Luxury rental properties are still proving to be very popular, as buyers and sellers play the waiting game to see what Brexit means to the market. Top boutique London estate agency JLL, formerly W.A. Ellis, says activity at the higher end of the rental market has defied the slowdown which usually takes place just before Christmas. The company reported double the number of lettings compared to the same period in the previous year. As an example, the award-winning firm has secured three apartment lets in central London at more than £2,000 per week and a house for £3,750 a week.
Another report says there has been a big increase in the number of luxury rental properties, with rents of £15,000-plus a month, coming on to the market following the EU referendum result. The increase is viewed as a combination of uncertainty over Brexit plus the high stamp duty of 12% on homes worth more than £1.5 million if the property is sold. These two factors have led to a huge drop in sales in the ‘super prime’ market.
Many would-be buyers are putting off buying in the hope of getting a better deal if prices fall further and others are delaying the move until they know how Britain’s split from the EU pans out. For people who have moved to London to work and may only be staying a few years, it doesn’t make financial sense to buy because the property is unlikely to accumulate enough capital appreciation to offset the stamp duty.
As well as top business people who are turning to high-end rentals rather than buying, another market for luxury properties is to rent to celebrities. Many famous people are shunning hotels to rent luxury rental homes where they can have more privacy. Canadian pop star Justin Bieber is reported to have rented an historic North London mansion with indoor pool, home cinema and gym for £108,000 a month. Other celebrities on tour or making movies in the UK will also rent luxury mansions so their family can come with them, or to cater for their entourage.
The top London postcodes for high-end rentals are SW1X Knightsbridge, W8 Kensington, W1K Mayfair North, SW1W Belgravia and SW3 Chelsea. Outside London, good buy-to-let luxury rental investments include Cheshire’s Golden Triangle which is home to many Premier League footballers playing in Manchester and Liverpool, Virginia Water, Esher and Cobham in Surrey, Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, Ascot in Berkshire, and Poole in Dorset.