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May 8, 2023
Jeremy McGivern
Posted in: Luxury real estate London

Mayfair Houses: Finding the Best Properties to Buy

Mayfair Houses | 

Mayfair houses are some of the most sought-after properties in prime central London.

But how can you find the best opportunities?

What I am about to say is a point I make over and over again, but it is so important – irrespective of which area in prime central London you would like to buy a property – that I will repeat it here:

Why Relying on Websites Alone Isn’t Enough When Searching for Mayfair Houses.

The majority of people start their Mayfair house search by visiting websites to see what is available. There is nothing wrong with this, but please ensure that you don’t make the same mistake most people do and rely on the websites and property alerts.

This may be sufficient if you are planning to acquire a property for under £1m. But the estate agents in prime central London openly admit that they sell over 25% of their property off-market and this figure increases the higher the value of the property. This is particularly true for Mayfair houses.

Indeed the highest figure I have seen quoted was one agent who said that over 70% of their properties weren’t on the websites. And how many of these off-market properties do you think are the best properties?

But irrespective of the off-market properties (and there are also the ones that the agents don’t know about), there is a much bigger issue with the websites. Even if you look at them every day and set up property alerts, how many thousands of other people are doing exactly the same thing?

By relying on the websites, all you are really doing is joining a massive virtual queue. What advantage does that give you?

How To Gain Advantage in the Buying Process:

Just as one example, would it be a bad idea to hear about price reductions before they are announced on the internet? The agents often know which sellers are flexible on price long before an official price reduction (or price amendment to use the agents’ absurd phrase for it) takes place. So, you can take advantage of this information if you know about it before anyone else.

Therefore, it is essential that you speak to all the agents who sell Mayfair houses at least once a week if you want to have first refusal on the best opportunities they have. Now, you may be thinking that this is a lot of work, and it is. But, if you are making a multi-million pound acquisition does it make sense to approach this in a haphazard, amateurish way? Of course, not unless you aren’t worried about overpaying for an average property.

On that note, please remember that estate agents in the U.K. are employed by sellers, which means they are legally obliged to achieve the best terms possible for the sellers and not for you.

This in turn means that the agents are not trying to find you your ideal home, but are simply trying to find the person who they can persuade to pay the most for their client’s home. Please keep that in mind. Nevertheless, the agents will be your main source of properties so you must ensure that you are at the top of their list of “preferred buyers”.

Mayfair Houses

Where are the best Mayfair houses?

This may sound like an absurd question but although Mayfair is a tiny area there are huge differences in the desirability of each area within Mayfair and then also the streets within those areas. This has a dramatic effect on prices, so you must be very careful. A house may look good value on a pound per square foot basis compared to some streets, but it may actually be very overpriced for the street it is in.

Just so that you are completely clear Mayfair consists of the area that is bordered by Park Lane to the west, Piccadilly to the south (the area south of Piccadilly is St James’s and not Mayfair), Regent Street to the east and Oxford Street to the north.

As a very general guide, the streets to the western side of Mayfair around Grosvenor Square and Berkeley Square are more highly regarded than the eastern part of Mayfair. But please note that this is a generalisation. If you would like more detailed information, please email dee@mercuryhomesearch.com or call 02034578855 (+442034578855 from outside the UK).

What should you consider when choosing a Mayfair House?

There are several factors that will affect the value of a property in Mayfair. Here are just a few of them:

The Street – As mentioned prices can vary dramatically from street to street, so please make sure that you do your research. It is very easy to be fooled: a lot of “comparators” will not be comparing apples with apples, so are very misleading.

The style of the property – this includes not only the interior décor or façade, but also the width of the building, the availability of outside space and whether it is listed or not

Is it freehold or leasehold? The fact that a house might be leasehold doesn’t mean that you should rule it out automatically. It very much depends on the type of lease and the cost of acquiring the freehold (if this is possible) compared to the price of the lease.

This is a complex subject for which I don’t have space in this article. If you would like to know more, you can request a complimentary copy of my book, The Insider’s Guide To Acquiring £1m to £100m Property in London, which covers the subject. Simply click here to request a copy or call 02034578855 (+442034578855 from outside the UK).

Does it have a lift/can you install a lift? Having a lift will significantly enhance the desirability of a Mayfair house. However, be careful. It is not always legally possible to install a lift even if it is physically possible. Also, be wary of installing a lift which actually disrupts the flow of the property as this will have a negative effect on the value. I have seen some shocking examples over the years…

Mayfair Houses


Should you acquire a Mayfair house?

One of the attractions of Mayfair is that it is an internationally renowned address. It is also an exciting area with many Michelin star restaurants, some of the best shopping in the world and it is close to the theatres, museums, opera and all the entertainment that London has to offer.

However, this may not make it the best area in London for you even if it the only one you may have heard of. There are several other excellent addresses in prime central London which many of the world’s most successful families call home and may be better suited to your needs, especially if you would prefer to have a larger garden or quieter surroundings.

Whatever area you decide acquire a house in, please ensure that you follow our best in breed strategy, so that you find the best property your money can buy and acquire it for the lowest price possible.

If you would like to discover more, please click here

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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