The residential market is going to be tough for the next two years and even extremely wealthy buyers are considering home purchase more carefully, said Nick Candy.

He said Candy and Candy, which is managing the development of One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge, had sold half of the units. 'It is a very different sector with buyers who do not need mortgages,' he said.

'It is the top end but even at this end people are still cautious.'

Speaking at Property Week's RESI 08 conference in Newport he said sales were slowing, adding: 'London is still the capital city of the world and we will still be able to sit up at the top end I hope. We are building through cycles. Chelsea Barracks is a 10 to 15 year project. We are lucky we are backed by a sovereign wealth fund.'

He said the suggestion that Candy and Candy only built 'billionaire ghettos' was incorrect: 'For every apartment we build we have to give back affordable housing, transport improvements but all everyone likes to focus on us that we build flats for the super rich.'