The Howard De Walden Estate, the great Marylebone investors - how are they represented in the Marylebone property market, what sort of impact are they having at present and what can we expect from them in the future?

Date Published 28 March 2016

I recently received a call from a property investor, who is greatly involved with the Marylebone market; we began to talk about the big groups currently dominating this area's property market and this investor enquired of me: is this really a positive aspect or perhaps is it a more negative aspect for smaller investor groups and independent buyers? I straight away responded to this query by introducing the Marylebone property giants – The Howard De Walden Estate and how this investment group has benefitted not only Marylebone itself, but is actually raising the investment potential of properties owned by other investors. In an introductory nutshell, the group offers a vital historical insight to Marylebone, who have brought about a true equilibrium between the conservation and modernization of period properties. They own a huge portfolio of Marylebone properties, and perhaps most importantly they represent a true family figure to a community that it has dedicated itself to. I explained to this particular investor that with the Howard De Walden group investing so much time and money improving the Marylebone area, it's important properties as well as particular streets within Marylebone, – it means that he, and other independent investment groups in alike positions reap all the benefits without having to shell out great sums of money. To explain, with the Howard De Walden group investing heavily in areas such as Harley Street, this raises the desirability of the neighbourhood as a whole, where properties owned here by other investors will also receive the benefits of an increase in prestige, more nearby amenities as well as services and most importantly an increase in the worth of their properties! In addition, with added demand for such an area, following heavy investment improvement from a group such as Howard De Walden, other independent landlords and buyers can not only expect an increased flow of prospective tenants to furnish their flats and houses, but can also expect them to pay more premium prices to reside within them.

As our conversation carried on, this investor really started to see these great array of positives and agreed that my points were certainly true – he proceeded to ask me for a more detailed account of this supreme estate, and if I could, to provide him with some financial details regarding their work in the 2015 calendar year. I of course would never deny him, any reason to talk about Marylebone and property investment is enough to trigger my thoughts and attract my attention. The Howard De Walden Estate has been under the family's stewardship since 1879 – it's fair to say that they really know their beloved Marylebone; and it is with this family connection that the Estate has a personal motive in upholding their own traditions and maintaining the unique character of Marylebone that makes it so special. They are the freehold owners of most of the buildings in 92 acres of Marylebone, where they manage and lease properties across an area that extends from Marylebone High Street, to Portman Place, extending into Wigmore Street and travelling along Marylebone Road. With its headquarters based on Queen Anne Street (W1G), the company not only blesses Marylebone in spirit, but also firmly fixes itself within the community and fully commits itself to a long term investment plan for the area it calls home – which is all to the benefit of other prospective investors in the area!
The financial figures that have been disclosed by this special group are also extremely strong, with substantial income and profits arising from their work, which is not only beneficial for their members personally, but is also of great importance for Marylebone and others involved with the buying and selling of properties here - as it increases the prosperity of the whole area. With the district substantially increasing in worth, largely resulting out of the widespread input from the Howard De Walden company, the entire profile of Marylebone has increased – bridging the gap with London's most prestigious neighbourhoods such as Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Chelsea. In current times, prospective tenants and investors who would have chosen to rent from and buy properties in these other highly-esteemed areas, are now choosing to spend their money and set up base in Marylebone! Some of these considerable financial figures include:

Rental Income (before tax) – From March 31st 2014 - March 31st 2015 rental income increased from £89.8 million to £97.9 million (9.1%), from March 31st 2011 – March 31st 2015 rental income increased from 72.9 million to £97.9 million (34.4%) - annual rate of growth = 7.7%

Investment Properties – From March 31st 2014 – March 31st 2015 the value of the group's investment properties increased from £3,220 million to £3,676 million (14.1%), from March 31st 2011 – March 31st 2015 investment properties increased by £1,513 million (70%) – annual rate of growth = 14.2%

Revenue Profits – From March 31st 2014 – March 31st 2015 revenue profits increased from £45 million to £50.8 million (12.8%), from March 31st 2011 – March 31st 2015 revenue profits increased from £36.8 million to £50.8 million (38.2%) – annual rate of growth = 8.4%

Shareholders' Funds – From March 31st 2014 – March 31st 2015 shareholders' funds increased from £2,900 million to £3,300 million (14.8%), from March 31st 2011 – March 31st 2015 shareholders' funds increased by £1,436 million (75.8%) – annual rate of growth = 15.2%

Total Rent Roll – From March 31st 2014 – March 31st 2015 total rent roll arrived at £98 million – The 4 major tenant types that these figures arise from are: Residential (29%), Medical (28%), Office (20%), Retail (15%) – Education contributed to (5%) and 3% was made up from various other tenant types.

So what can be expected from the Howard De Walden Estate in the future? Well we can rest assured that they are extremely committed to the future of Marylebone, with ongoing projects to refurbish as well as modernize existing properties but at the same time adhering to the residence's history and maintaining a fine balance between construction and conservation. We can also expect them to continue their thoughtful work in the community with hosting and organising the Marylebone Summer Fayre, which held around 25,000 visitors, and more recently their generous contribution towards the provision of Christmas lights around the area, during the festive period. This great communal work further extends to:

· Public realm improvements

· Providing extensive financial support for the upholding of Marylebone's heritage

· Community retail provision

· Donations to worthy organisations, local charities as well as community projects

· Supporting the local educational establishments with scholarships and bursaries to Marylebone schools

In addition, the Howard De Walden Estate expects that their annual rental roll will grow and exceed £120 million within the next couple of years. They have also divulged that they are willing to spend an excess of £200 million on the Estate over the next five year period; over £2 million of this figure is being directed to public realm developments to improve the streetscape and better the overall shopping experience in Marylebone Lane. With such vast sums of investment expected from Howard De Walden in the future, properties owned by other investors - who have residences within close proximity to the streets expected to benefit from this injection of cash, can expect to watch their properties soar in value and the capital growth of their properties to certainly rise with greater force. I would recommend to potential investors currently searching for properties in Marylebone to certainly keep in mind properties and streets, which gain from the Howard De Walden group's input the most - as this could bring about a much more worthwhile and profitable investment choice in the current market as well as for the future!

If you would like any more information on the illustrious Howard De Walden Estate or should you wish to enquire about any of their numerous properties, be assured that I will gladly advise you to the best of my knowledge!