London's Luxury Outlook Is Stronger (And More Interesting) Than It Was In 2016
London's luxury residential outlook is stronger than it was in 2016, with new build developments cropping up in Mayfair and Knightsbridge and Regent's Park becoming a hub for well-heeled families.
Andrew Dunn, co-founder of luxury property firm Finchatton, told Bisnow that last year was challenging for luxury property. The introduction of the 3% SDLT surcharge on second homes and months of uncertainty following the Brexit vote weighed down the market a bit, but it wasn’t all bad news. US President-elect Donald Trump’s victory in Q4 and the weak pound encouraged investors to look again at London in late 2016 — and that trend is continuing into 2017. Dunn expects some movement after the Brexit disruption settles down and buyers regain confidence in London.
In 2017, Mayfair will continue to reinforce its position as the new luxury district ahead of Knightsbridge and Belgravia, as developments including Finchatton’s Twenty Grosvenor Square and Qatari Diar’s conversion of the US Embassy begin to transform the area.
Ten Trinity Square and British Land's Clarges Mayfair will both be completed in 2017. Prices for the 41 private apartments at Four Seasons start at £5M, and go up to £18M for the three-bedroom penthouse. The prices achieved at Clarges Mayfair have beaten Mayfair records, with an average value of £4,720/SF. The 34 residences have access to one of the most luxurious private spas in London, a key focus for super-prime buyers next year.
Regent’s Park has one development with planning permission and two under construction, including Amazon Property’s Park Crescent, which will include 20 terraces homes that are priced upward of £15M. The area around Regent’s Park began to change around 2006. The number of households living in the park fell by 15% between the two census dates — even though the development and sales market was increasingly active, according to data from Kay & Co.
The decline in the total number of households is almost certainly a reflection of the change in the nature of the stock as apartments were converted back into single houses. Although single-person households still accounted for 40% of all homes in 2011, their share of the total had declined by 26% over the preceding decade.
Meanwhile the proportion of family households began to rise. Almost a quarter of households in 2011 had either dependent or non-dependent children, up from 21% in 2001. The park, along with the proximity of the Regent’s Park Zoo and Open Air Theatre, certainly makes this an attractive location for family life.
We’ve finally seen the back of austere minimalism, Dunn said, and luxury designers are choosing plush fabrics, particularly velvets, in rich colours. The trend will include material manipulation, such as pleating and stitching, to create luxurious textures as part of our need to feel and touch comfort in our busy lives.
We’ll embrace punchy "Greenery" this year, Dunn said. Revitalising green colours will be the new scheme for interior fabrics and finishes, and foliage will make a reappearance into living spaces after having been overlooked for years.
Continuing the natural, healing and comforting theme, warm bronze metallics will continue to be popular, Dunn said, and dark wood in unexpected places will impart personality to neglected spaces. Used on kitchen cabinetry, wall paneling or wardrobe joinery, it can be an expected way to add richness and dimension to a room.