It’s been a roller-coaster ride for the luxury London super-prime market over the past 35 years as prices have increased by 2,000% or more in some areas. However prime prices are now between 15 and 20% below their most recent peak. What is heartening though is that Savills have noted that, whilst prices are down, activity above £15million actually increased at the end of last year.
“The best in class within this market is still attracting competitive bidding but those on secondary streets or busy roads, not so much,” says Philip Eastwood Partner at The Buying Solution.
But away from the house price turbulence within these markets, a significant mini industry has been quietly developing to serve its high net worth residents and their properties.
This includes specialist sales and lettings companies, buying agencies, concierge services, property management firms and in the case of GoGeoffrey, a subscription-based butler service.
“These kinds of properties are very bespoke so selling, buying or managing them requires a different kind of approach – they’re like a bespoke suit or couture dress,” says Eastwood.
“Presentation is key, so they have to be dressed expensively too – when you’re spending that much money you want it to make an impression and it’s not unusual to spend £100,000 getting a new or resale property staged for sale.
“I came across one property recently on which the vendor had spent £50,000 on the garden alone just for the sale.”
“One of the main reasons why HNWIs use buying agents – on top of the time and effort we save them – is that often they don’t want their buying or selling activities out there in the public domain,” says Eastwood.
This is partly down to the small size of the market. If you’re selling a home worth £1 million to £5 million then yours is one of over 10,000 for sale at the moment in London. But if a home is for sale at £15 million or more, it’s hard to hide it among the 130 currently publicly on the market.
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