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TBS in The Telegraph – Large private gardens have become non-negotiable’: how the luxury property market is back in action

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Knight Frank
London and Country specialist property buying agents
21 May 2020  |   Will Watson

The luxury property market is back in action and Will Watson, Head of London for TBS, discusses how large private gardens have become non-negotiable.

Lockdown – and the threat of its sequel later this year – has unified the nation in its desires for outdoor space and homes that fulfill all our entertainment needs. But it’s the super-rich in London who are now acting on those ambitions, with the purveyors of the capital’s super-prime properties reporting significant spikes in enquiries since property market restrictions were relaxed on May 13th. 

The “Boris bounce” – a flurry of post-election purchases earlier this year – feels like a lifetime ago. But prepare for its successor, the “lockdown lift-off”, says Andrew Grocock, Knight Frank’s Head of Sales in the City and East region. Last week, Knight Frank saw the highest level of enquiries in a year. “This shows what happens when you temporarily suppress pent-up demand that has been building for years,” says Grocock.  

Savills has also seen new buyer registrations in prime London rise by 81% in the past week – and a 45% rise in searches among overseas buyers looking at £5m+ London properties, compared with the weekly average for the two months pre-Covid. “The prime London residential market is very much on the radar of the world’s wealthy,” says Lucian Cook, Savills’ Head of Residential Research. 

Buyers at Almacantar’s The Bryanston, Hyde Park – where apartments overlooking the royal park start from £2.6m for a one-bed through Knight Frank and Wetherell – may well have future city-based lockdowns in mind. 

Large private gardens have become “100% non-negotiable”, says Will Watson, Head of The Buying Solution, who has three clients – families with £12m-£25m budgets – looking to upgrade their London homes. “They have all been looking since 2019, and all have changed their brief in the last two weeks to include a large south or west-facing garden and/or access to a park or garden square.” 

At Chelsea Barracks – where the 13 newly complete, six-storey townhouses start at £38m through Knight Frank – 40% of its 13 acres are devoted to new garden squares and public spaces, designed by Gustafson Porter and the Chelsea gold-winning gardener Jo Thompson.

So, will the coming weeks and months see lockdown lift-off – or failure to launch if further isolation looms? As the restrictions start to ease this time round, it’s all to play for in London’s prime property market.

Read the full article here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/property-and-architecture/large-private-gardens-have-become-non-negotiable-luxury-property/

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