Location no longer the top draw for buyers of luxury property in London

The location of the most expensive properties in London is changing with St John’s Wood and Hampstead now recording more luxury sales than Chelsea and Westminster, according to new research.

Location is not as important as it used to be with foreign buyers in particular looking for more space, ultra-modern interiors and new builds over existing homes which have to be refurbished to very high standards to sell.

A total of 50 sales of property worth £10 million plus took place across the prime London property market in the first 10 months of this year with a combined value of £727 million, according to the analysis by Aston Chase and LonRes.

While Belgravia and Knightsbridge are the two top spots for eight figure homes 15 sales worth £265 million between January and October this year, homes in North London are now moving up the rankings in terms of the most expensive locations in London.

It takes St John’s Wood into third place with six super prime sales totalling £88 million, followed by Mayfair with five amounting to £74 million, then Kensington with six sales totalling £73 million, Hampstead with four at £54 million and Regent’s Park/Primrose Hill with four sales totalling £47 million.

Marylebone comes next with the sale of four properties with a combined value of 37.5 million, then Chelsea with two sales totalling £26.5 million and Westminster also with two sales at a combined £20.2 million.

The most expensive address is Hamilton Terrace, followed by Chesham Place, Carlyle Square, Eaton Square, Grosvenor Square, Lancaster Gate, Charles Street, Victoria Road, Wilton Crescent, and then Redington Road.

According to Mark Pollack, co-founding director of Aston Chase, the quality and supply of super prime houses in key North London locations has risen significantly in the last 18 months and the inner London market is now product led rather than location led.

‘Buyers are prioritising newly built or refurbished homes with less emphasis on location and North West London provides super prime buyers with more space and value compared to the West End,’ he explained.
He added that super prime homes in St John’s Wood, for example, typically sell from £2,250 to £3.250 per square foot, half the cost of buying in Belgravia or Mayfair.

‘Historically there have been much higher levels of ultra-prime property stock in Mayfair, Chelsea, Westminster and Kensington, so one would expect the level of £10 million plus deals to be higher in these addresses,’ Pollack explained.

‘However, this year the North West London locations of St Johns Wood and Hampstead have performed disproportionately well, with St Johns Wood in particular outperforming Mayfair, Chelsea and Kensington for £10 million plus sales deals. This rise up the super prime rankings this year is due to the quality of supply and superior value for money,’ he pointed out.

‘Agreeing a deal is only small part of the equation in the ultra-prime sector. Buyers in today’s challenging market are forensically reviewing their purchase before finalising, so need hand-holding and complete confidence in all aspects of the transaction, they need to feel 100% comfortable as no-one is prepared to take a view in this climate,’ he added.

According to Simon Deen, director and head of news at Aston Chase, sales in inner London have been very much driven by sales to overseas buyers since the general election earlier this year and they prefer turnkey new homes.

‘Buyers are much more focused on interiors, specification and lifestyle amenities rather than specific roads. Even where second hand homes are purchased, buyers are wanting them refurbished so they are modernised and given new interiors,’ he said.