The types of properties our landlords building insurance customers rent out vary a great deal, but only a handful match the value of London’s Cork Street, Mayfair, where a number of art galleries are being compelled to close in favour of larger developments.
The street presently has 22 functioning art galleries, but this figure is set to reduce by half. About eight weeks ago, seven galleries were given notice after a £90m deal was agreed in which the property owners Standard Life would sell the gallery space for redevelopment into luxury apartments.
A second multi-million pound development has also been announced, which will see four more galleries close in a project which could be finished by 2016.
As one of the capital’s most important art hubs, the two developments are not without their critics. But as more of London’s prime property is bought up in order to create high-end living spaces, an overall trend has emerged. While such accommodation is extremely expensive, there appears to be plenty of cash-rich individuals who wish to live in London’s more exclusive quarters. While the recession has de-stabilised many sectors of the economy, the rental sector remains comparatively buoyant, and within this, unique high-end properties are doing well. London also has the ability to attract many wealthy people from overseas, who are drawn by the city’s credentials as a business centre, or simply by its cosmopolitan lifestyle.