Just as the Great War and the Depression decimated the wealth both
of the new and old money of Mayfair, the Second World War helped to
end its role as a leading residential address.
After 1945, with the offices of the City of London
largely destroyed by bombing, some 1.2 million square feet of
Mayfair residential property was converted to residential use.
In addition, punishing levels of post-war taxation
meant that many families were forced to relocate to Belgravia,
Chelsea and even Pimlico. All the inward investment, wealth and
advances in Mayfair since 1851 seemed to have been totally wiped out
by 1945, with the riches of empire drained away fighting two world
By 1960 a third of Mayfair's total floor space was
being used for business, and by 1970 just a third of Mayfair's
property stock was residential.
By the late 1980s the decline in the residential
population of Mayfair since 1945 was estimated to be as high as
ninety per cent. During the oil boom of the 1970s, whilst newly
wealthy Gulf Arabs and Asian royals did buy some property in
Mayfair, many people acquired properties in more
residential-dominated locations including Knightsbridge, Belgravia,
Holland Park and Regent's Park.
Mayfair was clearly no longer London's top