Who’d have thought it was cheaper darn sarf! Duke of Westminster sells swish central London pads to invest in cheaper properties south of the river amid crash fears

If you’re living in luxury, you may want to follow the lead of Grosvenor Group and cash in on your investment in favour of more affordable properties south of the river

Grosvenor Group, the company owned by the Duke of Westminster, has sold £240 million of luxury homes in central London, as it fears that property prices in the much-lusted-after areas of Mayfair and Belgravia may have reached their peak.

Controlled by Gerald Grosvenor, one of Britain’s richest men, the company has decided to reduce its portfolio of high-end residential properties and is now looking to move south of the river and invest in affordable rental properties in Bermondsey.

Chief executive Mark Preston last year said rises in luxury house prices in London were unstable, and expressed deeper concerns this year.

According to property consultancy, Knight Frank, demand from foreign investors has pushed luxury property prices up by 68% since 2009, compared with a 49% rise across London as a whole.

Some of the properties sold include a row of mid 19th-century terraces in Belgravia, which went for £115 million, and the company has already invested £70m in a site in Bermondsey, which will be used for letting.

“Housing for rent is something that we’re beginning to turn our minds to more than we’ve done in the past,” said Mark Preston. “We’re recognising that London desperately needs more in that mid-market area where people are literally priced out.”

Many of us know that feeling, but prices aren’t entirely affordable south of the river. The Neo Bankside flats next door to our office at Housetohome.co.uk certainly come into the luxurious bracket, at a minimum £2.5 million for a small apartment.

Gerald Grosvenor was named number eight in Britain’s Sunday Times Rich List last year and owns 300 acres in Mayfair and Belgravia.

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