The Real Deal New York

Shop top living increasingly popular in London

Foreign buyers are driving demand

March 08, 2014 03:00PM

Shops in London's Mayfair neighborhood

Shops in London’s Mayfair neighborhood

WEEKENDEDITION Thanks to soaring prices and foreign buyers, apartments above shops in London’s city center – once stigmatized as second-rate housing – are becoming increasingly popular.

“Historically there has always been a premium for living in an entirely residential building,” Peter Wetherell, managing director of the Mayfair-based real-estate agency Wetherell, told the Wall Street Journal.

“Apartments over shops had a slightly inferior feel. But now retail areas in Mayfair are becoming more exclusive. With two-thirds of the world’s leading brands in Mayfair, people no longer see it as living over retail, and instead see it as a lifestyle.”

Brokers say London’s changing demography is key to the growing popularity of living shop top. Overseas buyers are now responsible for more than half of all sales in London’s luxury neighborhoods such as Kensington, Belgravia, Mayfair and Chelsea. And apparently, these buyers have no qualms about living above where they shop. [WSJ]Christopher Cameron

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