Top 10 London Selling
A property guru with an ‘encyclopaedic’ knowledge of Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Chelsea, Knight Frank’s new head of prime new homes has worked in London’s gilded postcodes for nearly 30 years, 18 of which he’s spent at Knight Frank.
Rupert des Forges describes the extraordinary ‘product-led’ ascendancy of the prime new-build on the London market, from its lagging appeal only a few years ago to prized status today. ‘It’s a spreading of this fusion of hotel and residential culture that’s come out of Knightsbridge – it’s obviously absolutely central in Mayfair now, but it’s pretty hot in Marylebone and Kensington as well,’ he says, pointing to developments like Ronson Capital Partners’ scheme in Chiltern Place and Holland Park Villas in Kensington. ‘It is the trend.’
The churn, des Forges explains, is a sign of the times as much as anything: ‘The wealth is a bit younger, year by year – it’s a generational change,’ he says. While the charmed aesthetics of central London’s garden squares will never be lost, they don’t provide what some of London’s jet-set want in 2018, or what they’re used to, whether it’s ‘acoustic insulation or the man in white gloves to greet them on arrival’.
The change also marks a pivotal moment for prices: expect to see the gap in values ‘opening up between the best prime new and the best traditional addresses’. Londoners, you have been warned.