TOP TREE IN MAYFAIR

“Tree” is not a typo nor an Irish twang in pronunciation, but a report I came across prepared in 2008 stating that the most expensive tree in England is rooted in Berkeley Square.

With a radius of over 6 feet it was planted in 1789 in the reign of King George III when Sir William Pitt was Prime Minister of Britain and George Washington became the first President of the United States of America.

The London Tree Officers Association placed a value of £750,000 on this magnificent example of the London Plane tree and as Berkeley Square has 30 plane trees it must make it the “most expensive” square in London.

TOP THREE IN MAYFAIR

The same research also brought up a report Wetherell prepared in June 2002 stating that there were 124 properties for sale in Mayfair with Wetherell having 20% market share.  Fast forward a decade and there are now ONLY 68 instructions, nearly 50% down however our market share has nearly doubled to 37%.

The New Year saw Wetherell being instructed on the three best instructions:

•    The Connaught Apartments:  A 1st floor 3 bedroom flat adjoining and with the services of the Connaught Hotel @ £7.5M.

•    Mount Street Gardens:  A 3rd floor 2 bedroom apartment overlooking Mount Street Gardens @ £2.25M.

•    Upper Grosvenor Street:  Upon instructions of Grosvenor – A Grade II listed Georgian house circa 1730, formerly offices now offered for reversion back to residential with 12,500 sq.ft. @ Price Guide £14M.

GROSVENOR SQUARE REGAINS TITLE

The first Wetherell sale of the year was a 3 bedroom apartment overlooking Grosvenor Square gardens which at an unmodernised value of £3,200 per square foot (p.s.f.) was 17.5% higher than a similar flat sold by us in June 2011.  This sale puts Grosvenor Square back on top of the value league as the premiere address for Mayfair property.

LATERAL THINKING IS NEW “THREAT” TO MAYFAIR

The most exciting prospect for Mayfair over the next decade is the continued reversion of commercial buildings back into residential use.

Now a new threat for residential property is Westminster City Council’s consultation document “City Management Plan” proposing to impose a levy when one or more residential units are combined creating a loss of residential units.

This tax on “residential accommodation serving the global market” would commence once 100 square meters is “lost” from the housing stock and is being seen not only as a developers’ tax with payment to the Affordable Housing Fund but at its worst a deterrent to future residential schemes.  (There is already an affordable housing contribution for reversion over 1,000 square metres.)

This is ironic given Westminster Council’s positive encouragement for further residential use being brought back to Mayfair with the proposed plan generally being in favour of residential developers.

It is also not surprising given all councils limited resources available to raise extra revenue.  It is the “parish” equivalent of “resource nationalism”. In this age of transparency with governments losing the mandate to lead and corporate reputations going down the pan it is important to keep sight of the principles and not the rules – to continue the fight between expectation and delivery. Consultation closes on the 23rd March 2012.

MOVE IN TODAY

In the rental market Wetherell have two 1st floor apartments, both ideal for entertaining with high ceilings and large kitchen / breakfast rooms.

•    Mount Street: An enormous lateral apartment with 3 reception rooms and four bedrooms @ £3,850 p.w.

•    North Audley Street: Light 2 bedroom flat in imposing building @ £895 p.w.

PARW

Download – Wetherell February 2012 Report