One of the only two mansions on London’s Park Lane is up for sale for £42.5 million ($51.6 million), in what would be the biggest ever home deal on the prestigious street and a test for the resilience of the city’s luxury property market.
(Bloomberg) — One of the only two mansions on London’s Park Lane is up for sale for £42.5 million ($51.6 million), in what would be the biggest ever home deal on the prestigious street and a test for the resilience of the city’s luxury property market.
The home, once owned by the art dealer of American banker J. P. Morgan in the 1900s, is the largest property to be listed on Park Lane since the Qatari royals bought Dudley House over 15 years ago, which is one of the most expensive residences in London.
The six-bedroom mansion overlooking Hyde Park was purchased almost 20 years ago by its British owners, who requested anonymity because the deliberations are private. The deal was completed for about £8 million, an official filing shows. The property has since been refurbished to include a 15-meter swimming pool, health spa and double basement, spread across 11,000 square feet (1,022 square meters).
Park Lane’s most recent mansion listing will be a test for how far apart buyers and sellers are in price expectations for London’s luxury housing market, where some vendors are being forced into discounts to avoid the risk of deals falling through.
“A listing and sale of this magnitude is extremely rare,” said Peter Wetherell, founder of Wetherell, one of the luxury estate agents working with the family to find a potential buyer. “The only two equivalent nearby mansions in Mayfair are both owned by the Qatari royal family, which gives you an indication of the significance of the current sale.”
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The majority of prime London estate agents say buyers expect to get a discount to asking price of up to 10% for a home, while half of sellers only expect that drop to go as far as 5%, according to research published this week by broker Savills Plc. Still, the fact that London’s high-end housing market is less reliant on debt — the cost of which has risen steadily in line with central bank rates — means the priciest home sales are holding up better than their less expensive counterparts.
“These markets are benefiting from affluent buyers’ ability to transact with cash or low loan-to-value ratios as rates have risen,” said Frances McDonald, director of residential research at Savills. “For all but the very best properties, buyers and sellers are as much as 5% apart on price.”
Read more: Qatari Royal Mulls Sale of Luxury London Homes for $470 Million
Some 17% of ultra-high-net-worth individuals bought at least one home last year, according to a separate report from broker Knight Frank, and the wealthiest home owners are still securing deals. Qatari Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani is mulling the sale of two luxury properties in London’s upscale Knightsbridge and Belgravia districts, while Indian billionaire Ravi Ruia bought a £113 million London mansion overlooking Regent’s Park this summer.
Richard Cutt, director at Sotheby’s International Realty, which is also advising on the sale, expects an international buyer to purchase the Park Lane mansion, as the weakness in the pound against the dollar lures more global investors to London’s luxury properties — notably from North America and the Middle East.
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