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Comment on the central London market

Read this fascinating comment on the Mayfair market by the recognised expert Peter Wetherell of Wetherell in Mount Street, Mayfair. No-one knows the market in Mayfair as well as Peter and this report makes very interesting reading.

What a Difference a Year makes!

Wetherell experienced a strong start to the year for January sales, rentals, enquires and instructions.  One month’s volume of Mayfair sales in 2010 was the same as the first quarter of 2009 when we were going through the banking crisis.

The difference between the two markets is clearly visible; last year the boat had sunk and with no land in sight people didn’t know which way to swim, now however we have seen a “mini boom” with strengthening prices throughout the rest of 2009.  Increased volume of sales has given an anchor to value with keen competition from purchasers for the best prime properties.  Applicants’ registrations are up with the majority walking into the shop or registering direct through the web.

Wetherell are now the most visible Mayfair estate agent on the web for property in Mayfair. 

Recently we registered an enquiry for a £20M mansion from a keen purchaser and the market has seen a strengthening up to £10M with one unmodernised house going to “best offers” with eight interested parties.

First Deal of the Year

Wetherell achieved the first sale of the year with a two bedroom 3rd floor walk up in South Audley Street overlooking Harry’s Bar at a healthy price of just over £1M for a long lease. 

On the rental side we let a 4 bedroom mansion flat overlooking Mount Street Gardens on an asking figure of £3,500 p.w.

New to the market

The beginning of the year has seen 13 new wetherell sales instructions with asking prices totalling approximately £125M.  The rental side of the business is still short of stock with well priced homes renting quickly.

Best House – A newly restored Grade II* listed Georgian townhouse built circa 1750-3 with adjoining mews house, garden and garaging, freehold at £25M.

Best Penthouses – Two unique duplex penthouses with 360 degree views over Mayfair, Hyde Park and the whole of London.  Interior designed by Nicholas Haslam Design, these enormous penthouses with their own private terraces and garaging are available to rent at £25,000 per week per penthouse.

Two freehold Town Houses – One unmodernised in a secluded pedestrian “Close” behind Grosvenor Square at £4.75M and the other a fully modernised Grade II listed townhouse at £7M in Upper Brook Street.

Loosing the Pitch!

Although the market is more active there is still a shortage of good property available but at least we are seeing the “old” overpriced properties being withdrawn.  Wetherell’s analysis of these withdrawn properties showed that they were on at prices nearly 50% higher than those sold.

However on a number of recent appraisals Wetherell have lost out to other agents on the initial pitch as vendors succumb once again to bullish prices.  Time will tell who priced right but an interesting anecdote is that we are currently negotiating on the purchase of a 3 bedroom maisonette originally brought to market in March 2008 at £3.5M, now on at £2.5M.  Needless to say but Wetherell did win the original instruction!

Back to Tangible Assets

For those cash rich purchasers who have the opinion that high inflation will return in the future then 2010 will sometime in the future be seen as the 1973 / 1982 or 1990 of the market when looking back it just looked so cheap by comparison to modern day values.  But then again that is inflation for you.