Redefining the luxury real estate market – The OWO Residences by Raffles is now open for sales; a prime property in the heart of London
London as a destination has always been synonymous with luxury and lifestyle, and has attracted investments from overseas investors over decades. In recent times , the market has been put to the test by several large-scale events such as the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit and the Boris bounce, yet despite this, the prime London real estate market has shown great buoyancy and is charting a positive recovery trajectory. Prices in prime central London grew by 0.3% in the year to May as published in Knight Frank’s ‘Prime Central London Sales Report May 2021’, marking the first rise in the past five years, further demonstrating that the UK property market has stabilised and started to grow again, even whilst travel is largely restricted for overseas buyers.
In the recently published ‘The London Report 2021’ by Knight Frank, London has been coined as the world’s most innovative city and has also topped the chart for cross-border investment in 2020. Owing to a robust real estate market, strong infrastructure, multiple cultural attractions, attractive lifestyle (shopping, dining) and ample educational institutions, Central London has been a key target location for Middle Eastern buyers. The property firm’s data highlights that 16% of overseas sales in the first three months of 2021 were to buyers from the Middle East, which is the highest proportion of Middle Eastern interest in the UK since the outbreak of Covid-19. Currently buyers from the GCC are ranked third most prominent in the UK, only surpassed by buyers from Asia (18%) and Europe (59%).
In the wake of the pandemic, overseas buyers are increasingly seeking turnkey projects to invest in, which supports their physical and mental wellbeing as well as meeting the practical needs of everyday life. The latest addition to the turnkey luxury property market in London is The OWO Residences by Raffles, Europe’s first Raffles branded residences. Sales launched just last month to high acclaim with interest from regional as well as overseas investors. Offering 85 distinct homes symbolising opulence and power within an impressive Grade II* listed building, The OWO Residences redefine luxury at every step. Having undergone a monumental and painstaking transformation over the last five years, the London landmark is set to complete in 2022 and will also comprise the capital’s first Raffles hotel with 125-rooms and suites, a collection of nine restaurants and bars, and an immersive spa.
Charlie Walsh, Head of Residential Sales at The OWO, said, “The OWO Residences by Raffles in the heart of London represent an incomparable opportunity for buyers seeking something more than a traditional branded residence. This is a turnkey lifestyle within a new world-class culinary destination not yet experienced in the UK, set within a building of remarkable eminence. “
Situated at one of London’s most historically important and powerful addresses on Whitehall, The OWO’s grandeur is accentuated with ceiling heights in residences that reach up to 4.4m and full-length windows to match. T he interior proportions reflect classic Edwardian architecture that has been adapted for modern living. The residences feature interiors created by design studio 1508 London with bespoke handcrafted kitchens from British brand Smallbone of Devizes, American brand Waterworks brass ironmongery and Italian Onyx marble. Many incorporate original heritage features such as oak panelling and mosaic flooring. The unwavering attention to detail in each residence demonstrates the years of craftmanship that have been applied to every aspect of the majestic building.
The OWO Residences by Raffles
Each residence is unique and specifically tailored to suit its location in the building; duplex, lateral and penthouse residences range in size from studios to five-beds. In addition, two spectacular turret residences, elevated above the London skyline, offer a home like no other. In this unparalleled residential offering, homeowners will benefit from having all the facilities of a world-renowned hotel on their doorstep without having to compromise on the highest levels of privacy and seclusion within their home. This complex balance has been achieved thanks to the building’s majestic original architecture which lends itself perfectly to a mixed-use development of this stature.
At the helm of The OWO project is the Hinduja Group, an international multi-billion turnover group founded in 1914 and passionately committed to the building since its acquisition in 2014. Gopichand P Hinduja, Co-Chairman, Hinduja Group, commented, "With the UK property market showing signs of a dramatic recovery after the past challenging 12 months, launching the sales of these extraordinary residences is a significant milestone for us as a family and for the project team at The OWO. It is one step closer to opening the storied building to the public for the first time where branded residences will sit alongside a flagship Raffles hotel. London is one of the best cities in the world, steeped in history and tradition, and has been our home for over forty years. With our knowledge and experience in restoration of historic buildings, everything we do, and every decision made on The OWO is underscored by our passion and respect for the heritage of the building and long-term commitment to London.”
The Hinduja Group partnered with world-renowned Raffles Hotels & Resorts, who will be operating the 125-room and suite flagship hotel at The OWO, as well as the 85 Raffles branded residences. The service synonymous with the prestigious Raffles brand - gracious and intuitive staff, personalized attention and a timeless ambiance - will be delivered seamlessly to the residents of The OWO and will set a new benchmark in London.
Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO at Accor, added, “We are proud to be working alongside the Hinduja Group to deliver this most exceptional new Raffles destination in London. It is a remarkable building that lends itself perfectly to a masterpiece such as The OWO. The inherent majesty and grandeur of this site is entirely in keeping with the Raffles brand and, to have unearthed an opportunity within such historic walls to deliver a flagship hotel and the first Raffles branded residences in Europe, marks a significant moment for the Accor group. Raffles is a pioneering brand with British roots, named after the British statesman and founder of Singapore, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, so it is very fitting that Raffles is coming home to the UK. We are tremendously excited to introduce Raffles and its world-renowned service to London next year and look forward to meeting our residents and guests.”
The OWO directly faces Horse Guards and is adjacent to the stunning 57-acres of St. James’s Park. Residents, hotel guests and visitors will be a short stroll from Buckingham Palace, The National Gallery, The Tate and The Royal Academy, as well as the sought-after shopping streets of Regents Street, Bond Street and Jermyn Street. Sales are via Knight Frank and Strutt & Parker. Prices for a two-bedroom residence start from £5.8million.