American Interest


Buoyed by a strong dollar and wealth creation during the pandemic, record numbers of Americans are buying homes in London. Aston Chase has reported an influx of American buyers into the St John’s Wood area with almost £50 million worth of recent sales to American families and professionals.

The strength of the dollar and the slump in the pound drew American buyers in at what equated to a near 30% discount, increasing sales rates to some of their highest levels in recent times. The low-built properties on tree-lined streets many benefitting from large gardens, rarely found in London, and the proximity to the American School in London (ASL) have all conspired to make St John’s Wood a hotspot for Americans buying in London.

Aston Chase reports that in quick succession, six family homes were purchased in St John’s Wood by American buyers. One of the properties, a newly refurbished beautiful home in Hamilton Gardens was purchased by a family who moved from San Francisco expressly wanting to be close to the ASL. The family purchased the home under exceptional circumstances whereby the deal was conducted over the phone on the day the pound dropped to 1.08 against the dollar thanks to Kwasi Kwarteng’s disastrous Mini Budget. The buyer requested a place that was ‘toothbrush ready’—with everything organised and set up ahead of time, so all they had to do was bring their toothbrushes and settle in. The four-bedroom family home with 2,098 square feet of living space is positioned in the heart of St John’s Wood, just 0.4 miles from the ASL. This well-presented house features light and well-planned accommodation and benefits from a south-facing rear garden perfect for children to enjoy – a further selling point for the buyers over and above the currency play.

Another sale on Marlborough Place, was purchased by an American family for £6.75 million also looking to be close to the ASL. This property is a magnificent classically inspired designed family home with 4,336 square feet of living space arranged over five floors providing an outstanding home in which to live in, as well as entertain in the elegant reception rooms. The home boasts a gymnasium and a wonderfully bright conservatory with dining space, perfect for family meals on summer evenings. Home gyms and open-plan kitchen/living/dining areas are also much more commonly found in the UK than they were in the past, a trend largely instigated by the influence of American buyers accustomed to such amenities.

A further substantial transaction to an American, working in private equity, on Marlborough Place, resulted in a sale for a figure close to £10 million. The property is an impressive 4,758-square-foot five-bedroom family home bought and renovated to exacting standards in 2015-2016 by award-winning architect and interior designer, Marek Wojciechowski. The property, positioned behind secure gates and arranged over five floors, comprises five bedrooms, six bathrooms and four reception rooms. Unlike many other homes in the St John’s Wood area, this property is not Listed and Wojciechowski took advantage of that by installing a lift serving the ground and upper floors adding a unique amenity rarely found in townhouses making family life, with rooms across multiple floors, much simpler.

Aston Chase currently have several exceptional family homes in the St John’s Wood area available to purchase including a £12.5 million Regency-style townhouse in an exclusive new development known as Hamilton Drive. This beautifully presented residence features spacious family accommodation with four bedrooms, a cinema room and a gymnasium and benefits from a private rear garden, secure underground garaging for three vehicles and 24/7 concierge service provided by Bruton Street Concierge. Hamilton Drive is enviably located in the heart of St John’s Wood, within close proximity of the ASL, St John’s Wood Underground Station and the extensive restaurant and shopping facilities of St John's Wood High Street whilst the open spaces of both Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill are less than 1 mile away.

Slightly further away from the ASL on Clifton Hill, yet still within walking distance, is an immaculate and well-presented Grade II Listed semi-detached home comprising three/four double bedrooms with 2,673 square feet of living space available for £5.85 million. This property boasts spacious entertaining rooms and features high ceilings, lots of natural light and a south facing landscaped rear garden plus benefits from off-street parking for one car.

Mark Pollack, Co-Founding Director of Aston Chase says: “St John’s Wood has always been a popular area due to its beautiful homes and sense of community. It is particularly appealing to families relocating from America wishing to keep their children’s curriculum as consistent as possible which they are able to do thanks to the ASL. We have recently seen a further influx of American buyers encouraged to buy due to the strength of the dollar against the pound. We are delighted to be able to offer buyers a wide variety of St John’s Wood homes all within walking distance of the ASL from ‘toothbrush ready’ accommodation to renovation projects.”

St John’s Wood offers a relatively peaceful and green environment bordering one of the best-loved Royal Parks of London, Regent’s Park, which is also the largest outdoor recreational area in London. The close proximity of Primrose Hill, the chic high street, excellent transport connections and the fact that it is mere minutes from London’s West End, all combine to make the area eternally popular with house hunters enchanted by the wide variety of architectural styles. Walking its leafy streets buyers will find grand Regency villas, large stucco-fronted Victorian terraced houses and spacious 1930s mansion blocks alongside an increasingly large number of contemporary purpose-built luxury apartment developments.

St John’s Wood High Street boasts independent and luxury retailers, restaurants and cafés and yet still retains a sense of community.  There is a lively vibe on the high street during the weekends but still an overall sense of calm that is rarely found in other more densely developed areas of central London.


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