UK; 18, December 2014: Reports of cooling house price growth combined with the recent hike in stamp duty for luxury properties shouldn’t dampen interest in one corner of Prime Central London (PCL), which is looking forward to making its mark in 2015.
Regent’s Park is on the verge of becoming a hot spot in the PCL market, after the Qatar royal family submitted plans to convert three properties there into a huge mansion. Once complete, this property would become the UK’s first £200-million home and put Regent’s Park well and truly on the international real estate map. Already recognised as a cosmopolitan area, Regent’s Park and its environs offer a diverse selection of beautiful homes that attract wealthy overseas buyers, typically working professionals and families.
“As well as having Regent’s Park and Hyde Park on your doorstep, there are plenty of leisure and shopping amenities in nearby Marylebone,” said PropertyinUK.co.uk. “When the Qataris create their new palace, which will be the most valuable privately owned residential property in London, the area will be in the spotlight and attract other high net worth buyers from abroad, in particular the Middle East.”
A local agent in Regent’s Park confirmed in December that the local market there is currently buoyant, with activity at the top end very strong — and this is despite the news surrounding the proposed mansion tax and the implemented increase in stamp duty for properties over £1.5 million. Recent sales there include a Nash Terrace property in Kent Terrace for £5 million and an apartment in Cumberland Terrace for just under £3.5 million.
Other agents report a significant rise in Russian interest across both the rental and sales markets in recent weeks. This is despite the collapse of the rouble against the pound, indicating Russians may be protecting their assets from the exchange rate by opting to invest in Sterling based real estate. And while the sharp drop in the price of oil clearly has its own implications for net wealth in the Middle East, West Africa and Russia, the strength of the dollar does at least offer some compensation for potential buyers of PCL property with US dollar assets. Sterling’s nine per cent fall against the dollar and drop of similar magnitude against the Chinese yuan since mid-year are giving buyers in these increasingly significant asset pools a welcome currency discount. As such, Chinese buyers are expected to be major players in the high end of PCL property in 2015.
Meanwhile, overall house price growth across London dipped for the sixth consecutive month in November. However, thanks to the stamp duty reforms, surveyors are forecasting a sales boost of between 2-5 per cent, according to the latest RICS Residential Market Survey.
As speculation continues over how much the new changes will encourage existing property owners to put properties on the market, the reforms come in a month that saw house price growth fall to its slowest pace since May 2013 (a 13 per cent net balance).
“Uncertainty about the outcome of next year’s general election is likely to causing some purchasers hold back,” added PropertyinUK.co.uk. “According to RICS, new buyer enquiries have now declined for five consecutive months.” For more information, visit http://www.propertyinuk.co.uk