from the core central zone.

Values in prime central London rose by 1.9 per cent in the three months to the end of September, said Savills, taking annual growth to a relatively modest  5.6 per cent, but continues a record-breaking period of steady, single digit annual price growth.

There are now clear signs of outer prime London playing catch-up, with average prices across the wider markets of prime London rising 3.3 per cent in the quarter and 9.2 per cent year on year.

The standout performer is prime southwest London – a largely domestic market that stretches from Fulham to Wimbledon – where prices rose 4 per cent in the last quarter and 11.8 per cent year on year. These markets are now on average 28.1 per cent above their 2007 peak, just behind prime central London at 30.1 per cent.

Less accentuated but nonetheless robust price growth has also been seen in other locations that have historically lagged central London, including Islington and Wapping.

“The strong price growth in London’s prime markets is often attributed to the influx of overseas money and while that has been the case previously, the strongest price growth in the capital is now being driven by equity rich buyers who are resident in London full time,” says Lucian Cook, director of Savills residential research.

Analysis by Savills research shows that £22 out of every £100 of equity spent in the UK housing market over the past year was spent in London.  This means that of the total £146billion of equity applied to buying housing in the UK, £33billion was spent in London.

Southbank in the spotlight as future London hot spot

London’s Southbank has been earmarked as a future hot spot by property consultancy CBRE, who predicts that increasing confidence coupled with a surge in demand for high-quality residential housing will transform the area over the next decade.

As the Southbank’s transformation continues to attract over 22 million visitors per year, London’s developers have built momentum in redefining this central stretch of the River Thames into one of the most active pockets in the prime residential market. Reflecting this, CBRE has produced a montage showing how the Southbank will look in 2023. The image shows a stunning skyline stretching from Tower Bridge to the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station, including One Blackfriars, South Bank Tower, Shell Centre and the US Embassy.

Through close proximity to the City and West End, as well as its extensive international transport connections, the Southbank continues to deliver a rare opportunity in which homebuyers can purchase in a river-fronting development which will soon become a landmark on the world-famous London skyline.

Lisa Hollands, Managing Director at CBRE Residential, comments: “London’s Southbank is arguably one of the most exciting property stories this decade. Since 2008, the average price for a new-build apartment has risen by 160 per cent, from £500 per sq ft to £1,300 per sq ft. This record increase is also reflected in those properties in the heart of the Southbank, between London Bridge and Waterloo which regularly achieve over £1,800 per sq ft. Many of these developments offer additional luxury amenities including 24-hour concierge, digital entertainment suites, business lounge, fitness suites and spa facilities – all of which are extremely popular with City workers, international purchasers and downsizers alike.”

Peter Burns, Executive Director at CBRE, added: “In the past six years, there has been £2.3bn of development deals on the Southbank, which is a healthy 10 per cent of the central London market over the same period. Throughout this period the proportion of deals happening on the Southbank has been increasing, reflecting the growing acceptance of the area amongst developers who can build at scale. Overseas investors have joined the domestic UK players as they have been attracted to the ability to build high-rise schemes with premium levels of servicing, which is the norm in their local markets.”


More vendors and rising prices – the UK market hots up during summer 2013!

Rising prices and increasing buyer demand have led to significant increases in homes coming onto the UK property market, according to the August Residential Market Survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Relatively low numbers of new properties coming up for sale has been holding the market back in recent months. However, during August, 26 per cent more chartered surveyors reported increases not decreases in new instructions, compared with 16 per cent in July. With positivity starting to return to areas right across the UK, it seems those who may have been waiting for the right time to sell are choosing now to do so.

However, although supply did jump considerably last month, it did not rise sharply enough to keep pace with the sheer weight of demand. During August, the number of would-be buyers increased yet again as increasingly accessible finance allowed more people to enter the market. A net balance of 66 per cent more respondents reported growing numbers of enquiries from potential buyers last month.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, price increases became more widespread, as 40 per cent more surveyors reported rises rather than falls across the UK. This is the highest reading since November 2006 and demonstrates the extent to which the market is starting to recover.

Peter Bolton King, RICS Global Residential Director, said: “It’s not surprising that more and more people are looking to sell their homes. The buyers are out there and prices are on the up so if you’re looking to move it’s a good time to do so. What we don’t wish to see, however, is prices rise to such an extent that they become unaffordable. For the market to work properly, it’s vital that property is both accessible and affordable, and we’ll be monitoring the situation very carefully as the housing sector continues to recover.”

Heavenly hidden homes in the heart of London

Privacy and security are sought after requirements when it comes to buying property in London, but they are increasingly difficult to find, especially in the centre of the city, says a leading London property company.

That said, several developments are appearing around the capital which are hidden to the outside eye, but open up into something quite unexpected, added Savills. Secluded homes in the heart of London are unusual and provide an oasis of calm for residents, offering an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city as well being less conspicuous if the property is left empty for long periods of time – a benefit for foreign owners.

These homes can also prove to be a good investment. This year prime central London (PCL) price growth has become concentrated in the very core locations of Mayfair, Chelsea, Belgravia and Knightsbridge. Chelsea in particular is one of the big performers with prices rising 128 per cent in the last eight years and up 33 per cent since the peak. Plus, values in PCL are expected to continue their rise, increasing 24.3 per cent to end 2017.

For overseas buyers looking for a luxury lock-up-and-leave London pad in a private but fashionable location, the Chelsea Galleries boutique development on the King’s Road could be the answer. Three-bedroom apartments there start from £4.9million; townhouses are also available, all set around a courtyard garden and with access to underground parking. Chelsea Galleries was the original home of the Chelsea Arts Club and Art School. Another option could be an apartment, either one or two-bedroom, at the chic Bolton Studios development also in Chelsea.