Mews property: the most lucrative investment on the planet?

A fascinating insight into the history of the values of prime central London houses is provided by a house we have sold six times in the last 34 years. Number 31 Hyde Park Gardens Mews is one of 46 mews houses built by John Crake between 1836 and 1840 as stabling for the houses fronting onto Hyde Park. The Church commissioners, who were the freeholders, sold a lease in 1919 to a Mrs Shoppee for 74 and quarter years at an annual rent of £185.

Owners came and went until in the 1960 Christmas edition of Homes and Gardens the mews house was featured as having been renovated by a Miss Joan Gilbert a notable television personality of the day. Lurot Brand first sold the house in 1984 for £200,000. When they sold it again in 1988 for £389,000 the end of the property boom was just around the corner and the economy was set to fall into recession. The crash reflected in the price when Lurot Brand sold it a third time in 1992. At £375,000 the house was worth £14,000 less than it had been sold four years earlier.

With the market recovering in April 1996 Lurot Brand achieved £525,000 on its fourth sale. In 2002 we published this story when we were selling the house for the fifth time in succession and were asking £1,100,000 (550% more than we first sold it for 18 years earlier).

This was apparently too strong as we subsequently sold it in 2003 for £965,000. Lurot Brand let the house on and off for 15 years and then were instructed to sell it when they achieved £2,800,000 in April 2018. This represents a 1,400% increase over 34 years which should make the house worth £39,200,000 in 2052 making mews house ownership one of the most lucrative investments on the planet. And remember, if it is your primary residence, the gain will be tax free.

This article first appeared in Mews News, published by Lurot Brand: click here to read the full magazine.