Hedgies The New Kings Of London Real Estate

Feb 3 2012 | 12:22am ET

In terms of residential real-estate, the City of London is set to cede pride of place to Mayfair.

West End financial professionals, many of them hedge fund managers, are set to outspend bankers from the City on houses this year for the first time. The hedgies and their neighbors are expected to drop £1.5 billion on houses in London costing more than £500,000. By contrast, City folks will spend just over £1 billion.

Hedge funders can credit their ascendancy to the drying up of bonuses in the City.

Until the financial crisis, "there had been a strong link between house price movements in the capital and bonus payments," real-estate consultancy Savills said. "But that link is now broken, and the market's dependency on City bonuses is much reduced."

In its place, "we are seeing early signs that international wealth can be replaced by new equity, particularly from the private offices and hedge funds—the West End cash generators," Savills' Yolande Barnes, head of residential research, said.

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