Sharp Price Drop for Chiswick's Most Expensive Houses

Two properties marked down by £2 million pounds as interest rates soar

A view over the garden at Walpole House. Picture: Savills

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Question marks are being raised about the sustainability of current high house prices at the top end of the market in Chiswick after estate agents were forced to slash asking prices.

Described as ‘the best house in Chiswick’ by agent Savills, Walpole House on Chiswick Mall was originally brought to the market a year ago at £18,500,000. The Grade II listed property, which was upgraded by former owner Jasper Conran, already holds the record for the most expensive home in the W4 postcode area having been sold by the designer for £12,500,000 in 2008. However, despite the expensively appointed interiors, huge garden and spectacular river views, as yet no buyer has come forward and it is now listed at a mere £16,500,000.

There has been an even bigger price drop for an eight-bedroom house in Stamford Brook. The Gothic style former Victorian vicarage on the corner of Stamford Brook Road and Flanchford Road was originally on the market for £9,000,000. However, it is now being listed by three estate agents - Hamptons, Knight Frank and Dexters - at a reduced price of £6,950,000.

The four storey, 7,000 square foot house dates back to 1886, when it was built as a vicarage attached to the neighbouring St. Mary’s Church, which was converted into luxury apartments in 1984.

There are four reception rooms, including a library, dining room and a grand triple-windowed room leading to a huge conservatory. There is also a bespoke Smallbone kitchen and a grand entrance hallway with granite floors and a grand staircase.

As well as eight bedrooms, the house has five Bathrooms and two guest powder rooms. The master bedroom suite, consisting of a spacious double bedroom, a dressing room and large en suite bathroom takes up half of the first floor, along with two further bedrooms and a bathroom.

House is on the corner of Stamford Brook Road and Flanchford Road. Picture: Hamptons

Though this is by far the most drastic drop, it is not the only property in the area to have been forced to cut its cost. Rightmove lists around a dozen houses in desirable locations nearby, with reduced price tags.

This comes as new research from Zoopla found that soaring mortgage rates are having a knock-on effect on asking prices, with over four in ten vendors - 42% - accepting offers 5% or more below their asking price and 15% agreeing to cuts of at least 10%.

The research also found that there has been a surge in the supply of houses on the market, with 18% more homes listed for sale in the last four weeks compared with the five year average, and says that if this increases further, either through voluntary or forced sales, this greater supply will boost the choice available for buyers and give them room to negotiate - which will further drive down house prices.

The research predicts that in the longer term, house price growth is set to be much weaker as property prices and household incomes realign over the next three to five years.

“The resilience of the housing market in London is set to be tested further with mortgage rates reaching toward 6%,” says Richard Donnell, Executive Director at Zoopla.

“Although there are fewer buyers in the market, those that remain are serious about moving. Those looking to move home in 2023 need to be realistic on pricing and be open to negotiating if they want to secure a sale.”

Christian Harper, founder director of Harpers of Chiswick, is dismissive of the notion that these price cuts are indicative of turn in the market. He says it is a pattern familiar to him from his time selling ultra-high value houses in Belgravia, Hampstead and Notting Hill and that there is ‘nothing to see here’.

He adds, “Whilst the £1m - £2m market remains highly active with good levels of transactions taking place, the +£3m market tends to consider different factors… foreign exchange rates, confidence, time of year, projected changes to HMRC liability, world politics and country specific stability, potential changes of UK government and the associated forecasted impact combined with a host of other considerations that also include estate agents over-valuation due to lack of comparable evidence. It’s one thing to look at Land Registry and see what the typical house next door sold for but it’s quite another when you are valuing a house that is unique and five times bigger than most neighbours. As a qualified surveyor and an estate agent I can say that a certain amount of assumption needs to be considered when suggesting an asking price on an ultra-high value home. In most cases such houses are sold without marketing and the buyers don't even know they are looking for a house until their estate agent calls them with the opportunity. 25% of transactions I do in Chiswick never come to market and are sold using my ‘little black book’ of lifelong contacts who will essentially pay what they have to pay rather than haggle in an open market. “

He explains the falls as being down to the need to expose properties to a new audience at a time when many purchasers are thinking of going on holiday rather than moving and says that it is specific to individual properties rather than being indicative of a sudden drop in prices overall.

Overall, he concludes, “I haven’t witnessed an actual fall in demand or prices in Q2. Changes in mortgage rates are fuelling a drop in confidence however the smart money is agreeing sales and fixing rates before they climb to the expected 6.5%.”


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July 2, 2023

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