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Lockdown property sales in London: penthouse with views of Big Ben sold for record-breaking £2.5m

A luxury penthouse with spectacular views of Big Ben and Parliament has sold for £2.5 million with virtually all stages of the deal carried out during through the pandemic lockdown.

The one bedroom apartment at the 35 Old Queen Street development in St James’s went on the market last Autumn.

The eventual buyer had only done one brief physical visit before the lockdown made it impossible to return for a more detailed viewing.

However, after “looking” round the 1,375 sq ft apartment again through a virtual viewing the buyer made an offer and moved rapidly through all stage of the deal to exchange.

It is believed to be a record price for a one bedroom flat for the postcode, confirming the market view that while transactions have dropped precipitately over the lockdown, values have so far remained firm.

The buyer is believed to be the ‘private office’ of a wealthy family.

Emma Fletcher-Brewer, partner in new homes, at agents Knight Frank, said: “Given the current situation with regards to Covid-19, we adapted our traditional sales process and supported the purchaser by offering virtual tours, which enabled us to complete on the sale despite lockdown. A great result for both the developer and purchaser.”

Other central London agents said a trickle of deals were still going through despite all the obstacles.

Cory Askew, central London sales director at agents Chesterton, said: “Since lockdown we have agreed the sale of 30 properties in central London, ranging from a £320,000 studio in Pimlico to a £6.5 million luxury duplex apartment in Knightsbridge.

"Most of these had been viewed by the buyer before the restrictions were imposed but seven were ‘blind purchases’, where the buyers offered either on the basis of a video viewing or with in-depth knowledge of the property, for instance, someone that already owns an apartment in the same building.

"Approximately half of these agreed sales have now gone through to the point where contracts have been exchanged, the majority with a special ‘Covid-clause’ to protect both parties from the potential difficulties that could arise when trying to complete during lockdown conditions”


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