Mystery buyer snaps up renovation project London home – for £18.6m

The fixer-upper home in upmarket Mayfair once belonged to the Onassis family

The property in one of London's most expensive areas sold well below asking price. Google Street View
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It’s a buyer’s market as London’s luxury housing market tries to recover from coronavirus lockdown orders and a spluttering economy, meaning one mystery buyer has snapped up a bargain renovation project for a cool £18.6 million (Dh90m).

The sale of 47 Grosvenor Square was more than 25 per cent below the asking price but even so, the deal took less than 24 hours to complete.

Once restored to its former glory the palatial neo-Georgian property in Mayfair, complete with balcony, multiple reception rooms, five bedrooms, a library and bar, could be worth up to £30m.

“Ultra-high-net-worth buyers from around the world are currently wanting to acquire trophy properties of this type in Mayfair,” Peter Wetherell, founder of Wetherell estate agents, said.

Mayfair is home to high-end stores as well as Grosvenor Square and Hanover Square. Getty
Mayfair is home to high-end stores as well as Grosvenor Square and Hanover Square. Getty

Until recently the neighbour in the massive building at the western end of the West London square was the American embassy.

The embassy has moved south of the River Thames but a statue of former US president Ronald Reagan still stands in the square.

Around the corner are five-star hotels, some of the city’s finest restaurants and the jewellery shops and fashion houses of Bond Street.

And if you need a bit of exercise, Hyde Park is about five minutes’ walk away.

The Mayfair home once belonged to the Onassis family.

In the 1960s and 1970s the apartment served as the London home of Artemis Onassis and her husband, Theodore Garoufalidis, and was a fashionable social hub for other family members and friends including Artemis’s shipping-tycoon brother Aristotle and his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

The UK is now opening up after its coronavirus lockdown but large sectors of the economy are struggling.

Sellers in London’s wealthiest districts are failing to achieve their asking prices after the virus derailed a nascent recovery in the market.

Prices were down 1.7 per cent in the three months through July after falling the most since the global financial crisis in April at the peak of Britian’s nationwide lockdown, according to broker Knight Frank.

For a lucky few, that presents an opportunity.