Welcome to the Wetherell Blog. We specialise in Mayfair residential property and in this section of the website you will find regular blog posts with everything you need to know about property in this area of London.
June 12th, 2013
The Hutch Club at Quaglino’s is a glamorous cocktail and jazz pop-up bar that pays homage to the venue’s hedonistic spirit, which began when flamboyant host Giovanni Quaglino opened the doors to a beautiful, decadent society crowd in 1929.
The Hutch Club boasts London’s first boutique alcoholic Popcorn Bar curated by gourmet popcorn connoisseurs Joe & Seph’s, who have designed an exclusive Nº3 Gin & Tonic flavour, among other alcoholic varieties that have been paired with artfully crafted cocktails.
The Hutch Club at Quaglino’s is running until 31 August 2013 and features live jazz on Friday & Saturday nights.
June 10th, 2013
The publicity that the State of Qatar is preparing for a leadership transition this summer could see Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir, relinquish power to his son, Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim, would have a powerful “Marbella Effect” on the property and hotel market in London’s Mayfair and West End report Wetherell.
Wetherell highlight that if Sheikh Hamad spends more time in London, where many of his medical, legal and investment advisors are reported to be based, the central London economy could benefit enormously with more residential properties being acquired, more hotel rooms booked, and spending undertaken in the capital’s leading retail boutiques, jewellery houses and automobile showrooms.
Over the last six years, the ruling Al Thani family have gone on a large property and asset spending spree in prime central London, buying up homes in Mayfair and Regent’s Park, and other retail and luxury brand assets across the centre of London.
The Al Thani family’s principal personal London homes are in Mayfair including the Emir’s £200million 44,000sqft Grade II listed Dudley House on Park Lane, acquired in 2006, and substantially refurbished and modernised to provide 17 bedrooms and 14 reception rooms. Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser, the Emir’s second wife and Consort for state visits, has a magnificent mansion on Green Street and the Deputy Prime Minister of Qatar, owns the £180million Lombard House mansion on Curzon Street.
In the new developments sector, the Al Thani also own the American Embassy and the Chelsea Barracks site.
Peter Wetherell, Managing Director of Wetherell said: “If the current Emir of Qatar steps down and ends up spending more time in London, the impact on the local property market, hotels and retail outlets of Mayfair, Belgravia and Knightsbridge would be similar to the boom that the Marbella economy had when the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia chose to spend increasing amounts of time in his White House style palace on the “Golden Mile” in Marbella. Whilst Crown Prince Abdullah ruled in Saudi Arabia, King Fahd and his large entourage stayed in Marbella and spent money on property, hotel suites and retail purchases. If a similar pattern is repeated with the Al Thani dynasty, Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim could end up running Qatar freeing Sheikh Hamad to spend more time overseas in locations such as London where he has a home and significant investments.”
Wetherell highlight that average house prices in the Al Thani family’s favourite London address, Mayfair, now stand at £10.3 million, with large Mayfair mansions of the type favoured by the ruling family now selling now for between £50 to £100 million.
Residential values for the best properties in Mayfair now stand at £3,500 to £4,500 per sqft; with the average £ per sqft value by up 54% since 2007. Mayfair residential rental values average £2,916 per week for houses and £1,191 per week for apartments; with the average rental value up by 22% since 2007.
According to Peter Wetherell, there are four groups of buyers in Mayfair. The first group are the “Oil Royals” or “Oil 7” – the heads of the oil/gas rich states of Qatar, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Brunei, Russia and Kazakhstan, with the biggest buyers currently being the Royal families of Qatar and Abu Dhabi.
The second are the “African Moguls” – oil traders and business tycoons. The third are the billionaires, notably David & Simon Reuben, Lakshmi Mittal and Subrata Roy Sahara.
The fourth are the super-prime developers/design houses – with Candy & Candy and Finchatton being the most famous. Sometimes a firm from this fourth group will team up with a ruling family/government in order to collaborate, share market intelligence, pool skills and jointly increase their chances of snapping up the very best properties and sharing the rewards.
May 15th, 2013
Leading Mayfair and West End estate agent Wetherell, in association with Dataloft, have produced the capital’s first ever London-Underground Property Map (see attached map), which reveals average prices and rental values for apartments in postcode-based catchment areas around each of the London-Underground tube stations.
The new Wetherell London-Underground Property Map is fascinating revealing for the first time ever, London’s most expensive tube stations and underground lines, ranked by the value of residential properties around them. It also shows Londoners how dramatically property prices and rental values rise and fall as tube travellers pass between stations, with massive price changes often occurring in a short distance between just one or two tube stops. Owning a home next to the “right” tube station can result in a Londoner benefitting from “property gold and riches”, whilst living just a few stops down the line by another can mean owning a home which is just a third of the value of the former. Likewise, if you are renting you could live just a few tube stops away from a friend, yet enjoy a rent that is much lower than theirs.
To create this new tube map, Wetherell commissioned property research consultancy Dataloft to undertake an extensive survey; analysing sales and rental values for two bedroom apartments (as reported by the Land Registry, Lonres and Zoopla) over a 12 month period. The sales/rental data used was for the lowest level of London-Postcode sector immediately surrounding each Underground Station (a circa 0.25 mile radius). The research focused on the 63 underground stations within Prime Central London, the Underground’s Zone 1 Fare Area covering Earls Court to Aldgate and Kings Cross down to Elephant & Castle. The results were tabulated, ranked and artworked onto a London-Underground Transport Map. The new map and its publication was reviewed and approved by Transport for London.
Ranked by property values, Knightsbridge is London’s most expensive tube station (2 bed flat ave price £2.67m; £1,252 p.w. rent). Others in the top-10 most expensive tube station list include Hyde Park Corner by Belgravia (2 bed flat ave price £1.71m; £936 p.w. rent), Sloane Square in Chelsea (2 bed ave price £1.44m; £820 p.w. rent), Green Park in Mayfair (2 bed ave price £1.27m; £1,016 p.w. rent), High Street Kensington (2 bed ave price £1.19m; £822 p.w. rent) and Regent’s Park (2 bed ave price £1.18m; £713 p.w. rent).
Within Zone 1, the Piccadilly line is London’s most expensive and prestigious tube line, as ranked by the average property value on the line. The average vale of a two bedroom apartment on the Piccadilly line is £1.36 million. This is followed by the District (£1.06m), Circle (£1.02m) and Central (£995,452) lines. With its currently undervalued locations of Victoria, Pimlico and Vauxhall, the Victoria line has an average property value of £760,861, whilst at £613,890, the Northern line is the least valuable tube line in Zone One.
Other fascinating findings revealed by the new Wetherell London-Underground Property Map are the huge jumps in property values that occur between the relatively short distance of just a few stations. Travel just five stops from Elephant and Castle to Piccadilly Circus and prices rise from just £361,300 to £1.03 million, an increase of 186%. The tube journey between these stations averages nine minutes, equating to a property vale rise of £74,300 for every minute of the journey to Piccadilly Circus.
Likewise, travel just three stops from Southwark to Green Park and prices rise from £511,800 to £1,275 million, an increase of 150%. The tube journey between these stations averages five minutes, equating to a property value rise of £152,640 for every minute of the journey to Green Park.
Another interesting finding from the new Wetherell London-Underground Property Map are the significant “price cliffs” that arise across the tube network. The cliffs are large falls in property values that can occur virtually between one tube station and another. The most striking of these is the property “price cliff” formed by the Northern Line: the Waterloo to Warren Street branch. Within Zone 1, the tube stations to the West of this Northern Line branch predominantly have values of over £1 million. However, to the East of this Northern Line, tube station values drop dramatically, with values often less than half those of areas to the West. Between Travel Zones 1 and 2 property values drop again.
The Wetherell London-Underground Property Map shows that East London still has a long way to go before it can ever rival the West End and West London as offering the most sought after places in which to live.
Even in and around the City of London residential values remain as low as £591,600 (Mansion House), indicting that City workers still prefer to live in West London or the West End, and commute into work. It is also an indication of the lower availability of residential stock in this predominantly commercial property location compared to the more established residential addresses in the West End and West London.
Another interesting finding is the tube stations which have the highest volume of sales of two bedroom apartments over the last 12 months. Sloane Square in Chelsea comes top. However other tube station catchment areas enjoying high volumes of sales include the established residential districts around Knightsbridge, Notting Hill Gate, Bond Street, Lancaster Gate and High Street Kensington. Significantly, areas undergoing regeneration and new development have also enjoyed high volumes of sales over the last 12 months including Kings Cross station, Victoria station, Bayswater and Marylebone.
For interested landlords, Knightsbridge and Mayfair are the tube stations with the highest rental values in London, with Knightsbridge at £1,252 p.w. and Green Park (Mayfair) at £1,016 p.w. and are also the only locations in central London where rental values can consistently command values of over £1,000 p.w. Across the rest of Prime Central London, rental values at the various tube stations range from circa £550 p.w. to £950 p.w. Again, East of the Northern line there is a “price cliff” with rental values dropping to circa £100 p.w. to £200 p.w. lower than tube stations West of the Nothern line.
Peter Wetherell, Managing Director of Wetherell comments: “People talk about Postcode Power, but from our new Wetherell tube map Londoners will be able to have an easy way to view dramatic property price and rental rises and falls between tube stations. Its staggering to see that just a few stops along same the tube line can mean rises and falls in property values worth hundreds of thousands and even millions of pounds.
This exciting new map shows the value of property in London’s West End and West London. It also gives Londoners the ability to question property developers, estate agents and landlords about whether they are living close to a “good value” tube station or “poor return” tube station.
Property marketing people can use clever imagery, glossy brochures and smart marketing suites to help “talk up” homes in secondary underperfoming locations. However, one thing they cannot do is change the name of their local tube station. So the tube-linked data we have produced provides a starting point for Londoners looking to buy and rent property in the heart of the capital.”
If you'd like to like to embed the London Underground Property Map we've included a handy embed code. Just copy and paste the code below and you're done!
May 6th, 2013
In 1964 the Canadian billionaire and owner of Fortnum & Mason commissioned a four-ton clock, which is installed outside the Piccadilly store. Every hour four foot high models of William Fortnum and Hugh Mason emerge and bow to each other, with 18th century chimes playing in the background.
May 1st, 2013
16 brand new one, two and three bedroom apartments for rental. A development by Grosvenor, the apartments range from 969sqft up to 2,526sqft, located behind a magnificent Queen Anne style retained Grade II listed façade.
The apartments are available on a furnished or unfurnished basis, with prices starting from £1,250 per week.
April 29th, 2013
Robert Clive – 1st Baron Clive of India – committed suicide with a pen knife at his home at 45 Berkeley Square in 1774. His death has been linked to a history of depression and opium addiction, although he took the opium to ease the pain of an excruciating illness. His pet giant tortoise Adwaita – The One and Only in Bengali – outlived him, dying in Calcutta zoo in 2006. It was said to have been 250 years old.
April 29th, 2013
Homes in London’s Mayfair now employ more domestic staff than they did in the Georgian era, yet 21st century Mayfair households require very different types of domestic support than their Victorian counterparts and increasingly provide their staff with high quality accommodation and flexible working conditions, report leading Mayfair estate agent Wetherell.
From census figures, sales information and market knowledge, Wetherell have complied new data research that calculates that there are over 4,360 homes in the 285 acres (0.45 square miles) that form Mayfair. The borders of Mayfair are Park Lane, Oxford Street, Regent Street and Piccadilly. Within these borders, Wetherell calculate that four out of five private apartment owners (some 3,100 homes) and nine of out ten house owners (around 350 houses) in Mayfair employ professional and domestic staff.
For a typical large Mayfair apartment, priced from £10-£15 million, Wetherell estimate that at least four domestic staff will be employed to run the apartment. This consists of a maid, part-time chef, part-time driver and a personal assistant (PA). For a typical mid-sized Mayfair house, a double fronted mews property priced from £7.5-£15 million, a total of four domestic staff will be employed, consisting of a maid, part-time chef, part-time driver and PA. For a typical Mayfair mansion, priced from £15-£50 million, there will be anything from six staff (housekeeper, two maids, chef, driver and PA) up to nine staff (housekeeper, driver, gardener, two maids, nanny, butler, personal trainer and bodyguard).
This can be compared with a Grosvenor Estate document from 1790 which shows that at that date Mayfair had just over 1,500 residents of whom only 276 were considered wealthy. Then, there were just 48 domestic servants resident in Mayfair, excluding non-housed suppliers.
Wetherell reveal that now over 70% of residents in Mayfair are now multiple property owners, with a home in Mayfair, another in the countryside and others overseas. Many only live in London during particular seasons or weeks of the year, with high staff requirements whilst they are in residence, with the properties maintained by a skeleton staff when they are away in the country or overseas.
Wetherell highlight that unlike the Georgian era, when the vast majority of staff were “below stairs” and required to do basic manual labour, 21st Century Mayfair households now employ two distinctly different types of staff: professional advisors and domestic staff.
The first type of staff are professional advisors, typically highly educated, qualified and well paid, who are focused on assisting with the lifestyle, investment and health needs of the family/owners. They include the investment/legal advisor, diary/management secretary, property advisor, head of security, professional butler and health/fitness coach. These staff will typically either have their own property or be provided with a separate staff flat and be requested to visit the family/owners as and when required.
Within the largest apartments and houses in Mayfair, the head of security and diary/management secretary will typically have their own offices, and will be required to work full time or part-time at the property whilst the owners/family are in London. Wetherell highlight that often positions can merge into one, so a PA will also provide security, and a butler will double as a chauffeur.
Wetherell stress that whilst the role of staff in Georgian and Victorian times was to be “invisible” and “quiet”, the modern professional advisors are often treated as “members of the family” and expected to give their views on important matters. The second type of staff are Domestic workers, typically lower skilled and on lower incomes. These staff include nanny, maid/cleaners and driver.
Wetherell highlight that during Georgian and Victorian eras domestic staff in Mayfair’s grandest houses were housed in small dormitory style rooms on either the top floor of the houses or above the mews stable block, eating together in the staff kitchen on the lower ground floor.
In the 21st century, domestic staff accommodation in Mayfair has changed beyond all recognition. Wetherell highlight that modernised houses in Mayfair now have between one to three basement floors below ground, providing ample space for staff accommodation. Now three out of five live-in domestic staff will typically have a well appointed private flat or suite, with a kitchenette, living/bedroom suite and an ensuite shower room/bathroom.
In larger houses, the staff quarters will now be either on one of the lower ground levels or above the mews, which are now above the garaging and finished to a high specification.
In addition, Wetherell reveal that many wealthy Mayfair households will spend anything from £500,000 to £750,000 purchasing a small basement or top floor flat in Mayfair as accommodation for their staff. Shepherd Market, on the edge of Mayfair, has become well known locally for its large quantity of staff flats and apartment blocks dedicated to staff accommodation.
Figures from The Work Foundation show that there are now more than 2million domestic workers in the UK, consisting of nannies, butlers, maids, cleaners and gardeners, exceeding the 1.8 million people in domestic service in 1900: of these, 52,000 are full time live-in staff. The UK average is one in ten households employing some form of domestic help, however the figures rise dramatically in central London.
Peter Wetherell, Managing Director of Wetherell comments: “According to the 1790 household survey, less than 20% of residents of Mayfair were wealthy. The figure today is about 70% who have substantial wealth, and the population of Mayfair has trebled. Modern household staff have different roles from the Georgian and Victoria era. Ready meals, labour saving devices such as hoovers and washing machines, and technology such as i-pads means that fewer household staff are required and they are able to spend far less time on manual labour. Instead, the number of professional advisors, who manage diaries, PR, lifestyle, health and security matters has risen. The core 21st century staff have become a more vocal and visible extension of the family/owners. Staff now require either their own separate staff flat or high quality accommodation within the main household. When we are consulted on house refurbishments, we observe that the specification and quality of the staff accommodation is becoming increasingly high with fully fitted kitchens, well appointed bathrooms and spacious living/bedroom suites.”
April 18th, 2013
Every year, from April to August, Fortnum & Mason offer rooftop visits to see their hives, followed by a tasting of a selection of their honeys, accompanied by champagne. Tastings are held in The Crypt, 120 feet below the rooftop hives.
Thursday 25 April at 4pm
Friday 3 May at 4pm
Thursday 6 June at 4pm
Friday 14 June at 4pm
Friday 5 July at 4pm
Friday 26 July at 4pm
Friday 9 August at 4pm
£35 per person
April 18th, 2013
In an unexpected roll of the dice in July 2011, Mayfair was voted off the board. For years avoiding a heavily housed or hoteled Mayfair has been the aim of every pseudo -property tycoon.
Synonymous with style, heritage and history Mayfair has been at the luxury heart of London for centuries. And boasting some of the capitals most exclusive hotels, restaurants, shops and clubs, a visit to fashionable Mayfair is the place to see and be seen.
So it seems that things have changed. And we’re not happy. A new edition of Monopoly sees the most sought after place on the board gazumped by Kensington Palace Gardens, home to a number of embassies and wealthy tycoons.
You could say that Mayfair has lost its monopoly in Monopoly! Well not any more…it’s time to put down our cards on the table and set the record straight.
For more information please visit http://www.mayfairismissing.co.uk/
March 25th, 2013
Love & Peace is a series of connected sculptures by Ana Tzarev, which aim to span the planet and carry a global message of love, peace and understanding.
The sculptures will be placed in areas where millions of people will be able to see them as they go about their daily lives. The first flower in Europe appeared on the grassy central reservation of London's Park Lane on December 9th 2012 and will remain until 1st June 2013