London stalling: inside the prime property stalemate

14 April 2023

Financial Times

It’s a rainy Monday afternoon and Will Watson, a buying agent who sources expensive homes in London’s most exclusive areas, heads to a trendy hotel and restaurant in Marylebone to meet a potential client.

“He’s a member of a wealthy European family looking to spend £30mn-£40mn on a property in London,” says Watson, a partner at The Buying Solution. “His family office was advising him to buy in Switzerland or Italy but he sat with me in Chiltern Firehouse and the place was buzzing. He told me: ‘This is why I want to come to London. I may pay more in tax but life is for living.’”

Last year, sales of luxury homes in the UK capital were at their highest level for a long time — 605 properties sold for £5mn or more in 2022, according to estate agency Savills, more than any other year since at least 2006.

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