Comfortably located alongside Hyde Park and Regent’s Park, the prestigious neighbourhood of Mayfair is a popular and busy area in the centre of London. Boasting a thriving economy and real estate market, convenient transport links, and some of the finest dining and top retailers in the world, the district is home to some of the wealthiest people around the globe and has a profoundly diverse culture. So appealing that an Omani sheikh paid $34 million for two apartments, just so his family could live near Harrods in nearby Knightsbridge. These types of transactions are welcoming news for the luxury property market as a whole since the hike in stamp duty, back in 2016, was feared to put off wealthy foreign buyers.
Mayfair was born as many as 342 years ago, in 1675, from nothing but a muddy, open stretch of land made so by the River Tyburn. It wasn’t until 1686 that the area was assigned a purpose. It was at this time that King James II allowed the growing annual agricultural fair to move from Haymarket to a place north of Green Park, during the first two weeks of every May – which was the area now known as Mayfair. As the number of guests at the fair increased, the annoyance among residents grew. Complaints kept flooding in about the rowdiness and drinking, resulting in the event relocating to the east in 1746, eventually coming to rest at Shepherd Market, where it still takes place each year.
Following the move, the Grosvenor family began developing the neighbourhood, along with other affluent families in the community, leading to the construction of the now famous Grosvenor Square along with many others making Mayfair the number one choice for London’s most prosperous.
The neighbourhood of choice for London’s aristocracy
Mayfair has been a global hotspot for decades, attracting tourists and residents worldwide. As the premiere address in prime central London, it definitely has a lot to offer, from one of the most famous theatre districts in the world to some of the finest dining available with 26 Michelin star restaurants. In addition to this, tourists have a choice of 3,800 five-star hotel rooms to stay in during their visit and can shop at over half of the world’s most upscale retailers across Regent and Bond Street in the Luxury Quarter. Celebrity haunts also drive desirability for the area among tourists and residents alike, including Sexy Fish and Annabel’s, which is currently undergoing a £55 million transformation.
With all of this entertainment, luxury, and culture within reach, it is no wonder that people choose to travel thousands of miles to purchase property and set up home in Mayfair. Currently the residence of around 2,000 millionaires, the wealthy community is constantly evolving and has been getting younger over the years. Back in the 1950’s, the typical resident was aged between 55 and 75, however today, almost half are young, well-educated singles, couples, and families, with over 60 percent of the entire community under the age of 44.
The growth of the locality has produced a wonderfully diverse population in the area, with over 42 nationalities living in the neighbourhood. Of affluent status, the residents are usually thought not to contribute much back into their local economy. However, research showed that approximately £2.5 million is provided by locals each year. As wealth continues to change ownership over the years, Mayfair can always be certain to attract new cultures and residents to their community moving forward.
Mayfair undergoing some of its biggest changes yet
With the residents continuously growing and bringing exciting changes to the neighbourhood, it only makes sense for the facilities, real estate, and attractions to keep up. Over the next five years, Mayfair will be undergoing one of the biggest developments in almost a century, according to Wetherell. With 11 expansions already under construction, which will welcome more than 20 units, 21 further projects are waiting in the wings, having already been approved. In total, the neighbourhood expects to see an increase in the number of residents by 25 percent, reaching a total of 5,200, and the number of residential addresses available by ten percent, totalling 4,363 along the 144 streets of Mayfair.
W1K has been the most expensive address in London for years, with Mayfair’s South Audley Street named as the second most expensive street in the entire United Kingdom; properties regularly fetch an average of £10.4 million. The new developments hope for W1S and W1J to join the top rankings of the most expensive postcodes in London, therefore raising luxury property values across the board.
Since the Financial Crisis, London has managed to keep its head above water, with house price growth 45% higher than before the crash in prime central London and a 188% rise in Mayfair alone over the last decade. These figures are substantially more impressive than those seen in wider London, making Mayfair the neighbourhood to watch for the future as it aims to continue outperforming the rest of the capital.