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Foreward

There have been many changes in Mayfair since we launched our business here 35 years ago - but the biggest, unequivocally, has been the area’s revitalisation as a residential district.

It is a relatively recent trend, driven by demand from super-rich buyers, by a shift in capital values away from offices and towards homes, and by the ending of temporary offi ce planning consents granted during World War II.

All of this has been well documented. What is less obvious is that a new breed of property developer - we are calling them the ‘craftsmen developers’ - has emerged to meet the demand for luxury residential property.

They compete for opportunities in a ferocious market, but they also share a lot of values. They are all more interested in quality than in quantity, because - and they are clear about this - you can’t sell to the super-rich, you can only offer them the very best of whatever it is they are looking for.

To my mind, these developers are closer to the craftsman builders and designers of the Georgian period than the brutalists of the 1960s and 70s: they’re in it for profi t, of course, but they also have an eye to heritage and legacy. Certainly, they are leading the residential renaissance in Mayfair and London’s other super-prime property districts. And they are producing some genuinely beautiful homes.

Despite new luxury product entering the Mayfair residential market, availability of ‘turn-key’ dressed ultraprime property remains low. Most of the recently built luxury stock is already sold as a result of either good forward sales or pent up demand once dressed supply has become available.

In addition, the phased nature of supply delivery over the next five years, means that stock continues to come onto the market piecemeal, rather than all at once, which for off-plan deals has helped to drive forward-sales. Continued short supply balanced against global demand for Mayfair property has helped to keep capital values firm over the last three years, with values forecast to remain stable over the next five years.

It is our privilege, then, to introduce you to some of the leading high-end residential property developers in London’s West End. We thank them all for their participation in this report.

Making More of Mayfair

Insight by Erik Brown of Grayhawk Consulting

It’s not easy being a luxury residential developer in London’s West End. The opportunities are scarce, complex and risky, and the market is blisteringly competitive. Local authorities are demanding, and the Government is hardly helping, with what one developer called “a barrage of uncertainty and taxes”.

High-quality development is going ahead nevertheless, and Mayfair in particular is seeing a development boom. The players include family businesses, a FTSE 100 company, landed estates, a family office, private client developers and a specialist in large and difficult sites.

What they all have in common is the financial backing to cut deals quickly, patient investors, an appetite for risk, an eye for detail, pride in their work and an unflinching focus on the client’s needs.

This last is not so easy to achieve as it may seem. News media often refer to the ‘wealthy’ as if they were a single homogeneous group; a distinct tribe. But ultra-high net worth individuals vary hugely in age, culture and interests - from the multi-millionaire app  developer in ripped jeans and t-shirt who travels on the Tube and slips into and out of his or her flat quietly, to the septuagenarian international entrepreneur for whom the greeting and sense of arrival at their London home is of great value. Some never eat at home - choosing to dine out every day. Others enjoy family meals and appreciate vast, well-fitted kitchens.

If there are any trends among this diverse group of customers, they are towards simplicity, healthier lifestyles and time spent with the family. Buyers of luxury homes may now be less interested in the sound system than in the air filtration system. Increasingly, they want lights that simply turn on and off, rather than phase through different lux levels, and bedrooms that can be blacked out for a good night’s sleep. Ergonomics are important: the gym and spa a prerequisite.

Our gratitude is due to the developers who helped us with this report. They are, in alphabetical order: Almacantar, British Land, Clivedale, Fenton Whelan, Finchatton, K10 Group, Luxlo and Rigby & Rigby.

Luxury Mayfair At a Glance

As the map on pages 6-7 reveals, Mayfair is currently experiencing a residential development renaissance which is being led by 12 key ultraprime developers. Providing an unprecedented insight into their thoughts and projects, Wetherell have brought together 10 of the leading property players in Mayfair, and the write ups of the interviews they kindly provided are outlined on pages 8-24. The result is this defi nitive report into the luxury new homes market in London’s premier address.

Overview

Across Mayfair, 15 new residential developments are delivering 501 new luxury residences, a combination of apartments, penthouses and townhouses. Thanks to this exciting new wave of development over the next fi ve years the number of addresses in Mayfair will increase by over 10% and potential residential occupancy could increase by 25%.

Of this new development around 15% (circa 80 units) has recently been completed, with the remaining projects being delivered during the next five years in two phases, the fi rst over 2018-2019 (example: 20 Grosvenor Square) and the remainder between 2020-2022 (examples: One Grosvenor Square, Hanover Bond and Audley Square).

Key Locations

Review on a map (see pp6-7) the location of these new ultra-prime developments and it immediately becomes clear that 90% overlook greenery, with the new residential schemes being sited alongside either Hyde Park, Green Park, Grosvenor Square or Hanover Square.

Like the timeless appeal of Central Park in Manhattan and Champ de Mars in Paris, discerning buyers in Mayfair want to have a home located close to Mayfair’s fi nest parks or green squares.

Devlelopment Profile

Under the auspices of Grosvenor, who remain Mayfair’s principal landlord and master developer, there are now 12 key developers building luxury residences in or on the borders of Mayfair. Ranked by delivery of units, the top fi ve are Clivedale, Almacantar,
Lodha Group, Finchatton and British Land.

There are three distinct types of luxury residential development being built in Mayfair. The first are niche projects of between 1-10 units, built by bespoke developers. Examples include developers Luxlo, K10 and Rigby & Rigby.

The second type, which form the majority of new developments being built, are luxury apartment schemes of between 20-40 units. Developers delivering these schemes include British Land, Caudwell Properties and Finchatton.

The third type are large projects of between 40-80 units, with developers building these landmark schemes including Almacantar, Lodha Group and Clivedale.

The average size of the new homes under construction is 2,700 sqft, with 54% of the pipeline providing 1 and 2 bedroom apartments.

All the multi-unit projects provide hotel style concierge, and the developments larger than 30 units all offer lifestyle facilities such as gymnasium, health spa and swimming pool. The largest landmark developments have a luxury retail offering and provide public artwork.

Pricing

Residences within Mayfair’s new ultra-prime developments are typically priced from £3,000 to £5,500 per sqft, depending on location, with the best-inclass units and penthouses commanding values up to and in excess of £7,000 per sqft.

Our historic analysis shows that the best in market homes in Mayfair typically command a 100% premium over the prevailing market rate for Central London. The current average market rate for Mayfair sales is £2,350 per square foot, with new ultra-prime developments ‘off market’ sales achieving between 100%-200% premiums due to exceptional quality and the facilities offered.

Sales Performance

The sales performance of the ultraprime residential market in Mayfairhas polarised. On the one hand there remains an appetite from buyers to acquire new luxury homes on an ‘off market’ off-plan basis, where projects have a long forward completion date, four or five years from now.

On the other, when it comes to built completed new homes, buyers are wanting ‘turn-key’ interior designed and dressed units which they can move into immediately.

Conclusions

The delivery of these new homes over the next fi ve years represents the biggest transformation in Mayfair in nearly a century. Some 1.3 million square feet of residential space will be created which will make Mayfair London’s No.1 residential address, taking the crown back from Knightsbridge and cementing Mayfair as one of the world’s premier luxury destinations to live, work and enjoy leisure.

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