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December 17, 2022
Jeremy McGivern
Posted in: Luxury real estate London

Where are the most luxurious apartments in London to buy ?

If you had asked me in 2001, when I started the business, “where are the most luxurious apartments in London?”, I would have probably said Eaton Square, Cadogan Square and Lowndes Square.

These three garden squares are in Belgravia and Knightsbridge which are still two of the most prestigious areas to buy property in prime central London. Lowndes Square and Eaton Square have similar architecture in that the buildings are mainly white-stucco fronted houses that have been converted into luxurious flats in london. Meanwhile, Cadogan Square is very different with red-brick facades, although again most of these houses have been converted into flats.

luxurious apartments in London to buy

Why are these areas so popular?

The reason why these have always been regarded as luxurious apartments in London is a combination of the locations and the style of properties. The houses were originally built for Britain’s wealthiest families, so have exceptional proportions with 4m high ceilings on the key floors and, of course, access to the beautiful garden squares to which only residents of the squares have access.

In the case of Eaton Square which is part of the Grosvenor Estate, there is the added benefit of the roaming, uniformed Grosvenor porters who patrol the square, look after residents and add an additional layer of security (although all three squares are regarded as very safe).

However, while prime central London has always been an incredibly international market, it has become even more so since 2008 and this has changed the perception of which are the luxurious apartments in London to buy.

For example, one concern for international buyers is that older properties require more maintenance and are also less reliable in terms of plumbing, etc. While I can quite understand these concerns, I do think that they are overblown.

The buildings have been there for c. 150 years and were built incredibly well. Yes, they do require some maintenance but because they are on the Grosvenor and Cadogan Estates, they are incredibly well run on the whole. Also, do you really think that the owners of these luxurious flats in london would tolerate poor plumbing and electrics? Of course not. So while the buildings are over 100 years old, the facilities inside them will have been updated on several occasions and will continue to be in the future.

Nevertheless, buyers of these luxurious flats in London now have more options because the market has changed to cater to those who want modern buildings and facilities. One issue with properties built 150 years ago is that they didn’t have cars so parking wasn’t really an issue whereas now it is.

luxurious apartments in London to buy

This is the most basic change but more importantly the new, luxury developments have become “products”. A concierge, gym, underground parking and storage units are the bare minimum for individuals looking for a luxurious apartments in London to buy. The most highly regarded luxury apartments in London to rent or to buy have swimming pools, tennis courts, wine cellars, cinemas, spas, meeting rooms, valet parking, golf simulators and so on.

So, the developers are creating not just another luxury London apartments but a lifestyle for international clients who want a minimum of hassle and/or wasted time. Consequently, location is absolutely vital and the most luxurious flats in London for sale or rent are found mainly in Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Kensington.

Indeed, the biggest beneficiary of this trend has probably been Mayfair. While it is famous for being a prime area, it actually fell significantly behind Belgravia and Knightsbridge due to changes that took place after World War II. But it is fair to say that this has changed dramatically in the last 15 years due to the influx of international buyers combined with some astute “placemaking” by the Grosvenor Estate.

This is particularly obvious with the changes that have been taking place in Grosvenor Square and Mount Street, but is true for most of Mayfair.

The one downside of all this is that if you are looking for a luxurious apartments in London to buy in modern buildings but don’t need all the additional facilities – after all the gym is not for everyone and I personally hate swimming – you may feel that the high service charges are simply a waste of money.

Fortunately, there are a few boutique developments where there are virtually no additional facilities whatsoever. The service charges will still be higher than in a traditional London property, but they will be much less than in a building like One Hyde Park, for example.

luxurious apartments in London to buy

What should you be aware of when looking to invest in the London Property Market?

One word of caution: it doesn’t matter whether you are buying luxury London apartments in areas such as Mayfair, Knightsbridge and Belgravia or in other great locations like St John’s Wood, Hampstead, Marylebone and so on. You must be very aware of valuations. More often than not, these do not make good investments because you are paying a very high premium, simply because these properties are new.

I do occasionally acquire properties in new developments for my clients but very often there are better options elsewhere. Whatever you do, please make sure that you are aware of all the best opportunities. I continue to be amazed by how little research buyers do about what is available. Admittedly, this is often because they don’t fully understand the role of estate agents and property search agents or how opaque the prime London property market really is.

So, if you are looking for luxurious apartments in London to buy and you:

  1. Don’t know the London property market well
  2. Are too busy to undertake the necessary due diligence to give you access to the best homes or investment properties
  3. Don’t have a clear understanding of what affects valuations in each street
  4. Only rarely negotiate property transactions in London
  5. Simply don’t like dealing with estate agents
  6. Are unsure of how the mechanics of acquiring property in London work

then you risk making an expensive mistake that will cost you hundreds of thousands if not millions of pounds.

Unfortunately, most people don’t know what they don’t know, so if you would like to discover what your blind spots are if you are looking for a house or an apartment to buy in London, you can request a Strategy Call with me, which is a diagnostic consultation to reveal your blind spots and the expensive mistakes you will make when looking go luxury apartments in London to rent or for sale.

If you would like to discover more, simply click https://mercuryhomesearch.com/strategy-call/, call 02034578855 (+442034578855 from outside the UK) or email my assistant at Dee@mercuryhomesearch.com to request a Strategy Call.

About the author, Jeremy McGivern

My name is Jeremy McGivern. I am the founder of Mercury Homesearch, the internationally renowned property search consultancy, and author of The Insider’s Guide To Acquiring Luxury Property in Prime Central London. I have been acquiring property in prime central London for clients for over 13 years.

Having physically viewed over 22,000 properties in prime central London, studied the details of over 153,400 apartments, houses and investment opportunities and spoken to 232+ estate agents every week for over a decade.

My advice is in high demand and has featured everywhere from Bloomberg Television, The Financial Times and The Daily Telegraph to Forbes India and Bahrain Confidential.

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