Why Mayfair is the most exclusive neighbourhood in London

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Nestled between Regent’s Park and Hyde Park, the esteemed neighbourhood of Mayfair is ideally situated in the heart of central London and boasts a blossoming real estate market, excellent transport connections, and some of the top restaurants and retail brands in the world.

Mayfair can be dated back as far as 1675 when the land was nothing more than a big open space, made muddy by the River Tyburn. However, this land would find its purpose in 1686 when King James II granted permission for the agricultural fair, which took place during the first two weeks in May each year at Haymarket, to be moved west to an area north of Green Park to accommodate a larger number of participants. This area is what we now know as Mayfair.

Following disgruntled residents voicing their concerns about the rowdiness, gambling, and drinking, the fair relocated east in 1746, finally settling at Shepherd Market. After the departure of the popular event, Sir Richard Grosvenor worked on the construction of the famous
Grosvenor Square, with many other affluent families developing garden squares and upmarket streets on their land, and Mayfair soon became the neighbourhood of choice for London’s aristocracy.

London’s most desirable postcode

Mayfair has graced the top of the best address list in prime central London since the developments made by the Grosvenor family. The affluent neighbourhood is a global hotspot providing luxury retailers and exquisite theatre districts to rival the best in the world. Home to approximately 2,000 millionaires and 20 billionaires, residents contribute a substantial £2.5 million back into the local economy annually. With money forever changing hands around the globe due to changing economies, Mayfair can always be sure of a continuous evolution of residents.

The typical resident of Mayfair has continuously transformed as the appeal of Mayfair has grown. The average age of the community was 55 to 75 in the 1950’s through to the 1980’s, yet today, 43 percent of properties are home to well educated, affluent young families, couples and singles, with 60 percent of all residents aged below 44. The evolution of the community over the decades has led to a diverse culture and exciting mix of people, with currently more than 42 nationalities among the neighbourhood’s population.

As the residents get younger, as do the designs seen in properties around the area, with the latest technologies and features continuously being included in new developments and an increase in luxury flats on the market. More upmarket restaurants and bars have also been appearing in the area, with Mayfair now home to 26 of the
66 Michelin star restaurants in London – that’s a lot of fine dining. There are also 3,800 five star hotel rooms available in Mayfair and two-thirds of the top retailers in the world can be found in the world famous shopping districts of Bond Street and Regent Street.

What does the future hold for Mayfair?

As though the current attraction of the neighbourhood and diverse community is not enough for Mayfair, the district expects to transform further still over the coming five years, with 11 major residential developments under construction of over 20 units, and an additional 21 beyond proposal. These improvements expect to see a 25 percent increase on the existing 5,200 residents and a ten percent increase on the 4,363 residential addresses currently available on the 144 streets of Mayfair. This is a considerable step for Mayfair and one of the biggest changes in almost a century, according to Wetherell.

The most expensive postcode in London has been held by W1K for the longest time, yet these new homes aim to spread the title across both W1S and W1J, increasing sales prices in all three areas. State of the art properties can command sales rates 100 percent higher than the current market rate and 200 percent higher if sold privately. The new developments will also double stock turnover, which is currently under three percent annually.

Following the Global Financial Crisis, prime central London has still seen house price growth at a 45 percent higher rate than before, and Mayfair has grown 188 percent over the last decade, which is significantly higher than rates experienced in the rest of London over this period. Wetherell believes that the future is Mayfair and that it will continue to outperform the rest of prime central London.

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