The return of international business executives to the capital has driven demand in the prime central London relocations market - up by 150 per cent in the first quarter of this year, according to the latest figures from leading estate agents Winkworth.
As Winkworth launches its latest Property Exchange podcast, focusing on Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Belgravia, Dominic Agace, Chief Executive of Winkworth, said:
“Our corporate relocation department has seen an increase of 150 per cent in searches, compared to March 2021. Interest started to return from September last year and has accelerated as travels opens up and national and international businesses resume relocations to central London - post-Brexit and post-pandemic – boosting demand in the rental sector.
“This increase in searches shows that London, as a global leader in the new economy of fintech investment, is seeing positive signs for the direction of travel of the sales market in prime districts – where prices still remain below 2015 levels.”
General demand in the prime London sales market registrations is up by 47 per cent in the first quarter of 2022, compared to 2021 – outstripping country markets where demand was down – 16 per cent in the first quarter this year compared to Q1 in 2021.
Will Yule, who runs Winkworth’s Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Belgravia offices, revealed that Chelsea is top of the wish list for UK buyers in prime London. He told the podcast: “We’ve seen an influx of buyers back into the market, mainly UK residents who want to live in Chelsea. The more internationally focused areas are seeing buyers from France and Italy and also the Middle East. Houses are in short supply at the moment. We are seeing properties going to sealed bids and multiple offers.”
Despite the effects of the war in Ukraine and government sanctions on a number of Russians with homes in London, Will Yule says this hasn’t impacted his territory. “I think it’s right that the UK Government is freezing assets but contrary to popular belief, this hasn’t led to numerous sales of houses and flats throughout central London. The number of Russian enquiries we’ve been getting had reduced in recent years and I don’t see this having any effect on the market. We’re now also seeing a lot of American investors, who tend to favour the quintessentially English style of property, Victorian terraces and Regency stucco properties throughout Belgravia.”