Our client was a sophisticated investor, already owning significant commercial and residential real estate assets in London. He had been looking for some time to acquire a family home in London, and did not want to pay the huge premium that comes with buying new build properties. He needed 4 to 5 bedrooms and at least 3000 square feet in Marylebone or Mayfair.
We identified a freehold house in Mayfair, measuring just over 8500 square feet which was being sold by receivers. The house had previously been sold in 2014 for £19.175m. Once a famous pub, The Red Lion was shut down in 2009 and sold to a luxury developer, and initially had asking price of £25 million. With 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 2 receptions rooms, dining room, kitchen, media room, gym, swimming pool, roof terrace and an internal lift, the house met with every single one of our clients requirements.
The purchase price of £15 million, equated to a highly competitive £1748 per square foot. Unmodernised houses in Mayfair usually achieve over £2000 per sq. foot, and modernised houses often achieve well in excess of £3000 per sq. foot. Red Lion House was in almost new condition, so the price was extremely attractive. Of course, we were not the only potential buyers interested in the property, and we had to move quickly and demonstrate our ability to get on and do the deal in order to win the contract from at least two other interested parties.
The area immediately surrounding the property is interesting from a future investment perspective. On one side of the property business entrepreneur and billionaire John Caudwell is developing his own private residence of over 50,000 sq. feet, and on the other side he is developing a new luxury block of residential apartments – Audley Square which is due to be one of the most luxurious new build developments in Central London, with prices set to be in the region of £10,000 per sq. foot.
Finally, we are in discussions with our client regarding our Vacant Care Service to help look after and service our clients home for him when he is travelling.
Mayfair houses traded at an average rate of £2567 per square foot in 2018. We acquired Red Lion House at an astonishing £1748 per square foot, 32% below the market average.