The fall in the value of the pound in 2022 saw a host of wealthy American buyers pick up high-end London property on the cheap, according to a new report.
In so-called ‘prime central London,’ some 50 per cent of property transactions over £15m completed in 2022 involved American buyers according to analysis by real estate firm Beauchamp Estates.
Some 52 £15m-plus properties were exchanged on in 2022, up on 40 in 2021. It brings the total two year value of transactions to just shy of £2bn.
The US dollar by contrast held up – giving American buyers a leg-up on the UK market.
London deals above £15 million in 2022 include a £45 million house in a prime Notting Hill square, a £19.75 million 6,504 sqft house in Cadogan Gardens, sold on behalf of the billionaire Hariri family to another Lebanese billionaire; a £17 million townhouse on Old Queen Street sold on behalf of the Canadian billionaire Benisti family to a young Eastern European billionaire and a grand Mayfair apartment where the initial asking price was £37.5 million.
Other transactions included a £20.5 million house close to Eaton Square in Belgravia, a £24.95 million residence in Cadogan Square and and a £17 million turn key apartment in Belgravia.
Beauchamp Estates said that there had been no ‘truly significant’ purchases of London property by Russian oligarchs this year, as sanctions and restrictions have taken their toll on Russia’s extremely wealthy classes.
“During 2022 the volume of £15 million plus deals in London’s ultra-prime housing market has risen by 30% compared to 2021, the landscape dominated by American buyers undertaking cash purchases and capitalising on the strength of the US Dollar against the Pound Sterling which has given them an enormous price discount and paid for Stamp Duty and moving in fees,” said Gary Hersham, founding director of Beauchamp Estates.
“During 2022 there has effectively been one billionaire buyer property deal per week in Central London with war, pandemic and the sluggish performance of alternative investment markets driving multi-millionaires and billionaires to return to investing in London residential real estate which is a proven safe haven and stable asset class,” he continued.
Some 17 of the £15m-plus purchases have been in the SW1 postcode stretching from Westminster through Belgravia and Knightsbridge, with 15 in Mayfair.
St John’s Wood accounted for seven deals, with Hampstead on two.