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September 2011

TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY – MODERNISED? THAT IS THE QUESTION.

In 1996 we sold the best mansion house in Mayfair for £9M which was then newly developed back from offices as a magnificent “empire Style” Grade II listed house with mews totalling 15,500 sq.ft.

Now 15 years later Wetherell have sold it again, in original condition, for a figure of £25M (£1,613 p.s.f).

The main difference (in the passing of years) is that the building is now considered by the market to be unmodernised with upgrading required for all the M & E (mechanical and electricals) plus the audio visual systems that were not even invented in 1996.

Wetherell also sold the Grade II listed house next door in 1997 (smaller but again with garden and mews house) for £5.6M and after two subsequent sales it was completely remodelled in 1999 and in 2005 and is currently on the market as an immaculate residence at £29.5M.

This 5 fold rise in value indicates that once the recently sold house is modernised it will have a price tag closer to £50M which at over £3,000 p.s.f. is the rate we have sold other prime Mayfair houses since 2008.

With the current trend for period offices reverting back to residential use in Mayfair (Wetherell have sold nearly 100 buildings since 1990) the business model for buying period buildings in Mayfair up to £2,000 p.s.f is a compelling opportunity.

TO PARK OR NOT TO PARK? THAT IS CONGESTION.

On the 9th of September Westminster City Council (WCC) confirmed their proposals for decreasing the hours yellow line parking is allowed plus increasing the rate and duration of metered parking for the E zone of Mayfair car parking.  The increase of revenue is estimated at £1M p.a. for a one off implementation cost of £350K.

Although the inflationary increase is 10% since 2009, the extended time issues are radical with the banning of parking on yellow lines until midnight and the extensions for meters for a similar time except on Sundays until 6 pm.

The new rate of £4.80 per hour will be discounted on Monday to Thursday by 50% from 6:30 till midnight.

WCC maintain that this initiative is to curb congestion in Mayfair but it has stirred up grave concerns from both residents and businesses in the area. Issued residents’ parking permits have increased from 546 in 2009-10 to 1,222 in 2010-11. Currently residents not being able to find a residents car parking space in the evening either park on a yellow line or free on a meter. Both these options are being taken away.

Service industry businesses rely on some of their staff using their car for evening work as they leave late in the night. Will these extra costs be passed on to the dwindling customer base who resent the new costs of evening parking?

Watch this space as to whether this initiative will join the club of “The rule of unintended consequences”.

NEW TO MAYFAIR MARKET
August was a quiet month for new instructions with more coming on soon for autumn.

HEAT MAP OF MAYFAIR
In our last market report we reported on the difference in capital values dependent on were you buy in Mayfair.

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