london, luxury property

London’s Biggest Lockdown Deal


Russian billionaire has helped allay a few fears at the top end of the market by spending £15.45m on a Georgian mansion by St James’s Park, at a record price per square foot.

We hear the unnamed forty-something buyer, who owns a major energy group, had started looking for a family home between the river and Marble Arch in January, with a healthy budget of £25m.

After touring options in Belgravia (at £2,800 per square foot), and in Mayfair (£5,500 per square foot),the Russian and his girlfriend settled on a stonking townhouse at No.26 Old Queen Street just before the UK’s coronavirus lockdown began in March.

Asking £16m, the black-brick mansion offered 6,573 square feet of space with a trio of grand receptions, a study, library, five bedroom suites, a club room with rooftop terrace, a wine/champagne store and a private rear garden overlooking St James’s Park; Nicola Fontanella of Argent Design came up with the interiors.

An easing of government restrictions allowed for a re-inspection on 13th May, and the sale completed on 15th May at a rate of £2,351 per square foot, eclipsing the previous record for the St James’s Park area (£2,213 per square foot), set by No.28 Queen Anne’s Gate in August 2018.

Mayfair-based Beauchamp Estates brokered the deal, which looks to be the largest recorded in London during and following the lockdown period.

The vendor was the Canadian Benisti family, via their Benisti Family Office, who have also instructed the Beauchamp team to sell the equally handsome property new-door; No.28 (once the home of Harriet Beauclerk nee Coutts, the Coutts & Co bank heiress) measures an ever-so-slightly larger 6,608 square feet and is asking £17.75m.

The sale of 26 Old Queen Street for £15.5 million during the London lockdown is the largest single residential sale during this period. The vendor is the Canadian based Benisti Family Office, the buyer an ultra-high-net-worth international businessman. The Benisti Family Office are so confident about the super-prime London market that they have placed the adjacent mansion at 28 Old Queen Street on the market, which they also own, and they and Beauchamp Estates are confident that we will sell or let this outstanding property over the next few months. London is a global property market, a “property island” distinctive from the rest of the UK. The jewel in the crown is Prime Central London, which has always attractive ultra-wealthy buyers from across the globe and will continue to do so, this ultra-top end of the market was busy at the start of the 2020 after the Boris Election, activity continued during the lockdown, and now the market has been restarted, we forecast a busy few months as pent up demand is released.

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