Alternative Investment

London’s Trophy-Home Market Surged Last Year

Super-rich home buyers couldn’t get enough of London last year, according to a wealth report Tuesday from estate agency Beauchamp Estates. 

The number of property sales across central London’s ultra-prime housing market—defined as homes priced over £15 million (US$17.95 million)—soared 30% over the course of 2022, the London-based brokerage said. 

Last year, multimillionaire and billionaire buyers snapped up 52 super-top-end homes. In 2021 the number stood at 40. 

The uptick has been driven by one main factor: U.S. buyers. They were behind half of the ultra-prime sales in the city last year, motivated by a favorable currency exchange, the report said. 

“The landscape [was] dominated by American buyers undertaking cash purchases and capitalizing on the strength of the U.S. dollar against the pound sterling, which has given them an enormous price discount,” Gary Hersham, founding director of Beauchamp Estates, said in the report. 

“During 2022 there has effectively been one billionaire buyer property deal per week in central London,” he added. “With war, pandemic and the sluggish performance of alternative investment markets driving multimillionaires and billionaires to return to investing in London residential real estate which is a proven safe haven and stable asset class.” 

European, Indian and Middle East buyers were also prominent purchasers, the report said. 

The city’s postcode covering Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Westminster was the most favored by London’s deep-pocketed buyers. The enclave was home to 17, or 32%, of the £15 million-plus transactions last year. 

The postcode encompassing Soho, Mayfair and Marylebone ranked second with 15 deals.

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