Fairview and L&Q team up for Park Royal site

Fairview New Homes and housing association L&Q have formed a joint venture to develop a 5.5 acre mixed-use site in Park Royal, north west London.

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The former car park forms the third phase of the First Central development in Lakeside Drive.

The cleared site was purchased for more than £40m and also comes with outline consent for 60,000 sq m of office space and will contain 800 apartments.

The site was formerly part of the Guinness factory and previous residential phases have been completed by Bellway, Redrow and Catalyst HA.

The Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) Planning Committee has produced a planning brief for a residentially-led mixed-use scheme.

The Fairview/L&Q joint venture has retained architects, Allies and Morrison, to design a scheme in excess of 800 apartments with commercial space on the ground floor.

Fairview Land Director Richard Paterson said: “We are delighted to be working with L&Q in a 50/50 joint venture for the first time and we welcome more joint projects of this type.

“This location is already ‘tried-and-tested’ with the success of an earlier phase and its proximity to Park Royal underground station on the Piccadilly Line and Hanger Lane on the Central Lane, not to mention direct access by road to the A40 Western Avenue and the A406 North Circular.”

Jerome Geoghegan, Group Director of Development and Sales at L&Q said: “We are pleased to be able to collaborate with Fairview on this exciting new development at Park Royal and we are confident we will be able to bring our extensive experience to help deliver this important site. L&Q are one of the leading residential developers in London and the South East, building high quality homes for people across a range of incomes.

“We have ambitious plans develop a pipeline of new homes over the next decade and partnership is at the core of our approach – working together to deliver communities that make the capital an even better place to live”.

Victoria Hills, Chief Executive of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, said: “OPDC is delighted that Fairview have joined forces with L&Q First Central to help drive forward delivery of hundreds of new homes in the area and we look forward to receiving the planning application in due course.”


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UK property prices went up in September as new buyer enquiries rose – but new sales listings went into decline

Property prices continued to rise in September, as new buyer enquiries increased modestly – but the number of new homes being listed for sale dropped.

The average price of a property in the UK was £217,888 in September, with official statistics showing prices went up 7.7 per cent on an annual basis.

Property prices rose 0.2 per cent between August and September, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS said the numbers for September “suggested a period of relative stability during the month”.

It noted the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found there was a “modest increase in new buyer enquiries” in September, and the volume of lending approvals also went up.

The ONS also cited RICS research showing new sales listings fell again in September compared to August, continuing the trend over the past seven months.

In London, the average price of a property hit £487,649 in September, rising 1.4 per cent compared to August, and up 10.9 per cent over the year.

Prices rose in almost every part of the UK in September, except in the north east, the south east and Yorkshire and the Humber.

“Although house price growth has cooled in parts of the UK, fundamentals suggest the long term upward trend will continue, and political uncertainty must not distract policymakers from the underlying structural issues that continue to plague the housing market,” said John Eastgate, sales and marketing director of OneSavings Bank.

“Buyer demand has rebounded following political uncertainty over the summer to rise for a second consecutive month in October.

“In contrast, estate agents are reporting fewer available properties on their books, a symptom of the chronic undersupply facing the UK housing market. This will push up prices in the longer term, hampering affordability, at a time when real term incomes may begin to fall.”

Eastgate added that he isn’t expecting a “silver bullet” at next week’s Autumn Statement, but does hope for measures introduced to encourage construction and improve affordability in the housing market.

“An £18m fund announced last week to accelerate planning permissions in England is one such measure, but this alone is a drop in the ocean if we are hit the 300,000 new homes per year that the UK will need,” he said.

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Wembley Park project secures financial backing from three institutional heavy-hitters

The firm behind the multi-billion pound redevelopment of the land surrounding Wembley Stadium has announced a vital £800m refinancing, which paves the way for its “new masterplan” for the area.

Quintain, which was last year taken private in a £745m deal by US private equity firm Lone Star, announced it would replace its £425m loan from Wells Fargo with facilities provided by three lenders.

Wells Fargo will continue to provide funding but will be joined by insurance behemoth AIG in providing a £560m senior facility to Quintain. An additional £240m of mezzanine debt – which ranks behind the senior facility in the event of the business going bust – will be provided by the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board.

In May, Brent Council approved Quintain’s new masterplan for Wembley Park. The plans include the building of a combination of residential and commercial properties. The firm said more than 7,000 new jobs would be created.

Eyebrows were raised by the Football Association (FA) when the council gave the go-ahead. The FA said the plans would mean departing fans from the iconic Wembley Stadium would be funnelled down narrow streets. It called them a “receipt for disaster” and create a “kettling pen” on match days.

Quintain’s finance director, Simon Carter stressed the importance of the securing the funding. He said it would give “the flexibility we need to deliver our plans to build new homes for London”.

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Barratt cuts prices on luxury London flats

Barratt Developments described the London luxury residential market as “challenging” today as it confirmed price cuts across some of its high-end schemes.

It has also sold on a complete block in a build and sale deal.

Barratt said: “Market conditions in London at higher selling prices remain more challenging.

“To mitigate these risks we have taken pricing action on a number of our sites in London.

“Further actions to de-risk London delivery include an exchanged build and sale agreement on a bespoke development of 39 apartments for a total value of £47m.”

Barratt described the overall market as “healthy” as it prepared to return a record dividend of £248m to shareholders this month.

It is also trialling modern construction methods on sites to reduce dependency on some trades as skills shortages continue.

Chief Executive David Thomas said: “Barratt’s commitment to quality design, build and excellence in market-leading customer service has supported our strong sales performance.

“Our focus remains on maintaining good operational and financial performance, and delivering attractive shareholder returns.”

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House prices in this London borough fell by £3,000 a day last month

UK house prices might be marching ever upwards, but there’s one section of the UK where growth is faltering: the top end of London’s market.

In recent months growth in so-called prime central London has faltered, partly thanks to the Brexit vote and partly thanks to waning interest from foreign buyers.

Now analysis of Land Registry has suggested homes in one London borough lost £3,000 a day in value in the last month.

Research by online estate agent Emoov found the six per cent fall in prices in Westminster equated to a loss of £65,076 in one month – just under £3,000 a day.

If house prices keep falling like that for a whole year, values in the local area will have fallen 72 per cent, from an average of £1.03m.

Meanwhile, in Islington, prices fell one per cent in the last month – which works out at £7,171, or £231 a day.

Figures published by London Central Portfolio (LCP) last week showed sales of houses worth more than £10m fell 86 per cent in the three months to August compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, figures from Knight Frank showed prices in Chelsea have fallen as much as 10 per cent in the past year, while prices in Notting Hill were down 5.3 per cent.

“The property market in Prime Central London has taken a beating in the past year, but despite this, homeowners are still pricing their properties unrealistically for current market conditions,” said Emoov founder Russell Quirk.

“Although the London property market remains stable despite buy to let stamp duty changes and the referendum, the upper end of the market is dwindling in desirability.

“It is unlikely that the rate of decline seen over the last month in the likes of Westminster, in Islington, will remain consistent over the following 11 months, but this research stands as a warning to London’s most prestigious homeowners of what could happen and evidently already is.”

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London’s house prices won’t rebound until 2020, according to JLL

London’s housing market won’t recover from the hit of the referendum until 2020, property experts have predicted.

According to research by JLL, the UK housing market will be “more subdued” over the next few years, and London house prices will recover in 2020 “assuming Brexit negotiations are not too detrimental”.

There will be a slowdown in housing transactions and prices, the report said, as buyers will no longer feel pressured to “pay top dollar” for a new home. JLL also predicted that unemployment will rise in 2017, which will hit household spending.

However, any dramatic falls in prices will be cushioned by lower levels of construction.

Neil Chegwidden, director of JLL residential research, said: “Not only is London’s economy more vulnerable to Brexit, but the housing market is also more reliant on investors, both domestic and international, and is hence more susceptible to buyer confidence.

“While central and local government policies will be pro-development, we question whether they will really be able to outweigh the more cautious approach adopted by housebuilders in response to weaker market forces.”

JLL said it expects the Bank of England to cut interest rates to 0.1 per cent later this year.

Recent research from Halifax and IHS Markit showed that London house prices fell by 2.5 per cent in the third quarter, which compared to a 0.5 per cent fall for the UK as a whole.

The drop in house prices can be in large part attributed to the stamp duty reforms of 2014, which have made prime central London properties more expensive. As a result, house prices in Chelsea have fallen by 10 per cent this year.

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Met Police hands over keys of New Scotland Yard HQ to new owners after 49 years

The Metropolitan Police yesterday handed over the keys of its New Scotland Yard headquarters in one of the biggest property deals to complete since the UK’s Brexit vote.

BL Development Limited, an investment vehicle controlled by UAE-based Abu Dhabi Financial Group, acquired the building for £370m in December 2014.

Property development company Northacre has been appointed to undertake the construction and development of the building, which will be named The Broadway. Planning consultants Bilfinger GVA and architects Squire & Partners have also been appointed.

After winning planning approval in April this year, Northacre is planning to create a new commercial and residential building, aiming for completion in 2021.

The Broadway, found near Victoria, will have 485,000 sq ft of residential space, 146,000 of commercial space and 37,500 for retail.

After 49 years in the building, the Met Police’s new headquarters is Curtis Green on Victoria Embankment.

Northacre chief executive Niccolo Barattieri di San Pietro said: “The official handover of New Scotland Yard marks the beginning of the first phase of its development as a destination to be enjoyed by all.

“The Broadway is an important milestone in Northacre’s history; being our first major mixed-use development it will set a new standard for London living, working and leisure.”

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