Another wave of foreign millionaires is poised to buy up ultra-exclusive homes in London, after the weak pound turned property in the capital into an increasingly enticing proposition, a new report has suggested.
The Ultra Prime Barometer Report suggested buyers from the US, Middle East and India were all getting ready to take advantage of sterling's weakness by buying £5m plus homes in the capital's most upmarket areas.
According to the report, the cost of an ultra-prime home in Mayfair fell 10.6 per cent in dollar-denominated terms to $4,741 (£3,813) per square foot between 2015 and 2016.
That means a US buyer purchasing a typical 3,900 sq ft home in Mayfair now pays $18.5m, compared with $20.7m in 2015 – saving $2.2m. By contrast, those buying the same sized home in pound sterling will pay £15m, up from £14.5m in 2015.
The report suggested enquiries from US-based buyers had risen 10 per cent in the past six months, with sales rising three per cent. Meanwhile, enquiries from the Middle East have risen 15 per cent, with purchases rising 10 per cent. Enquiries and sales from Indian buyers based in the UAE are up 10 per cent and five per cent respectively.
Not surprisingly, the number of British millionaires enquiring about buying a home in ultra-prime parts of Manhattan has fallen "considerably", it said.
“At the start of 2017 both New York and London have witnessed huge political changes – Brexit in the UK and the Trump Presidential win in the USA," said Jed Garfield, managing partner at estate agent Leslie J Garfield.
"These two political events are game-changers that will trigger major economic, trade and taxation policies that will shape the destiny of both London and Manhattan for many years to come.
"The cities have huge cultural crossovers and if Trump and May start even close economic ties and reduce tariffs to zero then the level of cross-investments between the two cities is likely to spiral significantly.”
London house prices have remained relatively stagnant in recent months, with prices in the most high-end parts of the capital struggling to recover from the knock they took during Brexit. Figures published at the beginning of this month showed prices in Chelsea fell 13 per cent in January, while prices in Mayfair fell 4.4 per cent.