Luxury London home buyers turn to Marylebone

While the more traditional high-end London property areas such as Knightsbridge and Chelsea have seen prices stagnate or fall over the past 12 months, a relatively new kid on the block has taken top slot as best performer in prime central London (PCL) homes – and buyers from the Middle East are snapping them up.

Meriam Makiya,a partner andhead of Knight Frank prime new developments said one of the biggest attractions of Marylebone is Regent’s Park.

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The sprawling park often features some unusual and eyepopping sculptures dotted across the landscape. “It is no surprise that some of the most prestigious new residential developments border the parkland,” Ms Makiya said.

Another big draw, for tourists at least, is the world famous Madame Tussaud’s waxworks museum nearby.

Chris Lanitis, the director of Amazon Property, said the homes his firm has sold in Marlyebone are in the ultra prime £5 million (Dh23m) to £10m category and more than a third of them went to dollar-based buyers including from this region.

“In the first eight weeks of 2017 Amazon Property has successfully sold over £50m worth of ultra prime residential property in our flagship The Park Crescent development and wider West End portfolio. Some 65 per cent of these sales have been UK domestic and European purchasers with the remaining 35 per cent selling to dollar-based international buyers from the Middle East, North America and Asia. “

Marylebone is now the UK capital’s luxury property hotspot with a 0.7 per cent rise in prime residential prices over the 12 months to March, outperforming the rest of PCL, which averaged a decline of 6.4 per cent.

Knight Frank says currently the largest volume of sales in Marylebone and Regent’s Park are in the £2m to £5m price range. However there are also sales above £10 m, consisting of trophy penthouses and houses. Buyers look outside the traditional locations during periods of harsh market conditions, says Christian Lock-Necrews, a partner office head at Knight Frank (Marylebone).

“Many found Marylebone … to be an area of London that represented best in class properties in a central London location,” he said, allowing buyers to get more for their money than Mayfair or Knightsbridge. “This trend has been the same in the last six months as transactional costs have made people consider the rationale behind their move.”

The estate agents Aston Chase said over the past three years London’s ultra prime West End region has divided into two distinct areas. The first district is the Lower West End, a traditional source of purchases for Middle East buyers, and consisting of Mayfair, Belgravia, St James’s and Knightsbridge, where residential values average £3,000 to £7,000 per sq ft. Here, buyers are typically from the Arabian Gulf, continental Europe, India and Asia.

The second district is the Upper West End – consisting of Marylebone, Fitzrovia, St Johns Wood and Regent’s Park – where residential values average £2,000 to £2,500 per sq ft and buyers are a combination of UK domestic and international purchasers.

Aston Chase said despite the recent slowdown prices in the Upper West End have risen by 30 per cent since 2007. Currently the core market is for properties priced from £500,000 up to £7.5m, with the strongest rate of sales within the £3m to £5m bracket, equating to values of £2,000 to £2,500 per sq ft.

Aston Chase said that since January 2017 65 per cent of sales had gone to overseas buyers including from the GCC. The biggest proportion of overseas buyers have been from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, Italy, Iran, Canada and the United States., it said.

chnelson@thenational.ae