‘2022 has to be the year to educate and understand each other and promote diversity and equal opportunity’

Priya Rawal, founder of the Luxury Property Forum, shares her insights on the prime residential industry and predictions for the year ahead.

There is a slight feeling of déjà vu as Omicron sweeps through the country, writes Priya Rawal, founder of the Luxury Property Forum. However if we have learnt anything from previous experience it is that the prime London property market will inevitably bounce back.

Priya Rawal

The pull of London for both domestic and international buyers, whether it be great schools, restaurants, attractions and travel connections, is not going anywhere. The recovery of the PCL market in recent months has been remarkable and even though we may see travel restrictions enforced again, the pent up activity from buyers around the world (who have been so patiently sat on their hands) will roll us straight into 2022.

The pandemic has changed how UHNWIs feel about luxury property

It’s no secret that the luxury property industry is busier than ever with record sales being achieved and all of our LPF members reporting a huge resurgence – whether they are delivering multi-million pound developments or providing the services that make these happen. Somehow all that isolated time has given buyers time to think about what they really need and want from their lifestyle and home.

The pandemic has changed how UHNWIs feel about luxury property. It’s no longer about sheer opulence and indulgence, it’s about having something truly unique and special, but also functional and sustainable. It should allow you to live you best life.

Post pandemic developments which bring residents together, whether it be in restaurants, spas or communal gardens, will thrive.

The desire for the ultimate luxury experience, is demonstrated in the ongoing rise of branded residences. Branded residences such as The OWO (Raffles’ first UK location) by Westminster Development Services set for completion in 2022, will allow its residents to be a part of history, having been the home of Sir Winston Churchill and the inspiration behind Ian Fleming’s James Bond series. Looking further down the line The Whiteley (Six Senses first London hotel) by Finchatton not only focuses on history, but with the incorporation of shopping, restaurants and a cinema there is a focus on a thriving neighbourhood. The need for community however, is not new. Post pandemic developments which bring residents together, whether it be in restaurants, spas or communal gardens, developments such as Qatari Diar’s Chelsea Barracks and Battersea Power Station will thrive.

The Whiteley
The OWO
Chelsea Barracks

As we all focus on improving our mental health we see a continued desire of flexible working, the need for green space and living at a slower pace. We have already seen a rise in UHNWI moving out of London and to the country. Areas such as the Cotswolds and Dorset have been overrun with buyers  looking for their next trophy home outside of the hustle and bustle of the city. Whilst we won’t see a complete exodus, this trend is definitely here to stay. We have all had the revaluate the way in which we live and the opportunities for the superrich to live their best life are endless.

As we move into 2022, there now is a massive sense of responsibility to live and build better

As we move into 2022, there now is a massive sense of responsibility to live and build better. Sustainability, diversity, and wellness are becoming essential values across the industry. With COP26 still fresh in our minds the fight against climate change is a shared responsibility.

Developments such Chelsea Barracks – named the most sustainable development in Europe achieving LEED platinum – are paving the way for the future. But there is scope for every company, every development regardless of size and everyone across the luxury property industry to do their bit. As criticism over lack of diversity, sexism and racism ran rife in 2021, 2022 has to be the year to educate and understand each other and promote diversity and equal opportunity. If we are going to change an archaic system, important conversations need to be had at the highest level and we really believe the time is now. The pandemic really solidified the sense of community amongst the industry and we have no doubt that The LPF and its members will continue to support each other in times of adversity going forward.