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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

London luxury home prices reach record high

LONDON: The price of a luxury home in central London can jump as much as £3,000 (RM14,490) a sq ft with the help of a pair of white gloves costing a few pounds.

Houses and apartments described as luxury or prime in the UK capital can fetch from £1,000 (RM4,830) a sq ft to more than £4,000 (RM19,320). The widening disparity prompted property broker Knight Frank LLP to define the touches like a white-gloved doorman that separate truly elite from merely prime.

Luxury-home values have rebounded faster than those for other London properties, reaching a record last month, as the pound’s weakness attracted overseas purchasers. Knight Frank estimates that prices for prime residences start at £2 million (RM9.66 million), though you may have to pay more for one with a wine cellar, home cinema, squash court or health spa — not to mention accommodation for the staff.

At the bottom end of Knight Frank’s five tiers of luxury, a buyer should expect no less than a 24-hour concierge team, secure underground parking and a terrace or balcony. Prices are seen increasing by £500 (RM2,415) a sq ft with amenities such as a wine cooler, slab marble and a ceiling at least 2.7m high.

“What drives value is location, but also product, views, architecture and amenity,” said Ed Lewis, director of new development sales at Savills plc.

Six apartments at One Hyde Park, the luxury-condominium complex in the affluent Knightsbridge neighbourhood, sold for an average of £6,000 (RM28,980) a sq ft last year.
That includes a view of the west London park, service from the Mandarin Oriental hotel next door and hand-painted silk wallpaper.

A one-bedroom duplex in the development went for £9.85 million (RM45.58 million), according to the Land Registry.

“Luxury isn’t enough,” said Stephan Miles-Brown, Knight Frank’s head of residential development. “People using words like prime, super-prime and uber-prime are looking for ways to redefine the word luxury.”

Having a health club, resident’s wine cellar and screening room with general-release movies helps push prices into the £3,000-a-sq-ft bracket. Add £500 for a limousine service, a Gaggenau kitchen and a squash court.

Luxury properties in the city costing an average of £3.7 million (RM17.87 million) rose 8.1 per cent in June from a year earlier, Knight Frank said, pushing its Prime Central London Index to a record.

By Bloomberg

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