The “super-prime” rental market in London is showing signs of recovery, after a year during which rental revenues generally fell by almost a fifth.
High-rolling tourists have given a boost to the top end of the market, seeing short-stay rental options as better value than London’s hotels.
'Middle Eastern families come to London to escape the summer heat in their own countries'
In response, agent Knight Frank has now set up a specialist “short let” service to cater to wealthy visitors willing to pay up to £12,000 a week for a classy “home from home” in the capital.
Choice properties include London House in Barton Street, Westminster, a Grade II listed mansion close to the Parliament. It has seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, two drawing rooms, a pool and children’s playroom and costs £10,000 for a single week.
Juliet Hill of Knight Frank’s Knightsbridge branch says: “The short let has really come through. The typical tenants are coming on holiday or for business. Many Middle Eastern families come to London to escape the summer heat in their own countries. If you are staying for a month or two it is cheaper and nicer to stay in an apartment.
Mark Tunstall of Savills in Knightsbridge says some people also prefer to rent before buying in London. “They prefer to live somewhere for a bit while they get to know the area,” he adds.
His firm has let four homes costing between £10,000 and £12,000 a week in the last month. The rich tenants are a hedge fund manager, a Turkish millionaire, a European industrialist and a financier.
Hastings House, in Waltham Street, SW3, for example is for rent at £12,000 a week, or for sale at £13 million. In the absence of a buyer its owner is content to rent the property out while he waits for the market to recover.