Guide: London property investment

By on February 18, 2013
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Despite the global economic malaise, wealthy investors are fueling a raft of exclusive developments in London.

While housing markets around the world have bowed to the economic crisis, London has bucked a trend. Property prices in the city are rising unabated, as the world’s wealthiest investors pour money into England’s capital.

“The London property market continues to be seen as a safe haven in uncertain economic times and demand for property in the capital continues to increase from domestic and international buyers,” says Piers Clanford, Managing Director at Berkeley Homes. According to a report by Jones Lang, well-heeled investors from China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore accounted for 51 per cent of new property purchased in London this year. To capitalise on the strong demand for London properties amongst Chinese buyers, Winkworth have just launched a China Desk. The estate agents reported a 10-15 per cent rise in Chinese enquiries in the first half of 2012 and claim buyers from the Far East are typically looking for new-build properties valued at around £1.5million.

“Winkworth’s central London offices have for some time been experiencing growing interest in prime London properties from Chinese buyers,” says David King, International Director at Winkworth. “The Olympic Games have only helped to underline London’s attraction as an animated cultural centre and we anticipate that it will remain top of the list for many buyers looking for a rewarding and secure investment.” There has also been significant interest in London from investors in the Gulf States, which have also helped fund high-profile construction projects such as The Shard and One Hyde Park. Although this foreign money is welcome news for the economy, this overseas investment has distorted the capital’s property market at a time when house prices in the rest of the UK are actually on a downward spiral. But in the capital, the bubble shows no sign of bursting.

According to Knight Frank, average house prices will increase by as much as 7.2 per cent across London and by as much as 10.2 per cent in prime Central London over the next three years. The independent policy institute, Future of London, warns this will price local people out of the market, but these caveats are being drowned out by the sound of construction as the race continues to build deluxe properties in the capital. “We are seeing a ‘flight to quality’ with particular focus on selecting the best developers to invest in, who can offer good quality, well located projects,” explains Piers Clanford. And as the pursuit for luxury steps up, we look into some of the choicest developments in London town…

Pan Peninsula

Currently London’s highest residential building, Pan Peninsula in Dockland’s was one of the first buildings in London to defy the financial crisis. Under the dark clouds of a recession, it opened with much fanfare in 2009, with the top floor penthouse selling for a reported £10million.    Although Pan Peninsula is about to lose its crown as the tallest residential construction in London, it is in good, sky-scraping company sat opposite Canary Wharf. Inside there are 762 luxury apartments spread across two towers, which rise to 40 and 50 storeys respectively. www.panpeninsula.com

One Tower Bridge

Occupying one of the last great riverside locations in the capital, when it’s complete One Tower Bridge will offer 354 luxurious one, two, three and four-bedroom apartments and penthouses. Residents will have access to five-star facilities including a gymnasium, swimming pool and private health club. First completions are scheduled for 2014 and prices start at £850,000. www.berkeleygroup.co.uk

NEO Bankside

Situated adjacent to Tate Modern, the £400million NEO Bankside development has become a Southbank landmark since its completion last month. Comprising of four post-industrial red and grey pavilions, the developers, Native Land and Grosvenor, have just released a selection of 14 premium apartments. Prices for the three and four bedroom homes, which have sweeping views over London’s iconic skyline, start at £3.1million.www.neobankside.com

The Tower, One St. George Wharf

While The Shard has been hogging the limelight in London this year, further up the Thames another record breaking building has been edging towards the clouds. It won’t be due for occupancy until next summer, but when it’s complete, The Tower at St George Wharf in Vauxhall will be the tallest residential structure in the UK. The Tower’s pièce de résistance will be a penthouse occupying the top three floors of the 53 storey building. Touted as the world’s ultimate city residence, it will boast an infinity pool, wraparound balcony and one of the best panoramas in the capital. Official figures haven’t yet been released but a price tag of £50million has been rumoured. Slightly less pricy are the two-bedroom apartments, which start at £1.6million, or the studios which are a mere snip at £1million. www.thetower-onestgeorgewharf.co.uk