London Property Headlines (April 24th 2019)

Below we highlight the trending property headlines in London.

London records a high number of unsold units as the property market continues to plummet. Previously, new homes in London used to have buyers even before construction was completed. As of March 31, the borough of Tower Hamlets recorded the largest number of unsold property units followed by Greenwich. “Much of this stock is too expensive to qualify for government incentives such as Help-to-Buy, so normal people who want somewhere to live are not buying them,” said Tim Craine, founder of Molior London, a property research firm which has been compiling such data for a decade. This trend is also attributed to the series of property tax hikes, capital controls and Brexit uncertainty that has hit London’s high-end residential market. These events have discouraged investors and left property developers holding empty units that are too expensive for average Londoners. — BLOOMBERG

Properties under construction in London
Properties under construction in London

Newham is London’s most crowded borough. Using data from the London Datastore, the latest research by Ideal flatmate, a flat sharing platform found that a population of just under 350,000 people is reliant on just 112,628 homes in Newham. Simplified, the statistics suggest that there is roughly just one-third of property available for every one person that resides in Newham. There’s obviously a clear correlation between the amount you pay either to buy or rent and the space you get for your money, but for those of us that don’t live in the high-end bliss of prime central London, it’s actually quite dire reading when it comes to the ratio of property available to people that need a roof over their head,” stated Tom Gatzen, co-founder of ideal flatmate. — LONDON LOVES PROPERTY

Findings from the research by IdealFlatmate
Findings from the research

Major UK property portals make a decision to eliminate the ‘No DSS’ policy. This discriminatory policy is used by landlords in letting listings to depict that tenants who receive housing benefits cannot rent an advertised home. Chris Town, vice chair of the Residential Landlords Association, welcomed the move by Rightmove and Zoopla in addition to the government stating that ‘Landlords should not refuse someone solely because they are on benefits, and should consider prospective tenants on a case by case basis.’ “All tenants who are looking to rent a property deserve the chance to be fully assessed for their suitability and matched to a home that suits both their and the landlord’s circumstances,” Charlie Bryant, managing director of Zoopla added. Currently, The Work and Pensions Committee is conducting an investigation into the ‘No DSS’ discrimination claims in the housing sector. — PROPERTY WIRE

Londoners will have to wait to celebrate “Mortgage Freedom Day” – This day is based on annual research conducted by Halifax which offers a scope on home affordability in specific how much people earn against how much is spent on their mortgage. “If every penny earned this year went towards a mortgage payment, April 16th, 2019 would be the day that the average UK borrower could celebrate paying off their mortgage for the year.” Andy Bickers, mortgages director at Halifax stated. Londoners, however, will need to wait an extra two months (until June 20th) for their “Mortgage Freedom Day” with residents of Brent waiting longer (their “freedom” not arriving until September 5th.) — MIRROR

Residents of Bow Ranwell West estate in East London are taking legal action against Clarion Housing Group after each home received bills of up to £32,000 even after the payment of more than £3,000 a year for service and maintenance. The residents of the estate were presented with a legal payment notice of a collective bill amounting to £2 million. The estate residents argue that the repair work which comprises of electrical work, roof and floor fixing in addition to redecoration of communal areas and pipes would not have been expensive had appropriate maintenance done earlier. The housing group stated to the residents that it would take a percentage of their property if they failed to pay. A report published last month by the Commons housing committee championed for reforms to the leasehold system. — EVENING STANDARD


Written and curated by David Kuria. He is the uber-curious type. A travel and real estate enthusiast. In simplicity, he covers global real estate news from nearly every angle in addition to market movements in finance, the world economy, and other business trends.  Follow him on Twitter.

London Property Headlines (April 17th 2019)

Below we highlight the latest trending property news in London’s real estate market.

Almacantar a property investment and development company, attracts wealthy property purchasers by unveiling Central London’s first 30-metre private swimming pool. This is the latest venture in the “aquatic arms race” waged by luxury property developers in the UK. This ambitious project is located at the Centre point tower. The pool is part of a spa area designed by Conran and Partners and is aimed to meet the needs of modern city dwellers with a primary focus on their self-care. Apartments at Centre point tower costs between £1.8 million to £55 million. — HOMES AND PROPERTY

Centre Point Tower Infinity Pool London
Centre Point’s Tower Infinity Pool

‘No-fault’ evictions’– The British government has announced plans to abolish section 21 evictions in England. The announcement made by the Prime minister Theresa May, was cordially welcomed by housing campaigners. The proposal follows a campaign by renters supported by the Labor and Green party and was cited as one of the leading causes of family homelessness in the United Kingdom. Landlords seeking to evict tenants would now have to use the section 8 process unlike when they would prior evict tenants with as little as an eight weeks’ notice after a fixed-term contract has ended. Abolishing this will effectively create open-ended tenancies. — FINANCIAL TIMES

Graph by The Guardian on the state of homelessness in London
Courtesy The Guardian

Astarte Capital Partners has established a £400m (€463m) real estate fund. This new platform named Astarte Special Opportunities Platform (ASOP) is the company’s lead discretionary co-investment vehicle focused on transforming potential investment opportunities in the hospitality, entertainment, healthcare, and education sectors into core real estate assets. “Our new platform will give global investors the opportunity to invest in the edge of prime, off-market, real estate in London, one of the most attractive markets in the world.” stated Teresa Farmaki, co-founder of Astarte Capital Partners. — CITY WIRE SELECTOR

A new report by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) unveils that it currently takes an average of 19 weeks to sell a home in Britain. This is the longest time recorded since 2017. The study also notes that the property market in the UK has slowed down since the Brexit vote back in June 2016. “Brexit remains a major drag on activity in the market with anecdotal evidence pointing to potential buyers being reluctant to commit in the face of the heightened sense of uncertainty.” Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist stated. According to surveyors, house prices in London are expected to continue falling over the coming year. — HOUSE BEAUTIFUL

Is it time to look beyond the London real estate market? – According to property investment firm CBRE, the relative stability of London’s office market is reassuring even though the most bullish property investor would be wise to diversify outside of London. Real estate agent Savills recently noted that there has never been a better time to build new offices in Glasgow. Savills also stated that Glasgow offers good-quality offices at lower rents. The Scottish and UK government are also investing in the city in addition to notable expansion by large firms such as Barclays and Morgan Stanley. — MONEY WEEK

Written and curated by David Kuria. He is the uber-curious type. A travel and real estate enthusiast. In simplicity, he covers global real estate news from nearly every angle in addition to market movements in finance, the world economy, and other business trends.  Follow him on Twitter.

London Property Headlines (April 15th 2019)

Below we highlight the latest trending news in London’s property scene.

Dubai’s real estate developer DAMAC Properties secures $228.9m bank loan for construction of a 450-unit apartment complex called Damac Tower at Nine Elms. The building located in this district South-West of London will be the first in Europe to be designed in partnership with the Italian fashion house, Versace Home. The 50-story tower will consist of studios, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments in addition to premium finishing and special ‘winter gardens’ that will offer panoramic views of the city. The funding will be sourced from three major lenders comprising of Barclays Bank, which acted as the UK lead bank, Burgan Bank, and Emirates NBD. This property marks Damac’s first development outside of the Middle East. — CONSTRUCTION WEEK ONLINE

New property in London (Damac Tower by Damac Properties)
Damac Tower (Courtesy Damac properties)

According to a report from Benham and Reeves, Londoners are paying premium prices to live near green spaces. Approximately 31% of London is covered by green space. Of this, the borough of Havering (part of outer London) has the largest percentage of overall green space at 59%, while London city offers green space totaling only 5% of the boroughs overall landscape. The report noted that London borough property buyers face a cost of £5,368 for each square meter of park available unlike London city dwellers who pay £245 per square meter of park in their property prices. “But the great thing about London’s market diversity is that living close to green space doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank and when looking to the capital’s peripherals, in particular, you can secure far more green space for a much more affordable property price.” Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves said. — PROPERTY WIRE

Wimbledon Park, London
Wimbledon Park, London

High property prices and taxes in London drive landlords to buying property outside the city. Hamptons International, a property broker in the U.K, reports that in the last year around 60% of London-based landlords bought properties elsewhere, a rise from 25% in 2010. The average cost of renting a home in London rose by 3.7 % in March 2019 to £1,737 per month. This is 2.3 times higher than renting outside London city. The broker noted that this shift has been prompted by a tax hike in the last year that stipulates payment of £24,600 by residential property buyers compared with £5,330 outside the London. — BLOOMBERG

A new property proposal plan showcases the possibility of constructing 300,000 homes above London railway tracks. The plan drafted by architects Hawkins\Brown, engineering firm Mott MacDonald, and construction group Laing O’Rourke, aims to solve London’s housing shortage amidst scarce land and limited capital. A recently conducted customer service survey on the Clapham Junction is cited in the proposal as a viable option to undertake the initiative. Even though no formal process to make the plan a reality has been initiated, talks are underway between the Wandsworth borough council, Network Rail, and the aforementioned parties. — HOMES&PROPERTY

New proposal to transform Clapham Junction
New proposal to transform Clapham Junction

The London property market ranks as the sixth least in-demand property area in the U.K according to the latest research by Springbok Properties. Attributed to the high property-buyer uncertainty majorly due to Brexit, the findings were derived from the Land Registry data across the UK’s top 200 most populated cities. This was specifically based on the total ratio of property stock listed for sale in addition to those under offer or sold subject to contract. CEO of Springbok Properties, Shepherd Ncube, stated that “With spring now officially sprung, we should start to see the Brexit price growth freeze-thaw, but for those that remain sat on the fence until a higher degree of certainty returns to the market, holding out until summer could see them achieve that little bit extra as temperatures continue to rise.” — LONDON LOVES PROPERTY

Written and curated by David Kuria. He is the uber-curious type. A travel and real estate enthusiast. In simplicity, he covers global real estate news from nearly every angle in addition to market movements in finance, the world economy, and other business trends.  Follow him on Twitter.

Cape Town Property Headlines (April 2nd 2019)

Below we highlight the latest trending news in Cape Town’s property scene.

Cape Town set to construct a new breathtaking skyscraper inspired by the Rubik’s cube. Labeled ‘The Rubik’ – South African property developers Abland in conjunction with Nedbank and Giflo will oversee the construction of this luxurious mixed-use skyscraper commencing in June 2019 and completion targeted for July 2021. The property designed by architect firm dhk will be positioned at the junction of Loop and Riebek street and will cost around R480 million ($32.7 million). It will be made up of premium residential apartments above high-end retail space and luxury offices. Dogon Group Properties will oversee all the marketing initiatives with prices for apartments reported to start at R2.4-million ($163,994). — VISI

The Rubik (Cape Town Property)
Cape Town’s proposed property “The Rubik”

The City Council of Cape Town recently proposed amendments to the Municipal Planning By-laws (MPBL) which regulates land use and developments in the city. Prior to implementation of the amendments, the City Council is advocating for all interested parties (body corporates, ratepayers’ associations, and residents) to attend information sessions in addition to submitting feedback on the new by-laws before April 1st 2019. The proposed amendments affect installation of minor freestanding cell masts, short-term letting of flats, and emergency housing. — IOL NEWS

The 2019 Wealth Report by property group Knight Frank’s includes Cape Town property among the most expensive in the world. Despite, Cape Town ranking lower on the list, it costs approximately $1-million for 177 square meters of prime property. The report notes that in the next 12 months the global property markets will experience a shift in the performance as purchasers and investors respond to uncertainty in the global economy. Knight Frank forecasts that the cost of property in Cape Town will continue to grow by 6% alongside a number of European cities. It attributes this to the presence of investment hubs for European and global investors especially the Chinese. – CAPE TOWN ETC

Knight Frank 2019 Wealth Research (Property wealth residences)
Knight Frank 2019 Wealth Research

A report titled City Leases: Cape Town’s Failure to Redistribute Land proposes a “radical new deal” aimed at breaking apartheid barriers in housing. The proposed deal by the civil society organization, Ndifuna Ukwazi states that the 24 areas of City-owned land, including golf courses, bowling greens, country clubs, and parking lots could be utilized by the City of Cape Town for low-cost housing. The report which sites the Rondebosch Golf Club as an example expounds that its annual fee of R1,000 (around $70) per year to the City Council of Cape Town as an injustice to the majority of residents in the city who cannot access decent housing/land.  —  GROUND UP

Cape Town’s Municipal Planning Tribunal has approved a land use application for a new 18 story skyscraper in Sea Point by property developer Berman Brothers Group. The building will reserve 20% of its 144 flats for “affordable” housing which is around 28 apartments. The project is aimed to avail households earning under R18,000 a month a decent and affordable house to rent. The approval was however met with opposition from the social justice movement Ndifuna Ukwazi, who were concerned about the height of the building. Jared Rossouw of NU noted the concerns of local residents and stated that it was necessary for Cape Town to promote radical densification in every well-located area in order to build a sustainable and efficient city. —  BIZ COMMUNITY

2016 protest against evictions in Sea point, Cape Town #propertynews
2016 protest against evictions in Sea point, Cape Town

Written and curated by David Kuria. He is the uber-curious type. A travel and real estate enthusiast. In simplicity, he covers global real estate news from nearly every angle in addition to market movements in finance, the world economy, and other business trends.  Follow him on Twitter.