UHNWIs “Off the scale” Demand for London’s Most Expensive Apartment at US$164m

UHNWIs “Off the scale” Demand for London’s Most Expensive Apartment at US$164m

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London’s ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) are driving house prices up the roof. These 4000 UHNWIs who are predominantly bankers, lawyers, traders, 23 billionaires and super wealthy non-domiciled foreigners have taken London property prices to yet another level.

Four Hyde Park facing penthouse apartments located on the exclusive address of Number One Hyde Park are reported to have been sold at an off plan sale price for a record £84m (US$164m) each.

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Bowoter House before demolition

The Lord Rogers-designed penthouse apartments will each boast a staggering 20,000sq ft in floor space and would be amongst 86 other apartments that will span over four glass and red weathered steel apartment blocks replacing the now demolished hideous 16-storey 1950s building – Bowater House. The cheapest apartments are still said to command £4m (US$7.9m) each, making the development the most expensive dwellings ever sold in London at a shocking £4,200 (US$8,200) per square foot.

Purchasers including Arab princes and Russian oligarchs need to make an up front 20% deposit to secure the very highly demanded apartments that are due to be completed in 2010.

The project’s developers, Project Grande have contracted both interior design and development management to Luxury property developers ” Candy & Candy. The two brothers from Surrey, domiciled in Monaco behind the Candy & Candy, Nick and Christian Candy, currently hold the record for most expensive flat in London, which is a £27 (US$53m) million luxury Chelsea pad.

While only the four penthouse flats would feature bullet proof windows, the entire development will have as standard an SAS developed security system, “panic rooms”, specially purified air conditioners and each complex will have a spa, squash court and private wine-tasting facility. Exclusive concierge service will be provided by the Mandarin Oriental hotel through a tunnel that will link the hotel and the development.

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This record asking price is a reflection of the London property market which has out performed the UK market this year. In central London, the area that has experienced the most rapid growth, house prices have risen by 20 per cent in 2007 alone as compared to a 0.5 percent increase in London as a whole where prices average £260,140 (US$508,000).

What do you think about the London property market? Is it sustainable? Do you think the interest rate hikes will help slow growth down a bit? Or is a crash eminent?