The first quarter of 2012 has continued to go from strength to strength in terms of both central London sales and the number of new applicants registering. The demand for prime and super-prime residential property here in the capital remains unabated with only the shortage of stock in the London market continuing to be a problem.
At this time of year in particular, purchasers tend to want a garden, or use of a garden square, terrace, or perhaps even better a direct view and access to a park. Unsurprisingly, Regent’s Park is proving one of the most popular, with its many facilities including an open-air theatre, lake and tennis court representing one of the finest Royal parks in London, and great to live near.
Much of the interest in the finest London properties is naturally coming from the international market but in particular Russia, Eastern Europe, India, Italy, the Middle East, the Far East, as well as France. We feel that there will be even more interest from Italian purchasers – probably the biggest savers in Europe – and the French.
China is emerging as a contender in the London market and will shortly be followed, no doubt, by the wealthy from Brazil as that country continues to expands its own economic profile yet further.
Interest tends to be localised with those from the ex-USSR and the Middle East preferring Belgravia, Knightsbridge and Mayfair. The home market is also buoyant though, and despite the increase in stamp duty buyers have not been deterred.
It is no surprise to us that demand for the top end of the London market continues to flourish. Not only does this key financial centre have a particularly convenient time zone, but we have retained our currency and therefore have a degree of economic autonomy.
The convenience of London in relation to other international cities, its cultural appeal and the enormous improvements in the service industry – in particular hotels, restaurants and prime shopping – coupled with the potential capital growth in the market is continuing to lure prime purchasers from around the world. Despite Paris and New York regaining some momentum these markets tend not to be fuelled by the international purchaser in the same way as London. According to Citi Private Bank’s The Wealth Report, property accounts for 35% of HNW investment portfolios second only to investment in their own businesses.
Signs in the first quarter of 2012 have been very positive with a good flow of high net worth applicants registering – and we fully expect that trend to continue throughout the summer and beyond with both international money and some domestic money being invested wisely in the prime central London market, which is very healthy at the moment.
These properties will be used as homes, London pieds-à-terre and indeed investments as safe havens in a somewhat-turbulent economic landscape. We have no crystal ball to predict the future but our experience, intuition and sales to date indicate that 2012 is set to be a wonderful year for London.
For more info: 020 7499 7722; beauchamp.co.uk