London apartments: why the porter has returned

The history of porters and concierges in the UK is a long one with literary references to boot including the novel Porterhouse Blue by Tom Sharpe and, even earlier, a character in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth.

But despite such rich cultural references and the popularity of porters and concierges during the 19th century ­– when London’s developers built hundreds of mansion blocks across the Capital equipped with receptions – in recent decades they have waned in popularity.

That is now changing. A new influx of property buyers in London has begun to bring the porter and the concept of a concierge service decidedly out of retirement.

Overseas and UK expat buyers looking for a second home in the capital are now only interested in apartments if they are in new-build blocks that feature a concierge or porter service. Consequently developers are responding to this demand in kind.

More and more apartment developments now feature a reception, usually staffed 24-7, as standard to attract buyers from overseas who like the peace of mind it brings compared to a property within a Regency or Georgian terrace.

This trend is easy to see. There are over 150 new-build developments in London at the moment that offer a concierge or porter service and it is this type of property, particularly if it also offers car parking facilities, which is now seen as a ‘minimum’ for many overseas buyers.

But UK buyers are also embracing the porter, but for a different reason. Many people in today’s Amazon and Ebay dominated online shopping world need someone to sign for their purchases during office hours or when they are away on business.

If you would like to know more about the London apartment market, contact Garrington for more information.

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