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Mega mansion ban will just push demand elsewhere, claims leading estate agency

The City of Westminster's proposed ban on new homes over 150 sq m will have unintended consequences for central London's housing market, says Sotheby's International.

Nigel Lewis

The City of Westminster’s recently-announced ban on super-size mansions and apartment knock-throughs will force buyers to look elsewhere in prime London to build ‘mega-homes’, it has been claimed.

The comments come from leading prime estate agency Sotheby’s International following last week’s announcement by the London borough that homes over 150 square metres would no longer be given planning permission.

“Russian and Middle Eastern buyers favour these super-size homes more than any other clients and whilst we expect them to continue to purchase in this part of London due to the postcode premium it offers, we may very well find these buyers also looking to new London boroughs where they can still create their dream home,” claims Will Tremlett, Sales Associate at Sotheby’s International (left).

Westminster says it has set the new limits on property sizes because mega-homes “under-optimise development of Westminster’s scarce land resource”, it says.

“It will still enable generously-sized homes to be developed to meet [demand] from the prime market, but balances that against the other more strategic housing need of the city.”

Council madness

Sotheby’s is not the only agent to point out the contradictions in Westminster’s new housing policy. Trevor Abrahamsohn, MD of Glentree, says the measure risks being another nail in the coffin on the prime central London market.

“Residents who want to build a supersize mansion for their families should be given permission,” he says. “We should be grateful for the fact that this country offers the liberty and freedom to do so. And what better time is there for this sentiment than in the post-Brexit era?

“Hikes in Stamp Duty and non-dom changes have suffocated the residential property market, lowering Stamp Duty receipts for the Treasury and deterring wealth-creators from the UK.  A tragedy in itself, this latest council madness heaps injury upon the original insult.”

 

 

November 19, 2018

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