The enduring appeal of London is clear, with more ultra-high net worth individuals based there than any other global city. It is perhaps not surprising then that last year saw the highest number of 20 pound million-plus deals in London (38) since 2014.
In fact, according to Knight Frank’s latest “Super Prime” insight report, the total volume and value of transactions above £20 million (Dh91.8 million) has been on a broad upward trajectory over the last nine months. Despite the political headwinds, this is a major statement of success for the UK capital, demonstrating the resilience of the market.
Why London realty is discounting the Brexit mess
Well, we are finding that the key drivers of education, business and connectivity remain priorities for our clients searching for homes in London. But crucially for overseas purchasers, the weakness of the pound has sustained demand. The effective discounts available for a range of overseas currencies since the EU referendum are similar to those seen in the 12 months following the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
Those with sterling will find property is 12.3 per cent cheaper than on June 22, 2016, while those with dollars, dirhams or Russian roubles can enjoy a 24.2 per cent discount. This relative discount has helped to stimulate global investors looking to secure trophy assets in prime central London.
Big differences also appear when looking at the value of prime properties across the world’s best addresses. Based on typical prime residential prices, Knight Frank calculated how many square metres $1 million (Dh3.67 million) buys you across Dubai, Monaco and London.
We found that Monaco comes out on top as the world’s most expensive property market, with $1 million buying you just 16 square metres. For the same value in London, buyers are able to get almost double the size of property, with $1 million buying you 30 square metres — placing London fourth on the list of the most expensive property markets worldwide.
Places to put those funds in
Focusing in on London’s individual markets, pent-up demand in higher-value markets is being released to a greater extent following stamp duty-related price adjustments.
In central London neighbourhoods, exchanges rose by 7 per cent in the year to April, while the increase was 17 per cent in north London, according to our latest Prime London Sales Index.
As with any global market, there are standout projects, with 20 Grosvenor Square one such example. This exceptional scheme in Mayfair is the world’s first standalone Four Seasons residences, created by Finchatton. The building comprises 37 homes serviced by Four Seasons.
— Henry Faun is Head of International Project Marketing, MENA, at Knight Frank.