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London leads the world on prime property

London is now the destination of choice for the world's richest investors, according to recent findings from high-end agency Knight Frank. It has overtaken New York and Hong Kong on prices and volumes of sales of prime luxury properties.

In 2009, 2,147 luxury homes and flats with a $2 - $5 million price tag were sold in the capital. This was about on a par with New York and behind Hong Kong. In the last six years, however, the number of sales in this price bracket has soared in London to 6,250 - triple the number in Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney and double the number in Manhattan. 

As for the ultra-prime market - where properties sell for above $5m - wealthy residents of Manhattan look like paupers when compared to Londoners. In total, 1,638 properties were sold in London for more than $5 million in 2014, compared with 796 in Manhattan, 258 in Sydney and only 21 in Los Angeles.

The research showed that London and New York have been vying for the No 1 spot when it comes to the luxury property market. Liam Bailey, Knight Frank's global head of research, predicts that London will continue to dominate this market for the next decade, although New York may outstrip it by 2024.

Knight Frank's report also found that prime property prices in west London skyrocketed by 138% in a 10-year period, way ahead of Hong Kong (93%), New York (78%) and Singapore (69%).

London is currently undergoing a skyscraper boom, with high-rise luxury tower blocks replacing the city's traditionally low-rise housing stock.  


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