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Wetherell Market Report February 2015

For those interested in what is happening in the prime London market here is a report from Peter Wetherell of Wetherell of Mayfair:

This January commemorates the death 50 years ago of Mayfair’s greatest resident – Sir Winston Churchill – 350 million viewers worldwide watched his funeral on TV. (900 million watched the opening of the London Olympics in 2012).

The header on this email promotes Wetherell’s continued prominence in residential sales in Mayfair with a 42% market share by value for all sales in 2014 and were involved in the top 3 sales of the year which included a Grade II* listed 1750’s Georgian mansion on Charles Street. (Asking £50M unmodernised)

The overall 2014 sales amounted to £476M which was similar to 2013 however volume turnover was down by 36% and due to increased sales at the top end of the market the average price rose by 25% to just under £4.5M.

For the rental market
we have two great apartments overlooking Mount Street Gardens:
Mount Street – Executive Suite opposite The Connaught @ £1,500 p.w. A luxurious and newly renovated studio apartment finished to the highest standard with views over Mount Street Gardens.
South Street – Newly decorated 4/5th floor maisonette of 3,000 sq.ft. A palatial four double bedroom duplex apartment that has been recently renovated and boasts unparalleled views over Mount Street Gardens. £4,500 p.w.
For the sales market
Mount Street An elegant two bedroom apartment of 1502 sq ft with six windows facing south over arguably Mayfair's finest street. £4,250,000

The Autumn Budget surprise 5% rise in SDLT (stamp duty land tax) to a top tier charge of 12% for individuals will in our opinion affect the £2-10M market in volume terms for 2015 which represent over 50% of the market turnover.
Historically the busiest quarter for sales between £2-5M is Q2 however we feel that this year there will be disruption because of The General Election in May as buyers wait and see the outcome. The knock on effect will be a rise in the Rental Market for luxury property as potential buyers rent and wait for the political outcomes to settle down.

Last year we achieved our prediction for sales in excess of £5K p.s.f. for prime and the Mayfair market is still buoyant with buyers who need to buy NOW with the vendors that need to move NOW taking a commercial view on the SDLT hikes. The irony of the 12% top band SDLT is that it is now rather close to the Company rate of 15%.

Readers of the financial pages of the press will also have seen the rise of the Dollar which at the time of writing is up 10% and now close to US$1.5 to £1 – this might go some way to mitigate SDLT hikes for overseas buyers based in dollars. (I can however remember when it was US$2 to the £ in 1991 and alarmingly US$1 to £1 in 1985)

The consolation for Mayfair is that the whole area is still on an upward trajectory as it catches up with (and in my opinion overtakes) Knightsbridge and Belgravia. There has also been a 43% increase in “Investor Visas” from China for bringing in over £1M for investment in the UK – although they are the No.1 purchasing force in Bond Street (Av spend £1,600) they are still to make an impact on the residential sales market.

26th January sees the launch of a new property portal website “On the Market” which Wetherell are supporting – we are also moving our listings from Zoopla/Primelocation to list on Rightmove.

I have also been asked to join the Marketing Committee of the Mayfair Neighbourhood Forum which is an initiative from the Localism Act (2011) to provide a social, environmental and economic improvement to the area. The Forum is supported by the two Resident Associations, Grosvenor, The Crown Estate and many other commercial interests – it will hopefully reflect the wonderful mixed and varied communities of Mayfair. This is your chance to have your views voiced at the local table and channel substantial sums back into Mayfair improvements.

Kensington & Chelsea will soon be able to block planning for double basement developments under houses and it is thought that Westminster will follow in their footsteps. This gives an amazing marketing advantage to those houses with double basements or consents for them.

We have recently expanded with the addition of two more sales negotiators – Hugo Miller joined us from Foxtons and Jake Irwin-Brown was previously with Cluttons. Both bring with them a background of well-trained and experienced negotiation PLUS service.
We are also currently seeking a further Lettings Negotiator to compliment the active team for this years expected surge in demand.
For Further Information please contact Peter Wetherell on 020 7529 5560

No.1: Wetherell sold 20% of ALL residential Mayfair transactions in Q4 13 – Q3 14 (Source – Lonres for W1J , W1K & W1S)