The lexicon of the London property market is changing – our corner of London, often dubbed as Mayfair’s younger sibling, has come of age. According to Knight Frank, prices in Marylebone grew 8.5% in the 6 months until December 2013 – faster than any area in London. Has the area truly announced itself as the newest member of the super prime crowd in London?
With London still seen as a safe haven, the demand for property in Marylebone has been in no small part down to foreign investors. Increasing demand for larger homes has meant that properties in Marylebone often fetch over £10 million.
“Last year 65% of purchases were from overseas, that is a 30% increase from two years ago. If you look into the international money that is coming to the area it is catching up with the more traditional international areas of Knightsbridge and Belgravia” says Claire Reynolds of Savills Marylebone.
Although many cite Marylebone’s location as the reason for this increased demand, it is clear there is more to the story. Much of Marylebone’s success has been based on the continuing investment of the Howard de Walden and Portman Estates. Howard de Walden alone have invested over £1 billion into the area, while keeping an independent feel to the businesses that line the high street. With new developments underway on Chiltern Street and with a recently announce redevelopment of Marylebone Gardens on the way, there is a steady supply of inward investment.
On the contrary to the large number of overseas buyers is the perhaps more surprising role of domestic buyers at the very top end of the market. In 2013 Knight Frank saw 50% of its purchases in the area made by Britons, a figure that has been growing. Perhaps more surprising still is that as London’s ‘flight appeal’ decreases, British buyers are stepping into the void to snap up property in this top bracket.
“You have the empty nesters moving down from St John’s Wood who are selling the family home. Others are moving up from Chelsea and Belgravia to somewhere more central. It really does vary. We find a lot of our clients are working in the city or in finance.” Says Christian Lock-Necrews, Partner of Knight Frank Marylebone .
With the threat of an interest rate rise and an election framed by continued austerity there could be a potentially tricky twelve months ahead, yet Marylebone’s property market seems to have ushered in a new phase in its history. Is the super prime status here to stay?