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The number of £5million-plus luxury homes sold in London in the final months last year reached a record high, new research has revealed.

The return of international travel bringing overseas buyers, along with a desire for more space from super-rich domestic buyers of London homes, contributed to more wealthy purchasers forking out at least £5million to secure the right home in the capital.

There were 522 sales of such homes in 2021, with 163 sales of £5million-plus properties in the last three months of that year alone.

It is 37 per cent higher than in the three months prior and the strongest year end since 2013 which saw 522 so called ‘super prime’ sales, according to the research by Savills estate agents.

This three-bed house in Moore Street, in London's Chelsea, is for sale for £5.5million via Martin & Co estate agents

This three-bed house in Moore Street, in London’s Chelsea, is for sale for £5.5million via Martin & Co estate agents

Savills took at look at the number of luxury property sales in the capital over the past decade

Savills took at look at the number of luxury property sales in the capital over the past decade

The last three months of last year saw the highest quarterly spend for any quarter since Savills records began in 2006, with almost £2billion spent on properties agreed for £5million or more.

This can largely be attributed to the number of £20million-plus sales of both new build and second-hand property, which stood at 51 verses 32 a year earlier in 2020.

There was also a significant uptick in the number of £10million-plus sales in the last three months of 2021, which reached the strongest quarter ever with 62 sales compared to a previous high of 50 in the final quarter of 2014.

The previous high was a result of many households rushing to buy before new higher stamp duty tax bands were introduced at that point in 2014.

This five-bed house in Montpelier Walk in London's Knightsbridge is for sale for £7.95m via James Vaughan estate agents

This five-bed house in Montpelier Walk in London’s Knightsbridge is for sale for £7.95m via James Vaughan estate agents

Savills highlighted that the super-prime new build market also ramped up at the end of the year.

There were 30 new build sales in London topping £5million in the final three months of 2021, with a total value of £558million, it said.

It is both the highest number of units topping £5million sold, and the highest total value spent on new build property, ever recorded in a single quarter.

Frances Clacy, of Savills, said: ‘London’s super-prime markets stellar end to the year is evidence of the influence that the pandemic-fuelled desire for more space has on residential markets.

‘While we can expect to see demand from domestic buyers looking to upsize into a larger family home soften in the new year, a lack of suitable stock on the market will continue to support prices, while the supply-demand imbalance remains.

‘It’s also clear that domestic and UK-domiciled international buyers are taking advantage of the opportunity to buy in a market that still represents relative value and before a more sustained return of overseas demand. 

‘Recovery in prime central London values is certainly underway, but revived Covid-19 restrictions are likely to push the forecasted 8 per cent-plus bounce back in values further into 2022.’

This six-bed house in Chelsea's Milner Street is on the market for £6.95m via Hamptons estate agents

This six-bed house in Chelsea’s Milner Street is on the market for £6.95m via Hamptons estate agents

Savills explained that with international travel rules easing in November, there was a significant uptick in the number of international buyers returning to the capital.

As a result, central London hotspots continued to dominate sales and more than half of all £5million-plus sales took places in Kensington, Chelsea, Belgravia, Notting Hill and Knightsbridge, knocking leafier St Johns Wood, out of the top five from the quarter prior.

However, the £5million-plus price tag continues to extend its reach across London, as buyers race for more space, with locations such as Wimbledon, Battersea, East Sheen and Wandsworth firmly on the so-called super-prime map, as buyers look to reap the benefits of ‘country-style’ homes in the capital.

There was a 84 per cent increase in the number of £5million-plus sales across South West London in 2021, compared to 2020, according to Savills.

For the last three months of 2021, it said the price of a six- or more bedroom house in west London rose by 10.4 per cent during the past year and by 15.1 per cent since March 2020, and by 9.1 per cent and 12.1 per cent in South West London.

Ollie Marshall, of buying agents Prime Purchase, said: ‘There is no question that there is more money flooding into the top end of the property market in London than at any time in the past 20 years.

London has always offered a safe haven in times of volatility 

‘The global recovery, which has been driven by central bank intervention as a result of 2009’s global financial crisis, has generated extraordinary gains for investors around the world. 

‘Since 2016, while the majority of property markets have trended higher, London has endured a five-year bear market in the face of prolonged political uncertainty surrounding Brexit. The result now is a dislocation of values between London and other global financial centres such as New York Singapore and Shanghai, with the former much more attractive than the latter.

‘London has always offered a safe haven in times of volatility, and at no time has this been more evident than during a global pandemic. 

‘With many markets now looking frothy, as well as inflation concerns and currency debasement, investors looking to reposition their portfolios are considering London property once again. 

‘Yields for residential property have reached levels not seen for over a decade and international investors taking advantage of continued weakened sterling are still able to secure generous discounts from the peak in 2016.’ 

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Estate agent Savills soars as Covid fuels demand for bigger homes and warehouse space










Estate agent Savills’ shares stormed higher as it raised profit guidance amid a boom in demand for expensive homes.

The stock soared 8 per cent, or 105p, to 1425p after performance for 2021 came in ‘very significantly ahead’ of expectations following an ‘extraordinarily strong’ final two months of the year.

The FTSE 250 group, which sells residential and commercial property, has also been boosted by warehouse space sales as the boom in online shopping and supply chain woes left firms scrambling for storage space.

Savills soared 8% after figures for 2021 came in ‘very significantly ahead’ of expectations following an ‘extraordinarily strong’ performance in the final two months of the year

Savills soared 8% after figures for 2021 came in ‘very significantly ahead’ of expectations following an ‘extraordinarily strong’ performance in the final two months of the year

Properties currently for sale on its website include a seven-bedroom house with a swimming pool and gym for £39.5million in Knightsbridge, London, and an Oxfordshire estate for £23million.

‘The UK prime residential market continued to perform exceptionally strongly through the last quarter,’ Savills said. It added that a shortage of houses to sell meant activity was likely to moderate this year.

It noted ‘substantially lower levels’ of spending on travel, entertainment and marketing, left buyers with more cash to purchase properties. 

As a result, profits were expected to be ‘very significantly ahead’ of the previous forecast. 

Analysts at broker Peel Hunt predicted the figure could be between £190million and £200million, up from £96.6million in 2020.

Anthony Codling, chief executive of property data site Twindig, said while the UK housing market ‘made hay’ during lockdown, the opening up of the economy and relaxation of travel restrictions would cause buying patterns to normalise.

Estate agents and builders have cashed in over the pandemic as a demand for bigger homes and a stamp duty holiday sent buyers flooding into the market.

AIM-listed peer Winkworth jumped 6.2 per cent, or 12p, to 207p after it predicted profits for 2021 will be ahead of forecasts.

London-focused Winkworth flagged ‘brisk’ sales activity in the final quarter, saying sales for 2021 were 13 per cent higher than 2020 and 42 per cent above 2019 levels.

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Property boom spells good news for Savills: Surge in sales and profits as residential and commercial buyers snap up high-end homes and warehouses

  • Savills said 2021 profit would be ‘very significantly’ ahead of previous forecasts
  • The group added that central London property market had also been strong  










Savills experienced an ‘extraordinary strong’ sales period in the UK and across Asia Pacific in the final few weeks of 2021.

In a trading update, the high-end estate agency group said its full year performance had been ‘very significantly’ ahead of expectations.

The group reiterated that it had been able to benefit from ‘substantially lower levels’ of discretionary expenditure in respect of travel, entertaining and marketing events, but it expects these costs to return to near pre-pandemic by the end of the year.

Savills expects its underlying pre-tax profit for 2021 to be ‘very significantly ahead’ of the upper end of its previous range of expectations, but gave no ballpark figures today.

Strong sales: Savills has said it experienced an 'extraordinary strong' sales period in the UK and across the Asia Pacific

Strong sales: Savills has said it experienced an ‘extraordinary strong’ sales period in the UK and across the Asia Pacific

Shares in the FTSE 250-listed company rose sharply today and were up over 8 per cent to 1,435.00p this afternoon.

The group saw a surge in residential and commercial buyers looking to snap up high-end homes and warehouses as 2021 drew to a close. For many commercial buyers, warehouse space has become increasingly vital amid a surge in online shopping.

Businesses have been flocking to snap up more warehouse space, while a high number of residential buyers sought out idyllic retreats in the countryside during the pandemic. 

However, Savills said sales in the pricey central London property market had also held up well.

It said: ‘The UK prime residential market continued to perform exceptionally strongly through the last quarter and volumes in the Prime Central London market clearly began to improve. 

‘Currently there is a definite shortage of sale stock, so despite outperformance in 2021, our expectation of a moderation of activity in 2022 remains intact.’ 

Data from the Office for National Statistics published in December revealed that London remained the most expensive area in the country in October, with homes coming in with average price tags of £516,000. 

On Savills’ website today, some properties for sale in London are listed as ‘price on application’, but the property commanding the highest visible price tag in the capital at present comes with an asking price of over £39million. 

Capital sales: Savills said sales in London had been strong

Capital sales: Savills said sales in London had been strong 

The group said its Asia Pacific business performed well ahead of its expectations.

Hong Kong sales activity and market share remained strong through the period, and Australia, Singapore and Japan also enjoyed strong trading activity in the final quarter, it added.

For the year ahead, the group has maintained its outlook. It said inflationary pressures in many markets will result in employment costs increasing at the highest rate for many years and thinks discretionary costs will ‘progressively normalise’. 

The group added: ‘In respect of trading revenues, at this stage, we anticipate some normalisation of commercial capital transaction volumes and a moderation of levels of activity in some residential markets, particularly in the UK.’

Peel Hunt analysts believe the group’s annual 2021 pre-tax profit could come in at up to £190million, which is 33 per cent higher than the figure reported for 2019. The estate agency group will publish its annual results on 10 March. 

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