London super-prime house sales at highest level in eight years

Wealthy buyers have sought space in leafier postcodes since pandemic began

Belgravia in London is one of the most expensive parts of the UK. Getty
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London’s super-prime property market enjoyed buoyant sales last year as wealthy house hunters sought to upsize their homes amid a clamour for space since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Property agent Savills said there were 522 sales of homes valued at more than £5 million ($6.82m) in 2021, the highest figure since 2013.

Much of the demand came in the final three months of last year, in which a record-breaking 163 properties changed hands in deals worth about £2 billion.

Savills said the fourth quarter of 2021 was the strongest ever for £10 million-plus transactions.

More than half of all £5 million-plus sales took place in the ultra-expensive boroughs of Kensington, Chelsea, Belgravia, Notting Hill and Knightsbridge.

But demand for homes in leafier locations such as Wimbledon, Battersea, East Sheen and Wandsworth surged as buyers looked to reap the benefits of “country-style" homes without leaving the capital.

“London’s super-prime markets’ stellar end to the year is evidence of the influence that the pandemic-fuelled desire for more space has on residential markets,” said Frances Clacy, a research analyst at Savills.

“While we can expect to see demand from domestic buyers looking to upsize into a larger family home to soften in the new year, a lack of suitable stock on the market will continue to support prices while the supply-demand imbalance remains.”

Ms Clacy said there was evidence that domestic and UK-domiciled international buyers were snapping up deals before a more sustained return of overseas demand.

“But it is not all about houses. We are also starting to see recovery in demand for London’s super-prime flats, with demand focused on the limited supply of very high quality stock,” she said.

Updated: January 18, 2022, 7:11 AM