Property in Mayfair is some of the most sought-after real estate in the world. Indeed, Mayfair is synonymous with luxury, style and grandeur. Kings, queens, ambassadors, history-changing scientists, world famous artists and film stars have all lived there. Of late, it has become the epicentre for private equity and hedge funds. Consequently, it is also some of the most expensive property in the world.
Yet, Mayfair is a tiny area sandwiched between Oxford Street to the north and Piccadilly to the south. There are also strict planning regulations which mean that it is impossible for anyone to build large skyscrapers or meaningfully add to the supply of property in the area – the only “large” developments are of existing buildings which have either been changed from their current use and reconfigured or demolished and rebuilt (but rarely significantly extended). For example, One Grosvenor Square and the current redevelopment of the old U.S. Embassy (although that will predominantly be a hotel).
Taking all this into consideration, it would seem that acquiring a property in Mayfair is a guaranteed way to make money as the demand is high while supply is limited, but as ever, nothing is that simple and you need to consider various factors before buying a property. And the first question you need to consider, may well sound crass but:
Do you really want to purchase a property in Mayfair?
I warned you that it would sound crass, but let’s look at it from a couple of angles.
If you are an investor, what are your investment criteria? Because if you are looking for high-yielding properties, then Mayfair is not the right area for you. While it is easy to let property in Mayfair, the yields are some of the lowest in London. Having said that, Mayfair is a popular location for short-lets because it is so central. However, there are restrictions on the number of days you can let a property for on a short-term basis, so you need to do your research before you go down that route.
This is not to say that property in Mayfair is a bad investment – far from it. There has been significant capital growth over the years and that is likely to continue.
If you plan to live in the property, you do need to consider whether the area is right for you. Obviously, there are many attractions as Mayfair is home to some of the best shops, museums, art galleries, restaurants and nightlife in London. But do you want to live somewhere that is so busy?
For some people, it is ideal but if you prefer a slightly quieter area then you may want to consider Belgravia instead, which is nearby but far less frenetic (Mayfair does have three “secret gardens”, which are tranquil, but there are only a tiny number of properties that have access to these).
Beware the type of lease you are buying.
Many buyers – especially international buyers – fear the leasehold system in the U.K. and decide that they only want to buy share of freehold apartments or freehold houses. This will severely limit your choices in Mayfair which is controlled by the Grosvenor Estate.
However, there is no need to be scared of leasehold properties as long as you acquire the right type of lease. I have written about this in more detail elsewhere including my book, The Insider’s Guide to Acquiring £1m to £100m Luxury Property in London, (if you would like to request a complimentary copy simply click here).
But, in short, you do need to be wary of a particular Grosvenor lease which can only be extended to a maximum of 20 years. I won’t go into the details of these leases here, but such properties are effectively glorified rental properties, so I would avoid them on the whole. Whatever you do, you must seek specialist advice before buying one and you will need a solicitor who is highly experienced in dealing with the Grosvenor Estate.
This final consideration may also sound crass, but this is not as simple as it seems:
Do you really understand property valuations in Mayfair?
Mayfair is a small area geographically, but valuations vary dramatically, so if you do not understand what affects valuations then you will make an expensive mistake. To put this into perspective the highest priced properties in Mayfair have sold for over £7,000 per sq.ft. whereas, the lowest priced can be c. £1,200 per sq.ft. (excluding short leases).
Sometimes the reasons for the variations in value are obvious: a flat might be directly above a restaurant. But it is not even as simple as that, because apartments in Mount Street are some of the most expensive in Mayfair despite it being a busy street with restaurants and commercial elements to many of the buildings.
There are dozens of factors that affect the values of property in Mayfair, so it is essential that you do your research. I am frequently stunned by the sums that some people pay for properties which are not particularly good when there is often a better option just 200 metres away in a better street and better value even if it may not seem like it on a pound per square foot (or square metre) basis.
PLEASE REMEMBER a pound per square foot calculation is a very blunt instrument and there are multiple factors that you need to understand and take into account.
Contact Mercury Homesearch
So, if you would like to acquire the best property in Mayfair that your money can buy and also purchase it for the lowest price possible, you can request a complimentary copy of my book by clicking here, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call 02034578855 (+442034578855 from outside the UK).
The book reveals the tested and proven strategies and tactics that I have been using for over 20 years to acquire some of London’s finest homes and investment properties for my clients. So, if you want to have an advantage over other buyers and the estate agents, simply contact us to request your complimentary copy of The Insider’s Guide to Acquiring £1m to £100m Luxury Property in London.
Good luck with your search for a property in Mayfair.