Disposable Homes – Surrey’s demolition derby

In today’s “throw-away society”, where everything is disposable from food packaging to clothes and flat screen TVs, why wouldn’t the property industry join in? This is exactly what is occurring in the affluent Home County of Surrey at present according to Rupert Wyatt, Partner of local award-winning estate agency, Barton Wyatt, who comments:

“The demolition of houses, both good and bad, to make way for brand new, mega mansions is rife on the exclusive Wentworth Estate. One might be forgiven for thinking that only old or derelict houses would be contenders for redevelopment but more often perfectly good homes have been subject to the demolition fever in North Surrey.”

The thirst for brand new luxury homes primarily from overseas buyers is very real with Russians, Kazakhstanis and other Eastern Europeans those most able to find the funds for these super homes. Purchasers’ expectations of quality has risen dramatically over the years and internal and external finishes of even 10 year old houses are quite simply not up to scratch.

It would seem that money is no object in this sector of the prime homes market with buyers willing to spend millions getting the perfect home even if it means knocking it down and starting again. One such example was a luxury 10 year old home on Badgers Hill, Wentworth which was demolished recently to accommodate a new house design in accordance to the owner’s taste.

This craze for knocking down homes is pushing up prices as both individuals and developers vie for their slice of the estate. Plots with existing properties are getting snapped up, often at or above the asking price.

This ‘fighting over homes’ is creating small pockets of house price peaks. Grainne Gilmore, Head of UK Residential Research, comments:

“Bucking the trend however, are the very top-end properties. Homes worth £5 million and more continued to rise in value over the quarter, climbing by 0.8% and taking the annual increase to 3.5%. The very best properties are attracting increasing attention from overseas buyers, with Russian buyers noticeably active in the market.’

Rupert Wyatt, partner of Barton Wyatt, could not agree more:

“Our strongest market at the moment is the prime country house market. There is good movement in property between £4 million and the super prime mansions at £10 million plus.

“The developers know they have to pay top money for property in top locations. The confidence in the market for super homes continues to rise and there is little doubt that foreign money will be competing for these properties when built.”

A fabulous example of a recently disposed home in Wentworth, Surrey was Pindi House. This property was sold to a developer for £1,725,000 in April 2010. At the point of sale the house was 3.637 sq ft on a 0.7 acre plots. After demolition Park House emerged. The house sold for £5,362,000 in June 2012. As this land is not green belt the developer was able to increase the square footage to 9,500 and built the most incredible property.