In the weeks that followed Boris Johnson’s election victory UK property investors acquired or agreed deals on more than a dozen properties worth £1.2 billion indicating that Brexit-related investor hesitation is coming to an end. Knight Frank agrees with its five-year price growth forecast predicting 15% growth UK-wide and 18% in prime central London between now and 2024.
So, with the UK property market picking up again, I want to share what I think will be the big trends in the luxury residential property market for this year.
London is currently experiencing a boom in branded residences and it looks like 2020 will be no different. With Knightsbridge already home to residences like Bulgari, The Knightsbridge Apartments and the Trevor Square Apartments it is now the turn of Mayfair with some 15 developments in the pipeline from brands like Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons, and Dorchester Collection. For buyers, they offer a ‘curated living experience’ with hotel level amenities and service. With roughly 4,360 established residential homes currently in Mayfair, these developments will add 501 luxury residences, increasing the number of addresses in Mayfair by 11.5% and residential occupancy by 25%.
Mayfair Park Residences, the first branded residences by the Dorchester Collection, is due for completion in late spring/early summer. Next to the 45 Park Lane hotel the 25 apartments, townhouses and eight-bed penthouse will be fully serviced by the Dorchester Collection and residents will also enjoy use of the chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce and 24/7 hotel services.
In Hanover Square, The Residences at Mandarin Oriental Mayfair will see 80 residences with interiors created by sought-after New York designer Juul-Hansen and access to Mandarin Oriental’s 5* service and amenities. It’s completion date, scheduled for 2021, is highly anticipated.
For investors, developers and the brands themselves this is a lucrative market if done well. According to a Savills study, branded residences sell at an average 31% premium over non-branded ones and I would expect world-class brands like Dorchester and Mandarin Oriental to be able to command an even higher premium on their residences.
Ready To Live In Luxury Properties
The demand for new luxury homes that are fully furnished right down to bathrobes in the bathroom and wine in the cellar has been rising in recent years among high net worth individuals. It makes sense, as many are used to staying in the world’s finest hotels and expect the same level of luxury and comfort in their new homes. And while such properties are popular in central London, they’re also gaining popularity in favoured spots like Mallorca where HNW individuals are willing to spend millions on villas complete with furniture, art, gadgets and wine.
A Focus On Wellness
Beyond just installing a gym in the basement, health and wellness is increasingly being factored into the design of new luxury properties. Many buyers are now requesting air quality tests, pollution monitors and filtration systems before they move in. The Wardian London development has built wellness into its residences by emphasising the importance of green space and making the entire building into a tropical garden.
In Bermondsey, ‘well-living’ development Mason & Fifth, aims to boost well-being from the inside out with common living spaces and HIIT and yoga classes every morning and evening in the shared exercise space. Once a week residents can join a ‘Rant and Reflect’ talking circle and there’s a permanent tech-free spot in the house. Due to open this month it has a wait list of over 800 people all vying for just 28 spaces.
With the environment a top concern right now, I expect sustainability to be a key feature of new developments. Foster + Partners is doing just that with its Principle Tower development in Hackney, building sustainability in from the very beginning. The building features a combined heat and power plant, mounted photovoltaic panels and grey water harvesting. I’m sure many other developers will follow suit.
Stand-Out Design Features
And finally, more and more HNW Londoners are seeking access to standout facilities in their residences and developers are stepping up to provide them.
At the Embassy Gardens development in Nine Elms residents will have access to the world’s first floating sky pool with views of Chelsea and Pimlico. The 25-metre crystal clear acrylic pool stretches across two buildings and will be the only one of its kind in the world.