South London’s latest new homes: Clapham South, Camberwell, Burgess Park

St John’s Orchard: new terrace houses and flats in Grove Park, Camberwell

With no Tube, Camberwell remains fairly low profile. However, this pleasant inner suburb, barely three miles from Trafalgar Square, has Camberwell Grove — a conservation area of late 18th-century homes — plus Grove Park and its pretty hilltop square with unexpected sweeping east-west vistas, and clear views of the London skyline from the Eye to Canary Wharf.

A former convent in Grove Park has been rescued from dereliction and turned into a terrace of 4,000 sq ft houses, with new flats alongside.

Meticulously restored as St John’s Orchard, its handsome exterior draws the visitor in. At the heart of each house is an exceptional family living space with a kitchen and dining area below a dramatic double-height void, all framed by a six metre-high window and sliding door, with views on to the garden. A bespoke oak staircase is the spine and leads up to a retracting door giving on to a roof terrace with panoramic views.

Interiors have a Scandinavian quality — light-filled with concealed storage and a mix of modern and traditional textures such as polished plaster and timber-clad walls.

Ty Tikari of the architect-developer Bespoke Homes describes the design theme as “Romantic Modern”, a craft-based approach that brings a balance of old and new, retreat and immersion — in short they are delightful family homes with four bedrooms, a music room and library, and sunken basement terrace. The old convent’s orchard has been reinstated to provide 50 metre-long, south-facing gardens. Prices from £1.92 million. Through estate agent Harvey and Wheeler.

Clapham South

Clapham South: 41 new apartments
A “drum tower” was the starting point for a scheme of 41 new apartments alongside Clapham South Tube station. The listed tower once provided access to deep-level Underground tunnels that were used as air raid shelters during the Blitz.

The cylindrical-shaped drum has been done up and its trademark Thirties architecture used as a design reference for the new apartment building — crisp and contemporary, with sleek white finishes outside and in.

The Ipsus07 flats are above average in size, with generous outside space. Prices from £510,000

Albany Place

From £92,000: for a 40 per cent share of flats at Albany Place in Burgess Park

Albany Place, Burgess Park: 261 new homes for first-time buyers
Burgess Park, with its listed buildings and 113 acres of space running between Peckham and Walworth, is one of London’s green zones, blessed with mayoral investment and £6 million from Southwark council. The park, with its Victorian church, library, baths and artisan cottages, has been upgraded with a new lake and 90,000 new plants and trees.

The area is a good hunting ground for first-time buyer homes close to central London. Albany Place has 261 homes, some facing directly on to Burgess Park. Prices start at £92,000 for a 40 per cent share (full price, £230,000). Buyers get free Zipcar membership.

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“Green vision” for London: new homes among parks and gardens

Railways, roads, canals and rivers are being earmarked to play their part in inviting nature back into the capital, with new homes builders being encouraged to weave green space into designs for new-build flats and houses, says David Spittles

* “Green infrastructure” will unlock inaccessible transport corridors and create linear parks and platforms for pedestrians and cyclists

* New watery spaces proposed are floating gardens on the Thames, a linear lido along Regent’s Canal between Little Venice and Limehouse, and a vineyard spanning the river between London Bridge and Monument

* A new linear park at Nine Elms, where 16,000 homes are planned at Embassy Gardens

* A five-acre “lost river park” is being re-established at redeveloped Earls Court exhibition centre, creating 7,500 homes in four new villages

Embassy Gardens

Part of the new initiative is to unlock inaccessible transport corridors, creating linear parks for pedestrians and cyclists

A new “green vision” for London has been launched by some of the capital’s brightest and best designers, architects and eco-campaigners. The New London Landscape is a powerful initiative to put creative landscaping and nature at the heart of residential communities.
Buyers want green space on their doorstep. With its Royal Parks, garden squares and myriad open spaces, London is already one of the greenest cities in the world. Now developers are being encouraged to weave green space into the fabric of the city — “so Londoners do not have to go in search of it”.

Orchard Village

The Mardyke Estate in Havering is being reborn as Orchard Village, with tower blocks demolished and 555 new homes set around a new public park

This includes “green infrastructure” unlocking inaccessible transport corridors and creating linear parks and platforms for pedestrians and cyclists above and alongside railway tracks and sidings.

Among the exciting range of new watery spaces proposed are floating gardens on the Thames, a linear lido along Regent’s Canal between Little Venice and Limehouse, and Grape London, a vineyard spanning the river between London Bridge and Monument.

Olympic woods and wildlife meadows: East Village

The Olympic Park, the largest urban park in Britain for a century, has shown what is possible. Five new neighbourhoods with 8,000 homes are being created. East Village has been unveiled as the capital’s “newest neighbourhood”, with 2,818 homes and its own postcode, E20. Homes will be released for sale later this year.

The wonderful wildflower meadows, one of the highlights of the Games, are just the beginning, according to Phil Askew, project director for landscape and public realm, who says: “We want to create a 21st-century pleasure garden, open 24 hours a day.”

“When complete there will be 100 hectares of green space, with more than 4,000 trees, 127,000 shrubs and a million herbaceous plants. Part of the legacy is making the space feel accessible. We hope it will inspire people. We are taking the best bits of London parks and bringing in new ideas about meadows and biodiversity.”

  • Embassy Gardens
    From £349,000: the vertical homes in Embassy Gardens, Battersea, will have space for balcony gardens

New York’s much-praised High Line project, a mile-long aerial greenway on an elevated section of disused railway, is the inspiration for a linear park at Nine Elms, London’s biggest regeneration zone, where 16,000 homes are planned. Five major projects are under construction.

The park will be the pedestrian spine of this district between Vauxhall Bridge and Battersea Power Station, passing through Embassy Gardens, a complex of 1,982 homes that will form a horseshoe around the new US Embassy.

Buildings of varying height and character are influenced by the architecture of Manhattan’s Meatpacking District and London’s Edwardian mansion blocks — constructed of brick rather than glass and steel to suggest permanence and solidity, with communal courtyards and planted roofs. It will have a resort-style spa, a private club and business centre plus bars and a restaurant. Prices from £349,000.

“We want to start a conversation about London, to change the way that Londoners think about their city,” says Sue Illman, president of the Landscape Institute, which is promoting a design competition and also encouraging public feedback through its new website. “All kinds of amazing ideas are possible. We need city-wide strategies. A dynamic and integrated approach to our limited land resource is crucial because of global warming and population growth.”

Earls Court redevelopment: 7,500 homes and four new villages

A five-acre “lost river park” is being re-established at redeveloped Earls Court exhibition centre. This project aims to bring, 7,500 homes, two million sq ft of commercial and retail space and add 23 acres to the public realm by reclaiming under-utilised land at the complex. The masterplan by architect Farrell & Partners envisages four new villages and a new high street.

The four areas comprise the upmarket Earls Court Village (“smart, elegant and genteel”), the family-focused West Brompton Village (“leafy and tranquil”), the more urban North End Village (“vibrant and multicultural”) and West Kensington Village (“a dynamic commercial hub”).

The first phase backs on to the Brompton Cemetery and Eardley Crescent conservation areas and comprises eight modern mansion blocks and terraces of townhouses linked by new streets and garden squares.

Apartments will be bigger than average, complying with the Mayor’s new space standards. Typical two-bedroom flats will be 900 sq ft while townhouses will range up to 2,750sq ft. There are 14 different “house types” and only a small proportion of homes will be studios (of which the Earls Court area has many).

Goodman's Fields in Aldgate

From £490,000: apartments at Goodman’s Fields in Aldgate, which is being turned into an urban green enclave with new public squares

Goodman’s Fields in Aldgate: a green urban retreat

Goodman’s Fields, by Aldgate, is a 10-minute walk from the Bank of England and even closer to Tower of London. In the Middle Ages, the land was a farm, supplying the area’s food needs. Before the banking collapse in 2008, it was a gated business estate occupied by Royal Bank of Scotland.

Berkeley, the new owner, is opening up the seven-acre site and building 920 homes plus a hotel, boutique shops and eateries. Within the estate, landscape architects Murdoch Wickham are creating an “urban retreat”, with public park, squares and lusciously landscaped courtyards.

The scheme brings a fresh dimension and scale to City-fringe living, where most residential developments are squeezed on to smaller plots. Apartments have projecting glass-walled winter gardens. Interiors by Johnson Naylor are characteristically swish and tasteful, space-efficient, with concealed storage. Silk House, the first phase, is due for completion in September 2015. Prices start at £490,000.

Take a barge walk in Docklands

Well-received ideas include a barge walk in Docklands, a park alongside the New River running between Alexandra Palace and Sadler’s Wells, and a reinstated Fleet River channel as a new low-line park. The subterranean river, below Fleet Street in the City, has been covered since 1769. It would be opened up below street level, with pedestrian footpaths either side.

Another proposal is Suburban Kiss, which involves landscaping a section of the A20 arterial road through Greenwich and Bexley to provide a “green ribbon” between the city and the Green Belt.

One Tower Bridge

From £850,000: apartments at One Tower Bridge will have green zones and showpiece water features

Subterranean waterways: One Tower Bridge

One Tower Bridge, a 353-home development alongside City Hall, will have three green zones, a mix of hard and soft landscaping, each with a showpiece water feature, one of which will be a spectacular “water clock” with vertical jets which visitors will be able to control by interactive floor pads.

The cluster of eight buildings includes a 20-storey tower with just one apartment on each floor. Prices start at £850,000

At Chelsea Creek, part of the giant Imperial Wharf development in south-west London, new parkland plus navigable canals with moorings are being created. The creek is for the most part a subterranean stream that flows in from the Thames.

The new canals and dock will be linked to the tidal Thames via rebuilt locks and a tunnel. Homes are being built alongside the waterways and tree-lined avenues. Prices start at £2,274,950, with cheaper homes coming soon.

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The Metropolitan Police sell off hundreds of London properties

The Metropolitan Police will soon be embarking on its most radical reform since it was founded in 1829. The new era won’t just mean changes in policing but could provide up to 3,000 new homes.

The big idea, from Deputy Mayor for Policing Strephen Greenhalgh, is “bobbies not buildings.” New Scotland Yard will be sold, along with nearly 200 other Met properties.
Mr Greenhalgh says far fewer people report crimes by visiting police stations these days, so London needs fewer station counters, though it is stressed that each London borough will retain at least one police station open round the clock.

Officers will be encouraged to eat their meals in local cafés rather than in police canteens. There are six firing ranges at present and some of these will close but a new one will open at the Peel Centre in Hendon, which the police say will create better training facilities.

The aim is to reduce the £205 million a year the force spend on running its buidings. It is the intention to reduce this to £140 million as nearly three million square feet of land is sold off. Sales of buildings will also reduce debt and interest payments. Having been largely immune from property asset management for the past couple of centuries, the Met are suddenly in for a property pruning.

New Scotland Yard alone is almost half a million square feet. If this iconic building gains change of use – from commercial to residential – the value will rocket. Barnet Council, the Greater London Authority and other interested parties are already discussing the future of The Hendon police college in Barnet, which is close to Colindale Tube Station, and could provide significant housing while still accommodating any ongoing requirements of the Met.

Marylebone Police Station in Seymour Place has significant potential. The site is owned freehold by the Portman estate who have a pre-emption right to acquire back the Met’s long lease. Hampstead Police Station in Camden will be a hot property although listed, a conversion and partial new-build scheme could provide homes.

Jonathan Glanz is presiding over this sale of the century. He is the adviser for Property & Estates to the Mayor’s Office for Policing, the Director and Chairman of property company ‘45West’ and a councillor in Westminster where he is Cabinet Member for Housing and Property.

Glanz says police property will be sold to allow the Met to re-invest in their properties, reduce overheads and provide much needed homes for Londoners. The police cell of today could be the bijou West End residence of tomorrow.

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Budget 2013: Tax on UK Properties

The budget yesterday provided greater clarity on property taxation.

Expert advice is needed to ensure that the tax liability is properly managed. Property Inside London provides clients with leading advice.

Below is the text of an announcement from Mishcon de Reya, Solicitors

“The Government’s aim is still to penalise owner-occupiers who own their property through a company. To discourage them, a new annual charge (referred to as the “Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings”) will apply from 6 April 2013 to companies owning a residential property worth over £2m. CTG at 28% will also apply to companies that dispose of a property worth over £2m and only on gains that accrue from April 2013 onwards. For genuine property development and investment businesses, there are reliefs and exemptions, including reliefs from the 15% SDLT rate introduced in March 2012. Disappointingly, the Government failed to bring forward the SDLT relief, which will only apply from Royal Assent of Finance Bill 2013, likely to be July this year. This leaves an unwelcome limbo period between now and July where developers and landlords, who would otherwise be able to claim relief and pay a reduced 7% rate of SDLT on new purchases, will remain stuck with the 15% rate. Expect a quiet few months in the prime residential investment and development market. As for £2m+ residential properties held in existing corporate structures, these should be examined now action taken to avoid the new tax charges.”

Please click here for a link to their tax summary guide (Tax guide ) and Knight Franks summary and analysis (Summary ), both of which were issued before the budget.

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Prime property prices soar 6% in a month as pound plummets- Evening Standard

– Wealthy foreign buyers given boost as pound slumps

– Kensington and Chelsea sees 6.2 per cent monthly rise in asking prices

– Asking prices up in London by average of 1.9pc since Feb

The sudden slump in the value of the pound has given the central London property market a dramatic boost at the start of the spring “buying season”, according to a report out today.

Sterling has fallen by about seven per cent since the start of the year, making London property far more affordable to wealthy foreign buyers armed with dollars, euros or Chinese yuan.

Sellers are in the strongest position in the most desirable areas of central London, with Kensington & Chelsea seeing a 6.2 per cent monthly rise in asking prices to £2.32 million, up 15.8  per cent on the same time last year, according to property website  Rightmove.

Westminster properties came to the market in March priced at an average of £1.58 million, up 5.8 per cent in a month or 14 per cent in a year.

The biggest annual rise was 16.8 per cent in Hammersmith and Fulham, where average asking prices breached £1 million for the first time.

Across London, average asking prices are 1.9 per cent higher than in February, at £496,298, and nine per cent higher than last year.

Although there is no guarantee that asking prices will be achieved, the sharp upward trend suggests a strong “sellers’ market”, with vendors and agents confident of finding buyers at higher prices.

The upward pressure on prices has been intensified by a shortage of homes on the market at the start of the peak buying season.

Rightmove director Miles Shipside said: “London’s housing market continues to forge ahead, with seller pricing power still holding up in spite of the nine per cent jump seen in the last 12 months.

“Overseas buyers transferring their dollars or euros into sterling have found their buying power boosted since the beginning of the year. Many new-build developers have been mining this rich seam of overseas cash very successfully.

“While it is all a question of timing, some of these buyers may feel they currently have a window of opportunity that may push out some local buyers looking for a new home this spring.”

However, the steep rises will dismay would-be first-time buyers who have been holding out for a slump in the property market to give them a better chance of scrambling on to the property ladder.

The only boroughs where asking prices have slipped in the past month are Brent, Haringey, Tower Hamlets, Bromley, Sutton, Enfield, Croydon, Bexley and Barking and Dagenham.

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Tenants pay more than owners- City AM

Tenants pay significantly more by renting than owners do servicing their mortgages, according to figures out yesterday.

Renting costs 14 per cent more on average, said yesterday, and it is cheaper to service a mortgage than to rent in 86 per cent of UK cities.

The gap is narrowest in London, Zoopla said, where renting is only two per cent cheaper.

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Mayor launches London’s first liquid postcode- City AM

LONDON mayor Boris Johnson revealed plans yesterday to create the UK’s largest “floating village”, as part of his ongoing drive to transform London’s Royal Docks.

His plans will see 15 acres of water at the Royal Victoria Dock site in east London converted into a new community “twice the size of Soho” with homes, hotels, restaurants and transport links to Canary Wharf, including Crossrail.
Johnson used his keynote speech at Mipim, the property’s industry annual conference in Cannes, to launch a competition for developers to work on what he called “London’s answer to Venice”.

“This site is unique. It has the potential to become one of the most sought after addresses in the capital while breathing new life back into London’s waterways. But it’s not alone.
“Right across London there are incredible investment opportunities that I’m determined to bring to market creating more homes and jobs for Londoners,” he added.

The formal procurement process will begin this summer and the Greater London Authority hope the scheme will get underway within Johnson’s remaining three and a half year tenure as mayor.
The site sits directly under the Thames cable car, the Emirates Airline, which Johnson – who masterminded the scheme – insisted yesterday “will cover both its capital and revenue costs by 2019”.

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‘Worthless’ plot yields a pot of gold for Galliard as twisting tower entices

Galliard Homes sold 80 unbuilt Docklands flats in Singapore last weekend at an average price of £500,000 each.

Galliard boss Stephen Conway says he has never sold so many off-plan in one day —at least, not since 1994, when buyers queued outside his development within the old GLA offices opposite Parliament.

Singaporeans slapped down 20% deposits on apartments in the 46-storey “twisting tower” at Baltimore Wharf, pictured. Almost £7 million was raised. Sales prices in Singapore averaged £764 per square foot says Conway. The buyers may be unaware – but they are helping fund construction.

When selling agent Jones Lang LaSalle sets up a stall in Kuala Lumpur this weekend, the financial target of pre-selling 150 of the flats may be reached. That will trigger lending guarantees. Loans will pay half the £100 million building costs. The target sales price for all 330 flats is £175 million.

The 150-metre tower designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill will soar from ground which once held a large tin shed called the London Arena. Conway and Paul White paid £30 million for the site six weeks ago. Subtract that and £100 million building costs from £175 million and the result should be a profit of £45 million from land where London Dockland Development set up in the early Eighties. Then the desolate plot was worthless.

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