Interior design helps attract international buyers, it is claimed
Owners of luxury properties in sought after areas of London are using interior designers to make sure they are attractive to international buyers who are particularly active at present.
Knightsbridge, Mayfair and Chelsea have long been sought after by high net worth individuals looking to invest in London property, but developers and private sellers are now adopting new ways to entice international buyers by offering homes which are designed to suit specific nationalities.
‘Some 89% of our clients are international investors and are mainly from the Middle East, Russia, India and China all of which have specific needs and requirements when buying property in London,’ said Shirley Humphrey, sales and marketing director of Harrods Estates.
‘We work closely with developers and our individual sellers to help them design their homes to suit each potential buyer and offer a range of properties from apartments to penthouses and townhouses to mansions,’ she added.
Selling property in the UK has evolved a great deal in the last five years with sellers creating new and interesting ways to sell their homes. ‘Originally, properties were designed with neutral tones and colours so they could be adapted for any buyer. However, when high net worth individuals are buying property, they want interior designed properties in a prime location with all the added extras such as a 24 hour hotel style concierge service or parking,’ explained Humphrey.
Harrods Estates work closely with the world famous Harrods department store to offer their clients a bespoke service which is tailored to suit each seller or buyer. ‘We are able to offer a very special VIP service to our clients, we can arrange for their homes to be cleaned and food to be in the fridge for when they come to London. If they need a private jet or their home interior designed we can also organise it for them,’ said Humphrey.
Harrods Estates specialises in the sale, let and acquisition of property in prime London and after years of experience, the team understand what each nationality want from their London home. ‘Russians prefer properties with high ceilings, spacious kitchens/breakfast rooms, lateral space and parking, whereas Middle Eastern buyer’s main requirements include being purpose built, suitable for families and within walking distance of the Harrods department store,’ added Humphrey.
Harrods Estates have received an increasing amount of interest from Asian buyers, particularly from India and mainland China with 42% of their sales now coming from Asia compared with 7% in 2008. These buyers have a very different requirement when buying prime property in London.
Indian buyers look for property with good investment potential and long leases and are prepared to look outside of Knightsbridge for their purchase. When Chinese buyers find a property they like, they cluster buy three or four properties in one development or building. ‘Originally, Chinese buyers were renting property but this has now shifted with more and more of them buying property in London. Chinese buyers are also buying the apartments for their children to live in while they study in the UK and then keeping them as long term investments,’ explained Humphrey.
Harrods Estates is currently offering a range of properties to suit specific nationalities including a four bedroom apartment at 55 Park Lane, Mayfair, which is very popular with Asian cluster buyers and a three bedroom interior designed apartment within Lancelot Place, the newest purpose built development in Knightsbridge, popular with Middle Eastern buyers.