London's inner circle of super prime property
The renaissance of Regent's Park
It is hard to believe that Regent’s Park was not always the height of fashion, despite its famous Nash terraces overlooking more than 400 acres of parkland. As recently as 10 years ago, while London’s elite favoured Belgravia and Mayfair, Regent’s Park fell out of fashion, with few high-pro le residents and properties emblematic of an earlier time. Many of its imposing Nash-designed houses had been converted into apartments or of ce space as residential leases capped at 60 years limited their appeal.
This report charts the return of this part of London to its former pre-eminence as high-end developers converted of ces back to residential and apartments back into substantial homes. Today there are a smaller number of much larger homes in Regent’s Park. Limited supply underwrites their exclusive appeal but discreet external facades retaining the Nash design belie the increasingly lavish interiors favoured by the global super-rich residents choosing to live in the NW1 4 post code.
In this report we’ve analysed data on 1600 dwellings within the Regent’s Park area (NW1 4) with over 3,000 residents. In addition to Land Registry and LonRes data for transactions and price movements over 10 years, we have drawn on planning records and EGi for development history and used Census and MOSAIC for lifestyle data.
Regent's Park decade of change
Ten years ago, few properties came to the market in Regent’s Park and there had been hardly any new construction activity. Only 14 homes (all ats) were developed within the Regent’s Park postcode (NW1 4) between 2000 and 2005. However, when demand for luxury homes burgeoned across a widening prime central London, attention turned to the Nash properties in Regent’s Park and a wave of conversions began from ats or of ces into substantial family homes.
Low supply and rising demand
As properties were restored to their former glory, the number of ats declined, causing a net loss of stock. Census gures showed a 13.4% reduction in dwellings in Regent’s Park between 2001 and 2011. As a result, detached and semi-detached houses now make up 7.4% of the housing stock, compared with 4.2% in 2001. In other words, by the end of the decade, Regent’s Park had a smaller number of much larger homes. While the number of dwellings decreased, the level of interest in the area rose and its growing popularity was re ected in sales and lettings volumes. In 2006, transactions in and around Regent’s Park comprised 4.8% of all sales and 3.5% of lettings across prime central London. By 2014, 6.7% of all sales were in the Regent’s Park area, while lettings peaked in 2015 at 6.1% of all lets. Consequently, renewed popularity in the area caused prices to rise faster than the rest of prime central London, itself experiencing an upsurge in prices.
Developers set up
The combination of luxury product and limited stock attracted more interest from developers and af uent homeowners. The development of Cornwall Terrace by Oakmayne Properties in 2010 has been a turning point. The former HQ of property company British Land, located on Cornwall Terrace, was converted into eight exceptional luxury homes, ranging from 8,000 to 14,400 square feet. Sales achieved prices of between £26 and £45 million, setting a new benchmark for the area. Current developments will continue the trend of conversions back to residential. For instance, The Park Crescent, currently under construction and due for completion in 2018, is already commanding prices of £3,000 per square foot and more. Planning permission has also been granted for a further scheme on Park Crescent with 76 apartments.
House prices ripple across the park
The uplift has not been con ned to the Nash terraces. The whole area has acquired a new air, encouraging more development of large scale apartments in the immediate vicinity and a ripple effect over a wider area. This can be seen in the development data and also in price analysis of the NW1 4 and neighbouring postcodes illustrated in the map. In 2013, on the border of Regent’s Park, 27 new apartments, built to a very high speci cation and including a 3,218 square foot penthouse, were completed at The Atrium on Park Road (NW8). Prices there averaged over £2,000 per square foot (psf). Looking at the past 10 years – an extraordinarily strong market – price growth around Regents Park exceeded that achieved in wider prime central London. Values in and around the Park have risen by 123% since 2006, outperforming the 105% growth seen across prime central London as a whole.
As apartments have been amalgamated into houses and with the development of substantial mansions, the average size of properties in the Park has increased. The average size of properties sold since 2011 is some 22% larger than in the preceding five years.
The new regent's Park resident
The area around Regent’s Park began to change signi cantly around 2006 as this analysis of Census data between 2001 and 2011 demonstrates. The number of households living in the Park fell by 15% between the two census dates – even though the development and sales market was increasingly active.
The decline in the total number of households is almost certainly a re ection of the change in the nature of the stock as apartments were converted back into single houses. Although single-person households still accounted for 40% of all households in 2011, their share of the total had declined by 26% over the preceding decade.
Meanwhile the proportion of family households began to rise. Almost a quarter of households in 2011 had either dependent or non-dependent children, up from 21% in 2001. Living in one of London’s most beautiful parks makes this an attractive location for family life as well as the close proximity of the famous Regent’s Park Zoo and Open Air Theatre. There are also a number of leading independent schools nearby.
Within the con nes of the Park, and built on the site of one of the original eight villas, is the main campus of one of the UK’s only independent universities, Regent’s University, which attracts some 4,500 students from across the globe. This adds to the attraction for the parents of af uent, often international students for the period of their children’s studies.
Regent’s Park residents include successful creatives like Damien Hirst, entrepreneurs like Christian Candy, Middle Eastern Royalty (Qatar’s rst lady, Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned) and Russian oligarchs (Andrey Goncharenko, who bought Hanover Lodge, a Grade II*- listed Regency mansion for £120 million in 2014).