Watkin Jones £100m east London student tower approved

Student homes specialist Watkin Jones has won planning consent to build a £100m tower for the University of London in Stratford, East London.

Watkin Jones Stratford tower
100m tall Duncan House has been designed by Hodder + Partners

The 33 floor Duncan House scheme on Stratford High Street will rise to over 100m and joins a cluster of tall buildings in the area.

Mark Watkin Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Watkin Jones, said:  “We are delighted to have secured planning consent for this latest scheme in our pipeline, which builds our visibility around our business model.  

“We expect to be on site towards the end of 2016 and complete the scheme in 2019.”

The proposed redevelopment of Duncan House has been designed by Hodder + Partners and will deliver 511 beds, 44 residential units and 30,000 square feet of academic space.

Watkin Jones is in advanced negotiations with University of London and their funding partners, to forward sell the student part of the Duncan House scheme as per the group’s business model. 

Stratford Duncan House

The residential units will be sold in a separate transaction by Watkin Jones.

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Lendlease to start £275m Hammersmith scheme

Lendlease is set to start construction next month on a £275m office complex at 245 Hammersmith Road in west London.

Legal & General Property has sold a 50% stake to Mitsubishi Estate London to form a new partnership to develop the 250,000 sq ft scheme.

The speculative scheme has been designed by Sheppherd Robson and already has planning consent from Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

The new building will consist of a basement, ground and 11 upper storeys and an extensive public realm, including a new urban park and plaza to the Hammersmith Road.

Simon Wilkes, Head of Business Space Development, Legal & General Property, said: “245 Hammersmith Road will be much more than just an office building; we are creating a destination with modern working and lifestyle trends at the core of our thinking.

“It will set a new standard for Hammersmith. There is still a lack of Grade A development taking place which means we are set to benefit from rental growth.

“We are already seeing high levels of interest from blue chip occupiers, who are particularly drawn to the design and location of the scheme, especially given the competitive nature of the rents compared to the West End.”

The scheme will be completed in the first quarter of 2019.

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Brookfield plans 37-floor London city tower

Developer Brookfield is bringing forward plans for a new tall building at 1 Leadenhall in the City of London.

Towers london Brookfield 1Leadenhall
Image of existing and planned central London towers, including 1 Leadenhall building

The tower will rise to 37 floors, which will be a more modest office building compared to the scale of some of the more ambitious plans unveiled for the Square Mile.

Architect Make has designed the 183m tower that will boast a public galley with views over Leadenhall Market.

The existing seven storey building on the 1 Leadenhall site, known as Leadenhall Court will be demolished over six months once approval is obtained.

Under present plans work could start on the new tower as early as March 2018.

Brookfield has gone out to public consultation with the plans ahead of submitting for planning later in the Summer in the hope of gaining approval at the end of this year.

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This is how many property purchases fall through

Some would-be homeowners are learning the hard way that, even if the ink’s dry on the contract, it doesn’t guarantee they’ll be moving in any time soon.

More than a quarter (28 per cent) of homebuyers have had a house purchase fall through after they’ve had an offer accepted, research out today has found.

The survey of 2,000 homebuyers by Which? Mortgage Advisers found that reneging on property deals is leaving people almost £3,000 out of pocket on average.

Sellers suddenly deciding they didn’t actually want to sell after all topped the list of reasons for deals falling through, with 27 per cent of offers being pushed aside for this reason. Meanwhile, 21 per cent of buyers said they were cheekily gazumped, with their seller accepting a higher bid, despite their offer having already been accepted.

However, flaky sellers are not solely responsible for deals coming to an abrupt end. Around one in five deals that didn’t go through were caused by the buyer not being able to follow through because the sale of their own property had fallen flat, while buyers deciding that they’d actually prefer another property instead were responsible for the same proportion of failures (21 per cent).

In light of its findings, Which? is urging those hoping to move up the property ladder to consider whether there’s anything they can do to make the process easier, such as moving in with family or into short-term rented accommodation once their own property is sold to make them a chain-free buyer or opting for new builds which will not be part of an ownership chain.

“No one wants to see their dream property slip through their fingers, particularly if it leaves you out of pocket, but there are steps you can take to ensure you are in the best possible position,” said David Blake at Which? Mortgage Advisers. “The best way to protect yourself from your purchase falling through is to avoid a lengthy chain.

“With the right preparation and research, including getting your finances in order prior to making an offer, you can avoid complicated chains and improve your chances of success.”

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How landlords are softening the blow of buy to let tax changes

The government’s tax changes on second homes has produced a record demand for mortgages through companies in the first quarter of 2016, according to a report released today.

Buy to let lending to limited companies surged to nearly 38,000 in the first quarter, which is more than for the whole of 2014, as landlords incorporate to soften the blow of tax changes on buy to let properties, which include lowering the tax relief on mortgage interest payments from April 2017.

The report, Kent Reliance’s Buy To Let Britain, predicts the number of loans to limited companies will come close to 100,000 this year. Borrowing through a company means investors are taxed at lower corporation tax rates and can offset finance costs against rental income.

Government tax changes are having a knock-on effect for renters, the report said, and “rents are set to rise further.” Four in ten landlords expect to raise rents in the next six months, by 5.6 per cent on average, which represents around £49 for tenants.

Three quarters of the landlords who are increasing the rents cite the impending reduction in mortgage tax relief as their reason for doing so.

London continues to be the hot-spot for the private rented sector, with landlords in the capital taking £20.2bn in rent last year, or 38 per cent of all the rent paid in Great Britain. The city’s private rental sector comprises 1m households, up 6.1 per cent on last year, compared to 5.5 per cent in Great Britain.

Andy Golding, chief executive of OneSavings Bank, said: “The buy to let market now sits firmly in the crosshairs of both politicians and regulators, and we are seeing landlords react. Thousands hurried purchases to beat the stamp duty deadline, and the popularity of limited companies is soaring as investors seek to reduce tax exposure.

“But it is tenants who are feeling the real brunt. Rents are rising, and landlords will increase them further as they pass on the increased cost of running their business.

“Far from supporting tenants, recent intervention will see them bear a heavier tax burden.”

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Property prices in England and Wales fell in May as the market stalled ahead of the EU referendum vote

In May house prices experienced the sharpest drop since November 2011 as the property market was plagued by uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum.

Property values fell by 0.4 per cent in May in England and Wales – the lowest home sales in May for five years – according to data from Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents.

London house prices were down by 0.3 per cent – or £1,769 – month-on-month; but prices in Slough bucked the trend, soaring by 23.3 per cent year-on-year.

The news comes a day after experts predicted that house prices would fall over the next quarter. The drop follows a surge of buying earlier in the year as buy to let landlords tried to avoid paying the government’s hike on stamp duty, which came in at the beginning of April.

Adrian Gill, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, said: “The housing market is holding its breath ahead of the EU referendum and after a rapid sprint at the start of the year.

“In London, house prices have slipped from last month’s record high. This has pushed average property values in the capital back under the £600,000 mark, with the value of a typical home in the city falling to £598,421.”

Buyers in London may well feel sceptical about what constitutes a “typical home in the city”, however, as it recently became clear just how misleading the figure for the London average house price really is.

Source: CityAM

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