A home in London’s Knightsbridge area is worth its weight in gold. Thus, it comes as no surprise that a luxury penthouse in the upscale neighborhood sold for a whopping $157 million earlier this year. The penthouse in question is an under-construction duplex located within the Bulgari Hotel and Residences development. Reports quoted sources as saying that the luxury property commanded prices of around $10,962 per square foot. The per square foot rate is higher than the usual market prices for London’s luxury homes – a feature that is being attributed to the Bulgari brand name.
The Luxury Location
The Bulgari Hotel and Residences project has 85 hotel rooms and eight luxury apartments. Owned by Prime Knightsbridge Developments Ltd., this project is still under construction. The project is scheduled for completion by the middle of 2012.
Although the luxury project is still a work in progress, the developers are benefitting from the Bulgari branding. This, along with the limited number of residential units, has ensured that prices shoot through the roof. The promise is that these luxury homes are as bespoke as they come. These are not your run-of-the-mill mass-produced homes.
As it is, London is known for its high luxury real estate prices. The new development is just another example of the high demand that London’s luxury homes enjoy among the world’s richest people.
The towering per square foot prices ensure that only the richest of buyers can afford these Knightsbridge homes. Of course, the Bulgari penthouse is not the lone property to command a five-figure rate. Not too long ago, a condominium in the One Hyde Park residential project sold at a rate of around $11,756. The sky-high rate garnered plenty of attention. But clearly, it was not just another flash in the pan.
The Knightsbridge area is home to some of the wealthiest Londoners. And international investors are keen to acquire a piece of this profitable real estate pie. While real estate prices around the world remain sluggish in the aftermath of the recession, London’s luxury homes remain strangely untouched. Knightsbridge, along with other upscale areas such as Balgravia and Mayfair, are now regarded as safe havens for millionaire investments.
The Bulgari Connect
The association with Bulgari SpA ensures that the residential project generates a lot more interest. Christie’s International Real Estate director Giles Hannah is overseeing the sale. Hannah admits, “Having the Bulgari brand adds about thousand pounds a square foot.” A thousand pounds translates into about $1,568 – a big jump in even the luxury real estate business. Hannah confirms, “Nothing here has been mass-produced.”
In fact, the Bulgari penthouse that sold for $157 million costs almost double the most expensive New York property, an $88 million Manhattan apartment. As if the staggering selling price were not enough, this spacious penthouse offers 14,000 square feet of space. The home was sold in a private deal in April this year.
Branded luxury residences are known to perform better in the luxury market, sometimes fetching up to 30 percent more per square foot. The Bulgari penthouse was no different. The brand factor adds to the appeal of this luxury home by promising the kind of luxurious experience that greets rich travelers at the best hotels of the world.