Happy New Year and Property Inside London launches on Zoopla

HAPPY NEW YEAR. May the year of the horse bring you prosperity.

This week has been a busy one for Property Inside London. Despite being a small and specialist team we have sold four properties, are in negotiations on others and have made offers on five properties for property search clients as well as renting four properties. This is on top of completing the sale of other properties.

We are delighted to announce that we have now agreed to start advertising client properties ourselves on ZOOPLA which also gives us advertising on many other media including PRIMELOCATION, THE TIMES, THE SUNDAY TIMES and THE INDEPENDENT. This complements our existing marketing strategy allowing us to provide clients with an even better service.

New properties that we have taken on this week include a lovely two bed apartment in the Corniche on the South Bank. The development completes in 2017. The asking price is £1.18m. We are continually looking for good quality properties to sell to our database of active investors, both completed units and off plan properties. This includes properties that are currently rented. We believe our service stands out from the rest.

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London set for a ‘wall’ of 200 tall buildings

More than 200 towers rising to 20 storeys or above are planned in London over the next two decades.

Up to 150 of them will be residential towers, transforming the capital into a high-rise city, but the planning system is ill-prepared for them and the public largely unaware, English Heritage has warned.

This wave of planning applications has sparked calls for clearer planning guidance and greater effort to encourage public debate about the planned transformation of the London skyline.

Roger Barker from English Heritage warned this could result in a ‘wall of development stretching from Vauxhall through to Southwark’, with perhaps a dip at the South Bank.

Speaking at the launch event for a planned new exhibition highlighting the changes called ‘London’s Growing…Up!’ this April, he said that tall buildings were being used too much by their proposers as the ‘panacea’ or answer to several problems.

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Architectural rendering studio Hayes Davidson has created images of how the Square Mile could look in 10-15 years time.

But the architect for London’s tallest residential building has defended the spread of high-rise south of the river from its traditional home of the Square Mile and Canary Wharf.

Peter Vaughan, director at architectural practice Broadway Malyan, said: “In the absence of planning frameworks we shouldn’t be surprised that developers believe their site is a good location for a tower.

“In the absence of a ‘no’, developers understandably assume ‘yes’ and until a city-wide framework sets out what is possible long public enquiries will continue to be required to judge experiments.”

He added: “The idea of ‘jumping the river’ is inevitable and entirely right given that historically some of the most impoverished London boroughs, with the space and opportunity necessary for tall buildings, are south of the river.”

Vaughan said that predictions of a ‘wall of high-rise buildings’ running down the southside of the Thames were overblown.

“Real estate has always been currency and today’s gold standard happens to be London residential.

“But there won’t be a ‘wall of development’ south of the river due to the constraints that do exist.

“However, there are clear opportunities for needle and point buildings, rather than clusters of tall buildings, at key river crossing and transport interchanges.

“The tall building clusters that exist in The City and at Canary Wharf are such for particular reasons – sitting inland of the river. It’s interesting to see that the Walkie Talkie has crossed the road southwards, revaluing the entire street.

“The South Bank, can and should, accommodate a ‘ribbon of high points’ in contrast to the constrained environment north of the river.”

 London’s Growing… Up! exhibition, starts 3 April at the Building Centre.

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Overseas investment in London property to hit pre-crisis levels – CityAM

OVERSEAS investment in London’s property market could top pre-recession levels by the end of this year, boosted by an influx of spending from Asian buyers.

According to figures released today by law firm Mayer Brown, Asian investors doubled their investment in the central London market to £5.8bn last year, up from £2.91bn the previous year.

Almost 70 per cent (£4.02bn) of this was focussed on properties in the City, including the purchase of the Lloyd’s Building by Chinese insurer Ping An for £260m.

Total overseas investment in commercial property in London totalled £19.9bn last year compared with £20.54bn at the height of the property market in 2007.

“London is at the economic centre of Europe so foreign investors continue to be drawn to the capital by a weak pound and the UK’s status as a haven for capital,” Mayer Brown’s European head of real estate Martin Wright said.

“Overseas investment from Asia will certainly grow in 2014 and we could by the end of this year see turnover exceeding pre-global financial crisis levels,” he added.

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC took the crown for the biggest deal of 2013 and one of the biggest European deals since the financial crisis, after acquiring Blackstone’s half stake in Broadgate in December for £1.7bn.

Asian buyers were not the only players snapping up property, with seven of the top ten property deals made by other regions including the Middle East, the US and Germany.

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Sleek city apartments with stunning river views

Sandringham House – the newest phase at One Tower Bridge – has 44 luxury apartments with stylish interiors, a private spa and virtual golf centre.

One Tower Bridge, being built right next to the iconic London landmark, is shaping up to become a sparkling addition to the so-called “string of pearls” along the South Bank cultural quarter.

The cluster of nine architecturally distinctive buildings faces the Tower of London on the opposite bank of the Thames and includes a 20-storey skyscraper with just one apartment on each floor, the top one a spectacular triplex penthouse with roof garden and glazed enclosure.

But the development of 356 flats is about the urban realm as much as river views. One Tower Bridge is not gated and will integrate seamlessly with the riverside promenade and a public park alongside City Hall.

A listed Victorian school on the site is being converted into a boutique hotel and a performance space will be created, while high-quality landscaping will include an interactive fountain clock with water jets and colour-changing lights allowing residents and visitors to choreograph their own water display.

Berkeley Homes, the developer, is offering luxury flats with smart technology that is new to London. Residents will have “keyless” entry to their apartment and be able to remotely control heating and lighting through an iPhone, while a touch-screen command will deliver their car from a stacker system underground.

Sandringham House, pictured, is the latest phase, 44 apartments in a sleek-design block clad in glass and stone. Classy interiors have herringbone-pattern wood flooring, built-in coffee machines and wine coolers and a home automation system controlling blinds, lighting, heating and audiovisual equipment. Residents will also have use of a private spa and be able to play virtual golf.

Prices from £950,000.


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Slick city homes rise up in Aldgate

It is rare to find a part of the City fringe where a development boom is only just getting into its stride. Aldgate, on the eastern edge of the financial district, used to be a dead zone after working hours. However, close proximity to a prosperous banking community has helped to seed regeneration.

A new phase of apartments has been released at Goodman’s Fields, which in medieval times supplied food to London but is now becoming a new seven-acre “urban quarter” with a mix of homes, shops, restaurants and bars, hotel, public park and plaza.

The development aims to be part of the Square Mile yet have its own identity, and will eventually include more than 900 homes. Meranti House is a 20-storey tower with 107 flats and duplex penthouses boasting splendid views, and with a residents’ pool, gym and spa in the plan. Prices from £650,000.

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Now is the time to buy London’s new-build homes off plan (Evening Standard- 24 Jan 2014)

Developers are in overdrive to meet rising demands, due to a new homes shortage coupled with the popular Help to Buy scheme, in the capital. We take a look at the latest new-builds and fabulous restorations.

The new-build sector pauses for breath in January as a rule, as developers wait for spring to draw home buyers out of hibernation. Buoyed by the Government’s Help to Buy low-deposit scheme, however, builders are throwing open show home doors and unveiling mock-up apartments in hastily constructed marketing suites, as the shortage of completed new homes continues to push home seekers into off-plan buying.

December saw the highest sales rate in six years, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. The momentum is expected to continue this year, bringing more price hikes, with Marylebone and the South Bank hitting the highest returns.

Today’s cost-conscious buyers want the best possible value for money in areas with growth. Developers in hot competition are coming up with low-maintenance homes with imaginative architecture, to suit most budgets.

New-build homes have become so popular that the price premium is at a new high, as much as 60 per cent more expensive than older homes of the same size in the same area, according to property adviser Knight Frank.

To find the right home at the right price, Londoners are relocating to other boroughs or crossing the river. Estate agent Winkworth, which has more than 60 branches across London, says the main flows are from north and west London to south London for   significantly cheaper family homes and new London Overground stations. This mobility is helping to revitalise areas such as Brockley. Run-down districts are opening up to homebuyers, too, with developers unlocking industrial sites, restoring railway arches and building apartments and townhouses plus offices and new parks.

Historic charm
Few London districts have the authentic, village-like charm of the Georgian conservation area that surrounds Myddelton Square in Islington. Once the heart of the now-defunct Borough of Finsbury, by the Nineties the area had lost much of its identity, eclipsed by regeneration going on around its edges at Angel, King’s Cross and Clerkenwell.

However, the pendulum has started to swing back. Look here for a central London area with character and family life: parish church, primary school, Sadler’s Wells theatre, a newly built health centre and small, independent shops for everyday needs. Two listed houses, once offices, have been restored and given a design makeover, including glass-walled rear extensions. Prices from £5.7 million. And coming soon on River Street is a rare new-build scheme of six townhouses in a gated mews.

Family-friendly Fulham
A new private garden square, London Square Fulham, offers 40 Georgian-style townhouses and extras usually found only with apartment living — gated security, underground parking and concierge. Cars are parked in an underground garage with direct access to the houses, while pedestrians arrive via a listed double-arched entrance. The houses range from 1,400sq ft to 4,000sq ft, with three to five bedrooms and have light basements opening on to patio gardens. At the heart of each house is an oak-and-glass staircase, with surrounding open-plan living space. Prices from £2.6 million.

For singles, couples and second-steppers
New loft developments in London are rare these days as most of the best buildings were converted in the Nineties and Noughties, but The Piano Works in Kentish Town offers good-value spaces in a handsome Victorian factory. Prices from £400,000.

Balham, meanwhile — popular with young metro types who fill the bars, gastropubs and delis along the lively high road — boasts Flow, a new apartment scheme close to the lively strip and the Tube station. The flats are priced from £390,995 to £725,995.

The historic core of Westminster is witnessing the biggest injection of new homes since the Edwardian mansion block boom a century ago. Traditionally favoured by MPs and senior civil servants, the attractive location and classical buildings are pulling in the buyers, with 73 Great Peter Street among smart new developments. The scheme offers 22 apartments, from studios to penthouses with views of Big Ben. Prices from £1.37 million.

First-timers zone in
Affordable shared-ownership flats in Zone 1 are a tantalising prospect for low-budget first-time buyers. Aspire is part of a 21-storey residential tower being built above Aldgate East Tube station on the City fringe. One-bedroom homes start at £105,700 for a 35 per cent share (full price £302,000). With a five per cent deposit of £5,285, combined rent and mortgage repayments would be £849.48 a month.

River views to Kew
The name Kew Bridge West might be slightly stretching the imagination but this cluster of new homes rising up on the Brentford bank of the Thames has views across the river to Kew’s Royal Botanic Gardens. The development’s curved, turreted style is influenced, says developer St James, by the architectural style of rural France. Prices  from £345,000.

Kensington remains the location of choice for the rich and powerful despite its dreary high street. But suddenly a crop of new homes has widened the area’s draw. The Ladbroke Grove is a contemporary-design new-build scheme on the border with Notting Hill. Prices from £425,000.Nearby is 205 Holland Park Avenue, another new-build — 41 apartments with winter gardens and roof terraces.

At 375 Kensington High Street is the Royal Borough’s biggest housing scheme, a complex of modern blocks with 339 flats, spa, private cinema and concierge. Prices from £910,000.

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House prices rise in three quarters of postcodes

House prices in 75 per cent of postcodes across England and Wales registered price gains over the past year, up from a fifth in 2012, according to the property analyst Hometrack.

The report found that soaring demand and weak supply has pushed the average home up 4.4 per cent to £206,726 following a 0.3 per cent dip last year.

London and the south east experienced the biggest gains with annual price hikes of 9.1 per cent and five per cent respectively.

Meanwhile house prices in northern England tumbled by 0.5 per cent.

Hometrack said in a statement: “The strongest market conditions and impetus for price inflation is set to remain focused on southern England. A broader-based recovery in the housing market is dependent upon growth in the real economy, jobs and household incomes.”

On a month-on-month basis, prices rose by 0.1 per cent in Yorkshire and Humberside and the north-west, by 0.2 per cent in Wales, by 0.3 per cent in the West Midlands and the south-west, by 0.5 per cent in East Anglia, by 0.7 per cent in the south-east and by one per cent in the Capital.

House prices remained the same in the east Midlands and the north-east.

Hometrack said buyer demand rose by 25 per cent in 2013 which marks the fastest rise in three years.

In contrast the supply of homes for sale rose six per cent, the slowest pace since the survey began in 2001.

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Hometrack predict house prices will continue to rise in 2014

Increased demand coupled with a fall in the supply of new homes was the main cause of a 4.4 per cent rise in house prices in 2013, according to the latest report from property analysts Hometrack, published today.

Demand for residential property grew by 25 per cent in 2013 but the supply of new homes only increased by six per cent, according to the latest survey of UK estate agents.

Richard Donnell director of research at Hometrack said: “Demand grew at the fastest rate for three years while the supply of homes for sale grew at the lowest level recorded over the 12 year history of the survey.

“Scarcity of supply was the result of higher sales volumes eroding the stock of homes for sale. The launch of Help to Buy was a clear sign of Government support for the housing market which encouraged a sustained increase in buyer numbers, especially over the second half of the year.

“Record low mortgage rates also played an important role in higher prices over 2013.”

However, in December, there was the first fall in demand and sales for 11 months.

Hometrack said this was due to the normal seasonal slowdown in activity in the property market in December and average house prices still went up by 0.5 per cent, the fourth consecutive monthly rise.

London and the South East continue to be the regions that are driving up overall prices with annual house price inflation of 9.1 per cent and 5.0 per cent respectively.

The only region to see a fall in house prices was the North of England where prices fell by 0.5 per cent.

However, Yorkshire and Humberside and the North West saw prices rise by significantly less than the national average with increases of just 0.4 per cent and 0.5 per cent.

Mr Donnell said he expected the trend of rising house prices to continue in 2014 but whether this turns into a sustainable national recovery depends on how the overall economy performs.

“Overall we expect the momentum in house price growth to spill over into 2014 supported by a continued lack of supply and rising demand.

“A broader based recovery in the housing market is dependent upon growth in the real economy, jobs and household incomes,” said Mr Donnell.

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Pre-launch: Lovat Lane

We are delighted to provide information ahead of the launch of a new development in Lovat Lane, the City, EC3.

This is a rare opportunity to own a perfectly situated pied-a-terre or City home set amid the rich history of the City of London. The development is eight beautifully refurbished one/two-bedroom residences within a classically featured 19th-century building. It offers a range of luxuriously appointed, high-ceilinged apartments in sizes ranging from 526 to 1,184 square feet. The area suffers an extreme undersupply of housing and benefits from a high-demand rental market. It is close to Monument and Bank stations, Fenchurch Street mainline station and many office buildings including the Walkie- Talkie and Plantation House.

The development is being sold off-plan in the Far East with an exhibition booked for next weekend and it expected to sell quickly.


Enquiries: Christian@propertyinsidelondon.com.

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