Rich flock to leafy Wimbledon as demand grows in London's prime property market

Lucy Harley-McKeown
·3-min read
People out on a morning run near a frozen Rushmere Pond at Wimbledon Common, south London, as the cold snap continues to grip much of the nation. Picture date: Thursday February 11, 2021. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
People out on a morning run near a frozen Rushmere Pond at Wimbledon Common, south London, as a cold snap continues to grip much of the nation. Wimbledon was named as the area with the most demand for high-end properties in London. Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images

Homes in leafy Wimbledon were among the most sought after prime real estate in the London market between the last quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021, as city dwellers sought more green space amid lockdowns. 

According to data from Benham and Reeves' latest Prime London Property Demand Index, demand for high-end homes costing more than £2m ($2.8m) increased by 1% in the same period. 

Demand for homes at £10m and above also increased 2% on a quarterly basis.

The index analysed the ratio of homes listed for sale to those sold across the prime London market to identify where high-end homebuyer demand is at its highest, as well as how this demand has changed quarter to quarter.

The largest quarterly uplift was seen in Wimbledon, with demand up 12%, while Notting Hill, Pimlico and Fulham also received a boost. 

The increased demand for homes in Wimbledon has also seeped into Q2, with demand at 44%, according to the data. 

Barnes (42%), Richmond (41%), Chiswick (39%), Putney (37%), Clapham (34%), Highgate (31%), Islington (29%) and Wandsworth (25%) also currently rank highly. 

Notting Hill and Holland Park are home to the highest levels of current demand in London, as well as seeing the largest quarter to quarter increase at this market price threshold.

Homebuyer demand across the prime central London (PCL) market has crept up by +1% to 20% during the first quarter of this year. 

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Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, said: “We’re slowly but surely seeing momentum grow across the prime London market and a further uplift in homebuyer demand during the first quarter is certainly a positive sign for the year ahead.

"Of course, this increase in health has been boosted to an extent by the capital’s less traditional prime areas such as Richmond, Barnes, Putney, Clapham and Highgate."

Von Grundherr noted that many of the areas that have seen the biggest boost in demand have an abundance of green space. 

"Despite the introduction of a stamp duty surcharge for foreign buyers, we expect this demand to continue to build as London reopens and we return to some form of normality.”

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The data comes alongside separate research that shows there were more residential sales above $10m in London in 2020 than any other market globally. Knight Frank found that $3.7bn was transacted in the city at this level, outpacing usual rivals of New York and Hong Kong.

The UK capital saw transactions rise by 3% in 2020, while Hong Kong and New York saw theirs fall by 27% and 48% respectively. Domestic buyers accounted for a third of all activity in London’s £10m+ market, up from 12% a year earlier.

Analysing sales and transaction data of 12 super-prime residential markets around the world, Knight Frank’s research reveals that overall, global sales above $10m fell only marginally (-1%) in 2020 compared to the previous year, despite temporary property market shutdowns and travel restrictions in place. 

These challenges were offset by greater demand from domestic buyers, reassessing their property needs. Volumes, or total spend declined 5% overall.

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