Ivor Cambell-Davys, Sales Director in Mayfair & St. James’ for Chesterton Humberts, shares his thoughts on the Mayfair area:
Housing London’s highest concentration of five star hotels, Mayfair is a name synonymous with boutique, designer and bespoke shopping. The area has some of the highest rents and prices in the world and is the reason that London is known as an International city. To live in Mayfair is to live in one of the most recognised residential areas in the world and to own a business/shop or office in the area gives an instant cache along with prestige. Unlike many areas of London the area known as Mayfair is bounded by roads and parks, giving it defined boundaries. This ensures that the four thousand or so homes in W1K and W1J will always be in demand. Not only are properties coveted by international buyers but we have seen an increase in the number of British and Continental buyers returning to the area recently. This has been particularly evident since the Grosvenor Estate began a programme of street refurbishment, with projects such as Mount Street and Dukes Street.
Buyers have recently had to contend with a number of changes in the buying process, including the increase in Stamp Duty at £2m, Capital Gains and Envelope Taxes. This led to a period of inertia last summer but it would seem that, with overinflated asking prices being reduced or withdrawn since then, the market has once again become very active. The key is to keep pricing sensible. We launched a charming two bedroom flat on Upper Brook Street this week, off market. Within two days, we have had twenty viewings and the flat is now under offer in excess of the Guide Price, despite being unmodernised and having a ten year lease.
Popular roads are those that historically have been recognised as being the grandest or those where the Grosvenor Estate have carried out recent works, changing businesses and relaying pavements etc.
Generally speaking, building in Mayfair started with a private act of Parliament in 1711 and focused around the grand Grosvenor Square. Since then, building has continued and Grosvenor Square itself will see some changes with the AdmiraltyBuilding, the Canadian consulate and the American Embassy all going through refurbishment and changes of use over the next couple of years. Because of this, Mayfair is a heady mix of the oldest London properties and some of the newest. Short roads of Georgian houses lead to wide garden squares where architecture is very mixed with post war and modern glazed buildings filling gaps between Georgian mansions.
Prices generally vary a great deal. This is an area where the ‘short lease’ abounds and, whilst extensions are now commonplace and taken in a buyers stride, they do make prices vary dramatically. A two bedroom flat in one building might cost under £1000 sq ft with a ten year lease or £3500 with a long lease. Generally speaking, long leases are valued at between £2000-£4000 per square foot.
About Ivor Cambell-DavysDirector, Mayfair & St. James – Chesterton Humberts