City penthouse market tops £1bn

The value of penthouses currently being sold in London now exceeds £1billion, according to research from CBRE.

The report, “Penthouse London: paying a premium for perfection”, is CBRE’s first in-depth study of the London penthouse market, which has soared in value since the prime residential market began to recover from the global property crash.

The research also gives a definitive guide to “What makes a penthouse?” helping to differentiate between true penthouses and large flats.

Penthouses are being developed across London, but vary dramatically in price and it is now impossible to buy a penthouse in London for less than £1million.

While you may find penthouses priced between £1.5million and £3million in Islington and Camden, in prime Central London the starting point for penthouses is closer to £4million. In the most desirable boroughs prices average £13million and can easily top £4000 per square foot.

On average, penthouses sell for a 60% premium over the rest of a development, and can account for 20% of the Gross Development Value of the project involved.

However, penthouse’s sales are not limited to international investors: while many transactions are shrouded in secrecy, sales to UK buyers account for almost half of those achieved by CBRE.

Jennet Siebrits, Head of residential research, CBRE said: “No one should under-estimate the importance of penthouse sales to the London property market. Sales of more than £1billion, which is nearly double the value of the government’s Get Britain Building fund, and as well as supporting the construction market, will also provide more than £70million of stamp duty.”

Mark Collins, CBRE head of residential, said: “Penthouses of the quality on sale in London now cement our capital’s new status as a home-from home for the super-rich as well as providing an invaluable store for their wealth. With the burgeoning volume of billionaires in the world and the increasingly international appeal of prime London real estate we anticipate that the penthouse market will continue to be a very exciting and elusive space going forward.”

The research says some penthouses have a range of features, including a private entrance or lift, a library or office space and additional suites for guests or staff. Often buyers demand strong security measures such as bullet proof windows, a panic room and retina recognition systems.

But there are ten features that are common across almost all London penthouses, ranging from the best locations, to generous outdoor space, spectacular views over a city or park, and include ground-breaking technology.

Top penthouse features requested by buyers:

* High floor-to-ceiling heights, with glass wrap-around; * Generous outdoor space – up to 20% floor area; * Luxury specification, notably better than the rest of scheme; * Top of an iconic tower, designed by lead architect; * Top appliances – ground-breaking technology; * Broad range of facilities and additional amenities in development; * State of the art security; * Spectacular views over city or park; * Location, location, location.

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