Almost half of the 360 apartments in London’s Versace-branded skyscraper have been sold ahead of the 2020 completion date – further proof of the ongoing confidence in the capital’s prime property market.
Construction of the 50-storey AYKON London One, nicknamed the Versace Tower, began in August and so far 170 homes have been snapped up.
Situated at Nine Elms on the South Bank, the tower has enticed buyers from places like the Gulf States, Hong Kong, Russia, Iran and Pakistan. Only 11 Britons are among the buyers.
It is targeted at the super-rich, with studios starting from £747,000, one-bedroom apartments from £1,116,000 and two-bedroom flats from £1,877,000. A top-floor duplex would set you back £13 million.
Noora Al Sohail, a relationship manager for Aykon International Real Estate Services, said buyers range in age from their mid-20s to 65-plus, and probably won’t live in their apartments full time. This is because most of them already have several homes.
Some lucky teenagers preparing to study at London universities have been treated by their super-rich parents to a flat.
Al Sohail said buyers from abroad are attracted to the property’s Zone 1 location, its proximity to the embassies that have moved across the river from Mayfair to Nine Elms – and of course, by the Versace brand.
The tower, a collaboration with the Italian fashion house, is the first “branded” apartment building in Britain.
“As a girl who loves to shop I know how important it is to be able to live in a tower called Versace. It is a very positive message for those who like brands,” Al Sohail said.
In keeping with the brand, the chandeliers in the residents’ lounge are gold-plated filigree, while “V” for Versace Home is in marble patterns inlaid into the walnut floors at the entrance to each apartment.
The style house’s trademark Greek key also decorates splashbacks, kitchen islands and the mirrors in the white marble bathrooms, while master bedrooms are decorated with lavish amounts of pale gold-and-cream Versace wallpaper.
Residents get access to in-house dining, a concierge, swimming pool and spa.
There is also a children’s playroom featuring a patchwork Versace carpet in primary colours, plus a double-height yellow slide and designer chairs.
Developers have come under fire for flogging highly priced flats at Nine Elms to overseas buyers before addressing the British market.
But Al Sohail told Homes & Property these particular flats will attract only premium buyers who can afford to pay for the Versace name.
“The British do not feel like overpaying for the brand and they take ages to think about it,” she said.
Nine Elms Property, which awarded the contract for the tower to Multiplex, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DAMAC International, whose owner, Dubai-based developer Hussain Sajwani, is a close associate of Donald Trump.
DAMAC is used to luxury developments, having developed the Trump International Gulf Club Dubai and Trump-branded luxury villas in the Middle East worth 2.96 million dirhams ($805,858).
DealMakerz thinks the high demand for the Versace apartments is further evidence that the market for luxury flats in London is still strong, despite a slowdown in the wider industry.
It comes after the billionaire Reuben brothers managed to sell 45 upmarket flats in Paddington in less than two months.
But it also demonstrates that it is overseas buyers who are keeping the capital’s super-prime property market afloat.
Britons are nervous and price-conscious following the Brexit vote, meaning many other developers are struggling to shift new-build flats.