Cash buyers secure trophy homes in prime central London
Despite widespread reports of a summer slowdown in the wider housing market following concerns over rising interest rates and increased price sensitivity, the firm’s residential agency team has seen a rise in £10m plus cash deals this summer across the prime central London areas of Kensington, Chelsea, Westminster and Knightsbridge.
Equity rich buyers at the top end of the market who are cushioned from rising borrowing costs are choosing to purchase property mortgage free which means that many deals are happening faster, in four to six weeks rather than in four to six months.
In most cases these are historic homes presented in immaculate condition in London’s prime locations – on the most sought-after roads and garden squares. High-end homes in these enclaves have rarity value which is drawing both wealthy international and UK-based cash buyers who are putting down roots in the capital.
Recent £10m plus transactions, which have a combined value of nearly £200m, include:
- Nearly £100m of property sales in Kensington and Chelsea including a family home sold off-market in the Boltons Conservation Area, a recently refurbished house in Chelsea and a historic Grade II* listed building in South Kensington with planning and listed building consent to create an exceptional family house.
- Over £40m of property transactions in Knightsbridge including two houses on Knightsbridge garden squares, a lateral apartment in Knightsbridge and a house on a Belgravia garden square with potential for refurbishment.
- Over £50m of sales in Westminster including three houses in Queen Anne’s Gate.
Sales in the pipeline:
Strong interest continues and sales have recently been agreed on properties in Mayfair, Belgravia and Westminster ranging from £12-50m each.
Savills Research found that 66% of Savills sales in PCL were bought using cash between January and July this year, compared with 59% in the same period of 2022.
Alex Christian, joint head of The Private Office at Savills, comments: “We’ve seen a notable increase in the desire to purchase property and an encouraging uptick in international activity despite headlines indicating a market-wide summer slowdown. At the top end of the market, cash buyers are choosing best-in-class homes, such as a house in Chelsea which has been exquisitely reimagined behind its period façade. It’s encouraging to see so many families choosing to buy property and base themselves in prime central London attracted by the lifestyle it offers – a compelling combination of quality schools, culture, green space, history and architecture.”
Noel De Keyzer, head of Savills Knightsbridge, comments: “A successful run of historic trophy house sales in the capital’s prime locations reflects an increasing buyer appetite and confidence. It is testament to London’s enduring appeal on the international stage. From a trio of period houses on Queen Anne’s Gate renowned for their Grade I listed architecture to homes on elegant and garden squares which are unique to London, these sales demonstrate the remarkable resilience of London’s high-end property market.”