Beauchamp Estates has sold a mansion in Old Queen Street, London to an ultra-high-net-worth Russian billionaire. At £15.45m the sale of property which overlooks St James’s Park is one of the most-significant single residential sales achieved during the UK COVID-19 lockdown.
If this recent sale by Beauchamp Estates is anything to go by, it appears that the London property market is beginning to find its feet once more. Trying to gauge the strength of the market in these current times is nigh impossible. Only recently we published an article which showed that internet searches for super-prime London property had all but vanished.
Some sectors of the market such as properties up to £5 million and parts of south-west London had begun to show green shoots, but this £15million+ whopper is a surprise.
Although the sale was agreed just prior to the lockdown (20th March), the simple fact it went through to completion is a sign of strong confidence in the London market. In addition to this, the purchase price achieved set a new record for the local St James’s marketplace.
The vendor was the Canadian Benisti family, via their Benisti Family Office, and the buyer was a Russian billionaire, in his 40s and his girlfriend and children from a previous marriage.
The Russian buyer who owns an energy group had a budget of £25 million and wanted a home in Prime Central London – between the River Thames and Marble Arch, something inside Brompton Road/Harrods to the West and Tottenham Court Road to Trafalgar Square in the East. They had previously looked at a house in Belgravia, priced at £2,800 per sqft, and a smaller house in Mayfair priced at £5,500 per sqft.
The Old Queen Street property has an interior design by Nicola Fontanella of Argent Design – the Hollywood-&-London interior designer for Madonna, Guy Ritchie and Naomi Campbell. It has three large reception rooms, study, library, five-bedroom suites, club room with rooftop terrace, wine/champagne store and private rear garden overlooking St James’s Park and Palace.
Commenting on the sale, Jeremy Gee, Managing Director of Beauchamp Estates said: “The sale of 26 Old Queen Street for £15.5 million during the London lockdown is the largest single residential sale during this period, it shows confidence in the Prime London market. This is not an isolated sale above £10 million, and we have been encouraged by the ongoing activity at the top end of the market. The vendor was the Canadian based Benisti Family Office, the buyer an ultra-high-net-worth international businessman.
The Benisti Family Office is so confident about the super-prime London market that they have placed the adjacent mansion at 28 Old Queen Street on the market, which they also own. They and Beauchamp Estates are confident that we will sell or let this outstanding property over the next few months. London is a global property market, a “property island” distinctive from the rest of the UK.
The jewel in the crown is Prime Central London, which has always attractive ultra-wealthy buyers from across the globe and will continue to do so, this ultra-top end of the market was busy at the start of 2020 after the Boris Election, activity continued during the lockdown, and now the market has been restarted, we forecast a busy few months as pent up demand is released.”
Set in St James’s Park, with the rear façade with bay windows and garden overlooking Birdcage Walk and the Royal Park, the Old Queen Street townhouse-mansion at No.28 is located between Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Westminster, originally built in 1770 and completely refurbished and modernised in 2015.
A Spokesman for the Canadian based Benisti Family Office said: “Working with Beauchamp Estates we have just successfully sold No.26 on Old Queen Street, and this sale has helped to set the price of the current property (No.28) we have now released for sale. Our expectation is for houses to outperform flats in the £10 million-plus marketplace due to the changing consumer behaviour triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Buyers want more space, a private garden and direct access to a park. They are wary of apartment buildings which need to be accessed by shared foyers and passenger lifts. We believe that our product, in the form of this magnificent new townhouse-mansion on Old Queen Street, is ideal for the current market and we believe we are currently in an extremely good position to sell/let this house over the coming months.”
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