The billionaire Reuben brothers have managed to sell 45 upmarket flats in Paddington in less than two months.
The deals suggest the market for luxury flats in London is still strong, despite a slowdown in the wider industry.
Property developer European Land — a joint venture between Simon and David Reuben and property investors the Jarvis family — launched 79 one- to three-bedroom homes at 3 Canalside Walk on 23 August 2017.
Already, 45 of the 79 flats have been sold, according to the Evening Standard.
With a price tag of between £650,000 and £1.6 million, construction of the flats is due to finish in 2020. Residents will have access to an outdoor gym, rooftop Observatory Lounge and terrace.
Selling agent JLL said buyers were from the UK, the Middle East and the Far East.
JLL’s residential director Jeremy Wharmby said the sales demonstrate that many investors are still confident that London remains an attractive property market.
He suggested this was particularly the case when there is “good quality product in well-connected locations”.
“Canalside Walk’s connectivity with Heathrow via the Heathrow Express and the impending arrival of Crossrail makes Paddington a strong medium and long term investment” – Jeremy Wharmby, JLL
The Reuben brothers have had enviable success in their property careers, having been named Britain’s third richest people with a net worth of £14 billion in 2017, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.
In May, the duo announced plans to restore a £250 million former hotel near Piccadilly Circus. They bought the property for just £100 million in 2012.
They aren’t the only ones having success in the otherwise struggling London housing market.
North London agency Glentree International managed to notch up £150 million of sales in the past 10 weeks.
Trevor Abrahmsohn, managing director of Glentree, claimed the top of the market is still attracting foreign buyers who are enticed by weak sterling.
“I had one prospective buyer saying ‘I missed out on the currency gyration in 2008 and I’m not going to lose out again’,” he said.
It follows reports that average property prices in London are falling at their fastest pace since the aftermath of the financial crisis.
Home values in London fell by 2.7% in September compared with a year earlier, according to Acadata and LSL Property Services.
The provisional estimates show the average price of a home in the capital is now under £582,000 – the lowest since the end of 2015.
Meanwhile, prices for luxury homes in central London are forecast to fall by 4% this year and then flat line for nearly two more years, research by Savills shows.
But there have been glimmers of hope. In addition to the Reuben brothers and Glentree International’s success, it was recently revealed that a sheikh from Oman had bought two luxury flats in Knightsbridge for a total £25 million.
The deals equated to more than £3,200 per square foot – the highest price secured in the area since the EU referendum.
It has raised hopes that the slowdown in London’s super-prime market is coming to an end.
But DealMakerz doesn’t think it’s time to get overly excited – there is still a lot of uncertainty around Brexit and the issues created by stamp duty hikes remain.
However there are clearly still lots of people, particularly from the Middle East, who are attracted by London’s vibrancy and potential.
Even if the capital’s property market seems sluggish, it’s unlikely to stay that way for long.