There are times when location isn’t everything.
Instead of looking for a home on a posh road or in an exclusive neighborhood, wealthy buyers in London are focused on the new, according to a survey released Wednesday by Aston Chase.
The London-based real estate firm reported that 65% of affluent buyers in the city are looking for brand-new or just-restored homes. The results also said that only 20% of buyers are interested in a specific location, down from 80% three years ago.
Demand from Europeans has cooled significantly after Brexit, according to Aston Chase, with buyers biding their time to see what its ramifications will be. The luxury sales market is now driven by Asian, African and Middle Eastern buyers, the firm has found.
“Since the 2017 General Election, Inner London resi sales have been very much driven by overseas buyers,” said Mark Pollack, founding director of Aston Chase. “They prefer ‘turn key,’ new homes rather than second-hand product.”
This shift has lead to a development-based luxury residential market—homes above £5 million (US$6.6 million)—instead of one based on location, according to the survey.
“The premium market has become very development led,” Mr. Pollack said. “Buyers [are] much more focused on interiors, specification and lifestyle amenities rather than specific roads.”
And if they do choose an older home, buyers often completely redesign the space, the survey said.
“Even where second hand homes are purchased, buyers are then wanting them refurbished so they are modernized and given new interiors,” said Simon Deen, director and head of new homes at Aston Chase.
The firm has also observed a preference for newly built homes among clients who have a specific location in mind.
The demand for new or newly restored homes is high across London, and Mr. Deen added, the desire for new builds is bringing attention to new neighborhoods.
Developments have “opened up central but previously overlooked locations such as Bayswater and Camden,” he said. “Previously our clients would have only looked at Marylebone, St. Johns Wood and Regent’s Park.”
Those five top areas are the top developer-led London locations, according to the survey, which was based on Aston Chase sales and sales inquiries over the last three years for London homes priced above £5 million. The firm surveyed more than 3,600 applicants for the report.
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