22 Oct Erase & Replace grips North Surrey netting savvy developers millions
Savills, in their Prime Central London report Autumn 2013, state that this sector of the UK residential market has few real competitors with Lucian Cook, Director Residential Research commenting that “the closest comparison in terms of value and the ability to attract international wealth are the private estates in the Home Counties – St. George’s Hill and Wentworth Estate being the best examples.”
The identification of these exclusive areas of North Surrey is off little surprise to James Wyatt, Partner of leading estate agency Barton Wyatt, who has been working on the Wentworth Estate for over 25 years.
“Wentworth and St George’s Hill attract a different crowd to most of Surrey and indeed the Home Counties. I am not saying that there are not pockets of wealth outside these two enclaves but these are on a different scale with thousands of highly successful businesspeople, politicians, diplomats, celebrities and even royalty choosing to live upon these golden acres.”
Both the Wentworth Estate and St George’s Hill private estates were created in the early 1900’s. Brain child of local builder, W.G. Tarrant who started building the 964 acre on St George’s Hill in 1912 and the 1750 acres of Wentworth Estate began building in 1922.
Both estates are protected to this day by covenants and their own Acts of Parliament, with Wentworth’s covenants preventing developers creating infills with each plot remaining as a single plot thus increasing their allure to many celebrities and high wealth individuals seeking space and privacy. The leafy, tree-lined private roads shield dozens of gated homes from public view.
Over the last decade it has become increasingly fashionable to “erase & replace”, purchasing a plot, knocking down the old Tarrant home and rebuilding in the form of a modern mansion.
Indeed James and his team at Barton Wyatt have seen a flurry of savvy developers buying plots on both Wentworth and St George’s at around the £10 million mark with the intention of creating super mansions that would not look out of place in Beverley Hills, with price tags hitting the £30 million mark.
James Wyatt comments:
“With the covenants still in place allowing only one property per plot, developers have to think of another way to maximise their returns. They cannot simply purchase a prime plot, sub-divide it and build 4 or 5 family homes on the same site.
“Whilst of ample size when they were first built in the early 1900’s, demand, especially from wealthy overseas buyers, for super-sized, mega mansions of 20,000 sq ft with all the mod cons, has meant that the existing Tarrant designed homes are no longer fit for purpose. These seemingly ‘average’ homes can be purchased at a relatively affordable level with the developers making their millions from the sale of the brand new homes which replace them.”
In fact London estate agents are finding a growing shortage of available super homes in prime central London resulting in millionaires looking further afield for a suitable home. Barton Wyatt has seen a 20% increase in buyers coming from Central London over the last year alone.
For more information about Erase & Replace in North Surrey or details on purchasing a super mansion contact Barton Wyatt on 01344 843 000 or visit www.bartonwyatt.co.uk.