© Jones Lang LaSalle
The banks of the Thames are the focus of an extraordinary property boom with more than 3,000 new homes currently being built. From Hammersmith in the west to Greenwich in the east, a string of new shoreline towers could create 18,000 new homes over the next 10 years, according to a report today from property consultants Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).
The Battersea Power Station redevelopment has the highest profile — about 850 flats have sold off-plan there this year, at up to £1,200 a square foot. There are also major projects in Fulham, with 397 flats at Fulham Riverside and 558 at Fulham Reach; in the City, with 356 apartments at One Tower Bridge, and at Nine Elms, which will have 699 private homes at Riverlight.
JLL calculates that a further 3,000 are currently at the planning application stage, whilst a further 12,610 have planning permission already. These include the Candy Brothers – the team behind One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge, the most expensive development in Britain – project to convert a former riverside sugar factory at Billingsgate into a top end block of 165 apartments designed by Norman Foster.
“The riverside has reached a critical mass where residential values are far higher than commercial and so all the industrial and commercial sites which traditionally lined the river are giving way to residential,” said Adam Challis, head of UK residential research at JLL. “This is creating a momentum of its own. As work starts people are more likely to want to buy into something that they can actually see.”
The report also highlights central London’s increasingly buoyant property market. The number of new homes sold has increased by 69 per cent in the first half of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012 - to reach an “incredible” 6,400. To put this into perspective, in 2012 a total of 7,500 new homes in central London were sold during the entire year.
Work on more than 5,000 new homes started between January and June 2013, meaning a total of 17,300 new homes are now being built.
And these new homes are selling fast. Some 66 per cent of all the flats currently being built have already been sold off plan. And buyers are increasingly UK owner-occupiers, as well as the buy-to-let investors and wealthy overseas buyers who have dominated central London during the recession.
“The outlook for the central London residential development market has improved significantly during 2013,” said Challis. “UK consumer confidence and housing sentiment have brightened, mainly driven by the Government housing initiatives Help-to-Buy and Funding For Lending, but also because of better economic conditions.”
JLL predicts that prices for new-build properties in central London will have risen by six per cent by the end of 2013, and will rise by a further 4.5 per cent next year, and then six per cent in both 2015 and 2016.