It’s been a roller coaster year so far for luxury real estate since the global pandemic pretty much shut down the industry. However, in spite of COVID uncertainty, home prices in some prime areas of London, England saw a median price increase of six per cent in Q1 2020 over the same time period a year before, with at least one property selling for as much as £14m (almost $24m CAD).

Ennis Global, the world’s leading high-net-worth mortgage broker, recently released a report analyzing the prices of homes that sold for more than £3m ($5.1m CAD) during the first quarter of 2020 across London’s more prestigious postcodes. The findings reveal how the market at the very top end has differed due to COVID-19 when compared to last year at this time.

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The figures show that in London’s 50 most sought after postcodes for the super-rich, the median price that homes sold for rose from over £3m ($5.1m CAD) to £4.5m $7.6m CAD) in the first quarter of this year, a six per cent increase year-over-year.

“For the very high-end buyer, London remains the pinnacle of homeownership and in the most sought after pockets of the capital, property values aren’t as susceptible to wider market turbulence,” said Islay Robinson, group CEO of Ennes Global Mortgages.

“This remains evident over the first quarter of this year as London’s most prestigious postcodes continued to register very strong price performances while the rest of the market became paralyzed from pandemic uncertainty and lockdown restrictions.”

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Meanwhile, even as sold prices rose, overall sales plummeted. The uncertainty surrounding the pandemic has been impactful, with transactions declining -42 per cent compared to this time last year. Furthermore, 17 of the 50 super-prime postal codes failed to register a single sale in the first three months of 2020.

“Yes, transactions have declined, but in a segment of the market where they are few and far between anyway, volume takes a back seat and price remains the leading indicator of market health,” said Robinson.

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In spite of fewer sales overall, the pandemic has not dampened the appetite of the capital’s super-wealthy homebuyers, with prices soaring in some neighbourhoods.

Postcode N2 in East Finchley includes Bishops Avenue and is considered one of the wealthiest streets in the world. It is where the lavish Toprak Mansion is located – when it was put on the market in 2008 it sold for close to £50 million ($85m CAD). Currently, the area remains London’s most expensive postcode where transactions over £3m ($5.1m CAD) are concerned. The area is home to a median sold price of £14.1m ($24m CAD), with prices up 263 per cent from the same period last year.

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Mayfair’s W1K postcode, an area in which businessman John Caudwell created Britain’s most expensive home that is more than twice the size of the Royal Albert Hall and worth £250 million ($426m CAD), ranks as the capital’s second most expensive area for high-end buyers with a median sold price of £9.2m ($15.6m CAD).

N6 in Highgate, a neighbourhood that boasts a London super mansion that is on the market for £40m ($68m CAD), is the third priciest postcode in the capital so far this year with a median price sold of £9m ($15.3m CAD) and prices also seeing the second-highest increase of +124 per cent when compared to the first quarter of 2019.

The NW8 postcode, where Britain’s first millionaire bankers, Lloyds group founder Henry Barnett, built a magnificent 11-bedroom mansion that was on the market in 2019 for £22.5m ($38.3m CAD), was home to London’s most expensive public sale in the first quarter of this year, with a flat on Hamilton Terrace going for £110m ($187m CAD). The area has also seen the third-largest increase in sold prices compared to the first quarter of last year at 92 per cent.

Other super-prime property sales: Postcode W1G in Marylebone (£7.5m, $12.7m CAD); NW8 in St John’s Wood (£7m, $11.9m CAD); SW1W (£6.3m, $10.7m CAD) and SW1X (£5.5m, $9.3m CAD) in Belgravia; SW3 in Chelsea (£5.25m, $8.9m CAD); SW7 in South Kensington (£5m, $8.5m CAD); and SW1H in Westminster (£5m, $8.5m CAD) also place within London’s most expensive postcodes for super-prime property sales.