An ultra-high-net-worth buyer from the USA is behind Mayfair’s first super-prime property purchase of 2024, reflecting the continuing strength of American investment in the London market.
The buyer paid £11.5 million for a 3,270 sq ft, three-bedroom duplex residence in a Grade II-listed building on Charles Street, a short stroll from the private members’ clubs of Berkeley Square.
The transaction is the first signal that the trend for American super-prime property investment witnessed over recent years is set to continue over the next 12 months. American buyers accounted for 50 per cent of £15 million-plus residential sales in London in 2022 and were once again the largest group in 2023, according to Beauchamp Estates, which facilitated the most recent sale.
Americans flying the flag in London
‘Americans have always been significant buyers in the London super-prime market but what has changed over the last few years is the scale and level of investment,’ explains Rosy Khalastchy, director at Beauchamp Estates.
‘Some of the biggest £100 million-plus home deals in the UK capital over the last few years have been done by American multi-millionaires and billionaires. Traditionally most Americans in London lived in Mayfair, Chelsea, St John’s Wood and Kensington. In each of these districts up to 6 per cent of the local populations are American, but Americans have also purchased homes in Notting Hill, Hampstead and Holland Park, so they are now living across the capital, rather than just in the very centre.’
Khalastchy notes overseas buyers are drawn by the British education system, rich cultural landscape, convenient time zone and excellent flight connections between the UK and USA. The exchange rate also favours American buyers looking for a European base.
The all-American property wish list
London also offers new, high-end residential developments including Park Modern, One Grosvenor Square and The Whiteley, which are attractive to buyers looking for large square-footage and ample modern amenities.
Khalastchy continues: ‘The average home in America is over 2,014 sqft in size, compared to 818 sqft in the UK, so most Americans are used to homes that are more than double the size of the average UK home. They are also used to buying new build or recently built family houses, and if they live in smart new or relatively new apartment buildings they are often used to buildings that provide hotel-style porterage, concierge and amenities.
‘In London, American buyers tend to either like large spacious family houses with gardens, or to live in new-build or newly refurbished spacious apartments that are larger than the UK average. Wealthy discerning American buyers also tend to like homes with large designer kitchens and principal bedroom suites with walk-in dressing rooms and ensuite bathrooms with state-of-the-art plumbing, they are used to this level of luxury and quality in America.’
The duplex property in Charles Street, developed by REDD with interiors by Taylor Howse Designs, embodies many of these qualities with its recent refurbishment and high-end interior design scheme.
Jeremy Gee, managing director of Beauchamp Estates, adds: The sale of the duplex on Charles Street for close to its asking price of £11.5 million is testament to both the perennial desirability of Mayfair, where residents have some of London’s finest private members’ clubs, restaurants and boutiques on their doorstep, but also to the appeal of high-quality craftsmanship and design. This turn-key two-storey home offers its new owner not just beautifully arranged living space, plus a rare courtyard garden, but a bespoke scheme of furniture and interior dressing. The building’s period elegance and a sophisticated, completely unique interior design scheme was integral to the appeal of the duplex to the buyer.’