FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT REMAINS – STRONG ESPECIALLY TECH
I was interested in a recent report from London & Partners (the London Mayor’s promotional agency) that in the 12 months since the EU Referendum, the number of companies starting new ventures in London actually rose by 11%.
The investments cover a wide spectrum of the economy including: ICT, Financial Services, Business Services, Creative Industries and Retail. In Q2 2017, the number of new ventures was on a par with the final quarter of 2016, when it reached its highest level ever. Both of these record quarters are, notably, since the Brexit vote.
In particular, London’s tech sector is booming. London and Partners report that venture capitalists have invested more than £1.1 billion into London’s tech sector in the first half of 2017, more than in any other six-month time period in the last decade and since the Brexit vote, London’s tech sector has attracted more venture capital investment than any other European city including Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Dublin.
COMFORT COMPARABLES FOR TOP END OF MAYFAIR MARKET
For a supposedly quiet August and in sailing terms “the doldrums” it has certainly been an eventful and exciting time in the recent Mayfair residential market – three apartment sales totalling £50M benchmark £5,000 per square foot as the entry level for immaculate newly developed Mayfair homes featuring qualities such as high ceilings, interior design, spas and pools.
However, with 80% of the Mayfair market is still under £5M – the top end it is still a confusing market for the prospective buyers who need to anchor the perception of value through “comfort comparables” of similar properties sold in the market.
THE WHISPER MARKET
This lack of “visible” comparables is compounded by “the whisper market” – those properties that do not appear on any websites but mentioned only in closed circles to active buyers. These “top drawer” homes are not openly marketed on the established marketing channels due to vendors seeking a discreet marketing campaign to qualified buyers.
Two recent sales of £25M apartments (again in excess of £5,000 per square foot) came with residents’ swimming pools, spas, high levels of service, security and located in dynamic new apartment buildings which are “springing up” all over Mayfair.
MAYFAIR MARKET TURNOVER
Turnover off stock is at a disappointing 50% of 2013 volumes mainly due to taxation changes however the upside is that the values remain strong for those seeking a home and buyers are being offered a larger selection in a less frantic market.
So far, this year in the open market Wetherell have been involved in the cheapest Mayfair flat on an asking price of £500,000 and the top price for an apartment at an asking price of £16M.
We are currently offering over £100M of new stock quietly in the market for an open launch after the August holidays and recent sales and enquiries indicates a return to Mayfair being on the radar for PCL prime residential sales.
For those that want a project – Wetherell have recently been advising on some amazing opportunities ranging from a tear down of a period Mayfair town house with south facing garden to “a shell” of another house with swimming pool already dug but the rest of house stripped back to brickwork.
Another development opportunity is putting “the icing on the cake” – a block of apartments with planning for a penthouse extension.
Come Dancing – Our favourite though is an unmodernised Grosvenor Square pad that comes with a ballroom in the building which will accommodate 250 people for drinks.
JUST BUY THE KEY
For those not prepared to wait, the offerings for newly restored and developed fully finished properties range from a refurbished town house in “Mayfair Village”, to a newly built house and “a Maison building” of 3 large laterals apartments plus a duplex penthouse with an amazing roof terrace overlooking the roof tops of Mayfair.
Mount Street – Wetherell also have two immaculate apartments in London’s most exclusive “High Street” – one – a traditional archetypal old-fashioned Mayfair and the other exquisite sophistication from one of London’s leading interior designers.
Whether you walk north, east, west or south you will pass development sites.
Both ends of Park Lane have vast sites; the new Peninsular hotel will rise on Hyde Park Corner (overlooking the gardens of Buckingham Palace) and at Marble Arch Place; the new Raphael Vinoly residential tower The Bryanston will face south over Hyde Park and east over Mayfair and the City.
There is such a buzz of activity for those who live, work or are just visiting Mayfair at the present time with enormous open sites now obvious in Audley Square, Curzon Street, Stanhope Gate, Hanover Square and Grosvenor Square. New buildings are in the course of construction or nearing completion on Old Burlington Street, Brook Street, Piccadilly, South Audley Street, Upper Brook Street and Grosvenor Square.
If the weather permits – take a stroll around the Mayfair area – this is the greatest change to Mayfair since the 1920’s.