London developers are building more spacious luxury apartments to cater for growing demand from foreign property investors who want to protect their money in bricks and mortar, Reuters has revealed.
It revealed that this trend is becoming increasingly more commonplace as developers are able to charge these affluent buyers up to 70 per cent more to add large, luxurious properties to their portfolio.
Berkeley Group is building flats of 4,000 sq ft which are expected to be snapped up by overseas-based property investors. The Ebury Square development, in the affluent central London district of Belgravia, will come onto the market later this year.
Paul Vallone, managing director of Berkeley Urban Renaissance, said: “The top end of the London real estate sector is seeing a new appetite for super-sized floorplates in new apartments. International purchasers accustomed to large riads or dachas are now expecting their London property to be as spacious as possible.”
Rupert Dawes, a partner at international property consultant Knight Frank, added: “As the level of wealth among the very rich increases, they are rewriting the ‘pied-a-terre’ rules. Although their London buy might be a second or third home, they now expect it to have the same size, specification and services as their domicile property.”
It is thought this trend has emerged because people see the London property market as a relatively stable investment, with overseas buyers turning to the capital to protect their money during the global economic crisis.
Whereas the average size of a large luxury flat was 3,000 sq ft in 2000, the typical size of this type of accommodation increased to 5,000 sq ft just seven years later. These days, investors are seeking properties that are 6,000 sq ft, according to Knight Frank.
At the highest extremity, the most expensive flat at London’s luxury One Hyde Park scheme sold for £136m. It is thought to be a 30,000 sq ft stately home in the sky, according to Candy and Candy chief executive Nick Candy.
This rather awe-inspiring piece of real estate is expected to be dwarfed by a 50,000 sq ft property planned for the former site of the In and Out naval and military club on Piccadilly. Architect Paul Davis + Partners began working on the scheme last year and it could fetch up to £250m, it is thought.
Jane Wagner, Waltonwagner director, said: “Tastes have got less ‘blingy’ over the years and buyers increasingly look for large flexible spaces. Many Russians and Arabs want large reception rooms to hold business functions or cocktail parties or for conversion into gyms.”