HomeAllPros and Cons of London Penthouses | Exclusive Living in the Capital
Pros and Cons of London Penthouses | Exclusive Living in the Capital
Published Aug 18th 2023
4 mins read
Known for their superior views, quality amenities, and exclusivity, London Penthouses are highly desirable. However, like any type of property, they have pros and cons which should be carefully considered when purchasing.
Traditionally a penthouse apartment is on the top floor of tall apartment buildings, offering fine, often unobstructed, views. They tend to be more spacious, light, and luxurious than the other apartments in the building, with larger balconies and terraces. Additionally, London penthouses often come with high-end amenities such as concierge services, swimming pools, and private elevators.
Penthouses are among the most expensive properties on the London market, with prices varying greatly depending on the location, size, and any additional benefits included.
Are London Penthouses Safer than Houses?
When it comes to safety, penthouses offer a few advantages over houses. They are at high levels in buildings likely to have 24-hour security personnel and CCTV cameras. This provides extra layers of protection against unauthorised people entering the building.
However, it is worth noting that penthouses can also come with their own set of safety concerns associated with living at height and being more exposed to extreme weather conditions.
Advantages of Living in a London Penthouse
One of the most significant advantages of living in a penthouse is the far-reaching views that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home.
Private Outdoor Space
Penthouses are likely to have larger private outdoor spaces, such as balconies or terraces, offering a peaceful contrast to the bustle of the city below. They are also a perfect setting for entertaining guests.
Spacious and Light
Penthouses are typically larger, lighter, and more spacious than other apartments. They are designed to be beautiful and luxurious, with high-end finishes and attention to detail.
Top Floor Privacy
Living in a penthouse may offer a level of privacy not available in other apartments. Being on the top floor means there is no one living above you and you are not overlooked. Penthouses often come with a dedicated elevator allowing the owner to come and go privately.
Penthouses often come with a range of amenities that are not available in other apartments. These may include a private roof terrace, gym, swimming pool, or concierge service. These amenities provide penthouse owners with a luxurious lifestyle that is hard to match.
Disadvantages of Living in a London Penthouse
Living in a penthouse in London has its fair share of disadvantages. Here are some of the common ones that potential buyers should consider before making a purchase.
Premium Price Tag
Penthouses are often sold at a premium and even renting one can be more expensive than other apartments in the building. It is not only the purchase price that must be considered but the ongoing maintenance and service charge costs.
The whole apartment building and the land it’s built on is owned by the freeholder, who leases out each apartment, including the penthouse, on a long lease called the ‘leasehold’.
As well as the individual lease for the penthouse, there will be a ‘head lease’ that lays out the rules for the building; this could include ‘no pets’ or ‘no wooden floors’, so it’s crucial that a solicitor examines the documents and apprises you of any limitations.
As the lease for an apartment decreases in length, there comes a point where a mortgage cannot be raised, and the value of the apartment will also decrease. The cost of lease extensions can range from tens to hundreds of thousands of pounds, so receiving legal advice is imperative before committing to a purchase.
Are London Penthouses worth it?
So, are the luxury, exclusivity, and far-reaching views associated with London penthouses worth the premium price tag?
Owning a London penthouse can be a symbol of success, wealth, and status. This, and their relative scarcity, means penthouses are less affected by market volatility and tend to hold their value well, but they may not offer the same level of convenience, flexibility, and outdoor space as other property types.
Care must be taken with the description ‘penthouse’. Developers are keen to achieve the premium prices that penthouses attract and in some cases are installing more than one penthouse apartment on the top floor or creating ‘penthouses’ on the top few floors. This, of course, defeats the object of the exclusivity and status of a true penthouse.
Ultimately, whether a London penthouse is worth its price tag depends on the individual’s priorities and preferences. For those who want to live in the city and value the benefits afforded by a penthouse, they may be the perfect property.
To discuss your search for a penthouse in London with a professional property finder please do get in touch for a no-obligation discussion regarding your plans to move.