London Property Headlines (May 29th, 2019)

The latest London property headlines, trends in the real estate market and property investment analysis.

Yards away from the £1 billion US Embassy in Nine Elms, south London, the first ever sky pool is being built in London’s exclusive Embassy Gardens luxury apartment and shopping complex. This 25-metre transparent pool between two ten-storey buildings will be 115ft high in the air and three meters deep. This marks an addition to the “aquatic arms race” waged by luxury property developers in the UK. “My vision for the sky pool stemmed from a desire to push the boundaries in the capability of construction and engineering, I wanted to do something that had never been done before.” Sean Mulryan, CEO, Ecoworld Ballymore (The property’s developer) stated. The building will comprise of 2,000 new homes, stunning landscaped gardens, vibrant new bars, and restaurants in addition to 130,000 square feet of shopping space. — METRO

First floating London property pool
Floating Pool Concept

London still a property investment hotspot for Middle East investors. This report follows a previous analysis by 2019’s Knight and Frank’s wealth report. The report stated that the Middle East ultra-high net worth investors (UHNWIs) poured $3.3 billion into London’s real estate market in 2018. Despite Brexit, UHNWIs are not only taking advantage of a favorable currency environment with strengthening dollar-pegged exchange rates against a weakening sterling but also because of the UK’s safe-haven status. A research by technology and investment advisory firm, GP Bullhound, also showed that London’s technology ecosystem has helped 17 companies surpass the $1 billion valuation mark since 2010 further asserting the capital as a leading global city, financial hub and property investment destination in addition to Europe’s number one tech hub for unicorn companies. — ARABIAN BUSINESS

London still a property investment hotspot for Middle East investors.
Property Investment Hotspots

Research by UK’s online estate agents HouseSimple reveals that poor broadband speeds could knock up to 25% off the value of a home. The research was based on findings from the comparison of average house prices on streets with some of the slowest broadband speeds and those with good quality broadband internet speeds in Britain (this is less than 1Mbps vs. UK average broadband speed of 46.2Mbps). House prices were on an average 24% lower on the streets with the slowest broadband speeds (£182,983) compared to (£240,031) for areas with good quality internet speeds. “Broadband is now considered the fourth utility after water, gas, and electricity, such as our reliance on a fast internet connection at home for everyday tasks such as food shopping and watching the television. And having a fiendishly slow internet connection at home can really affect the saleability of a house.” CEO HouseSimple, Sam Mitchell stated. — PROPERTY INVESTOR TODAY

The Landsite – A new UK platform recently launched with the aim of connecting Britain’s professional property industry. The platform offers landlords, tenants, professional property services, and independent users’ access to professional services such as land property news and analytics. With a view to creating a community network for property professionals, Assal, a property investor and developer took the decision to create the new platform due to frustrations of sourcing both land for new development and reliable professional service businesses. Perks of “The Landsite” include features such as land and property can be uploaded by agents and developers themselves via a user-friendly, step-by-step dashboard that will give them direct access to active investors, buyers, landlords, and tenants. Although at the development phase, the platform will enable registered users to connect, network and converse in a forum setting with communication features such as instant messaging planned (Much like the LinkedIn of property and real estate) — INVEST FOR PROPERTY

Data from Knight Frank’s inaugural Residential Investment report reveal that London and Bristol are set to be hotspots for Private Rented Sectors (PRS), Senior Living and Student Accommodation. Knight Frank surveyed 43 leading investors, with a combined £32 billion already invested across Student Accommodation, PRS and Senior Living Rental and found that 35% of respondents expect to be active across all three sectors in 2024. (up from 13% today). The report reveals that over the next five years the PRS sector is set to leapfrog student accommodation, in terms of size, with the sum of capital invested and committed in the investment-grade private rented sector forecast to be £75 billion. This is a rise of more than the total value of the student accommodation sector, forecast to be £65 billion. The report also noted that there is an overlap of the different drivers for each sector to provide a favourable investment environment. This stems from strong student demand, large-scale city regeneration, and development. — PROPERTY WIRE

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 (May 21st, 2019)

The latest London property headlines, trends in the real estate market and property investment analysis.

The average asking price of a home in Greater London has been slashed by £16,157 (2.5% decline) to £621,589 over the last 12 months to May while values in the North and the Midlands rise, according to the Latest house price index by Rightmove. The property market in Wales registered the most significant growth as the asking price for homes grew 4% with regions defying Brexit. The North and Midlands property market outperformed the South as the registered a growth average home asking price of 2.3% and 3% respectively. Rightmove analyst Miles Shipside stated that the majority of Britons had defied Brexit as property buyers prioritized their own housing needs more than the country’s political chaos. — HOMES&PROPERTY

#London price property headlines
Courtesy RightMove

The Square Mile in London leads in new office developments. Accountancy firm Deloitte in their latest research, reports 12% higher office space construction between October 2018 and March 2019 than in the previous six months. “The uptick in construction activity in the run-up to the originally scheduled EU departure date of March 2019 is remarkable, given the magnitude of political and economic uncertainty,” Deloitte’s analysts stated. The later added, “It demonstrates that developers have not delayed their construction plans and have confidence in the London leasing market over the long term.” London also accounted for the greatest amount of space across new construction spaces during in six months at 1.2 million square feet. — FINANCIAL NEWS

#London #property
The Square Mile London

London based Shojin Property Partners, offers property investors a new type of opportunity through the use of security real estate tokens by smartlands. Real estate tokenization is the process of representing an ownership interest in real estate with a token (For a detailed explanation read this Hackernoon article) Smartland’s maiden Security Token Offering (STO) comprises of tokenized investments in student accommodation in Nottingham. The private offering started with a minimum investment of 25,000 GBP while the public securities sale launched earlier this month with a minimum threshold of 500 GBP. This project’s benefits to investors include; An average annual dividend yield of approximately 5.74% in addition to an annual return of 15.72% including capital growth. — SECURITIES

The £8 billion White City Opportunity Area is one of west London’s biggest regeneration projects offering attractive opportunities to property investors. The development is a collaboration between the local government and private investors. Over the next five years, it aims to create 6,000 new homes, 2.2 million square feet of office space and 20,000 jobs. Some residential developments are almost ready for occupancy such as the White City Living by St James which is slated to welcome its first residents later this year. This is a mixed-use development across eight acres of parks, gardens with shops, cafes, restaurants, and more than 1,800 homes. Opening from late 2019, White City Living will include a choice of suites, one, two, three or four-bedroom apartments and penthouses. Phase one comprises of 412 apartments across three buildings, all of which have private balconies. — SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

#London White City property headlines
A depiction of White City Opportunity Area

Buy-to-Let properties in London recorded the highest returns as U.K. landlords who sold their properties in 2018 made an average of £79,770 (US$103,692), according to the Hamptons International Monthly Lettings Index. “Over the 9.6 years that the average landlord has owned their buy-to-let, house price growth has driven their gains, with prices having risen around 30% over the period,” according to Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons International. According to the report, Landlords selling in the London neighborhoods of Kensington and Chelsea saw the largest gains, seeing a pre-tax profit of just over an average £1 million. The report also highlights four local authorities in England and Wales where landlords were more likely to sell their buy-to-let for less than they paid for in 2018. These are South Tyneside, Sunderland, Darlington, and Middlesbrough. — MANSION GLOBAL

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 (May 19th, 2019)

The latest London property News & Headlines, trends in the real estate market and property investment analysis.

New York’s all-women coworking space and members’ club- The Wing is opening its first international hub in London this autumn. This ninth site will occupy a five-storey townhouse in Fitzrovia. With the rise of remote working “The Wing” sets itself apart from the competition in its dedication to a women-based co-working space. The Wing’s membership prices range from $2,350 to $2,700 a year offering members access to a variety of unique perks such a tea room, beauty room, a portrait gallery, and a roof terrace with chequerboard grass. “The Wing is a completely authentic space led by women who genuinely care about the women’s movement,” states Sharmadean Reid, a founding member. — THE SPACES

#Londonproperty #LondonTheWing
Courtesy The Wing

The fringes of London offer a better cost per square metre of renting a home as revealed by exclusive new research by OpenRent letting agents. The report revealed that Londoners can get the most living space for an average £100 in Orpington for 7.23square metres. The most expensive London postcode is Mayfair where an average £100 will rent one 1.23square metres for a month. This follows last week’s article that analyzed towns outside Britain’s Capital with the most extravagant property prices. Virginia Water in Surrey Britain was named the UK’s first “million-pound town” a few years ago. Reporting on property market performance for the end of 2018 and start of 2019, the Daily Express stated that the average house price growth stagnated in the face of Brexit uncertainty. — HOMES & PROPERTY

Courtesy Homes & Property

Inadash – A new mobile app venture that aims to simplify the process of finding new tenants for landlords in London. The app seeks to bridge the vast gap between landlords and tenants as highlighted by a recent industry expert study. It highlighted that it took property renters an average of four weeks to enquire, book and view a property. Inadash enables agents to register an available property and state when they are planning or open to customer visits. The app then advertises the property as an ‘Open House’ to renters and gives them the opportunity to instantly book a viewing directly with the agent. It minimizes the time wasted by potential tenants to enquire for properties that have already been snapped up. — PROPERTY INVESTOR TODAY

According to research by the AA, a third of tenants in the UK have no home insurance and assume their landlord’s insurance is sufficient. Despite most landlords having some form of basic insurance cover to protect their rental property investment, the main difference between insurance covers that landlords take out and tenants is liability. Most Landlord covers mainly cover the maintenance of a safe property for their tenants in addition to repair work such as plumbing. Some tenancy agreements for tenants about to move into a property may state that they are liable for damage to their landlord’s furniture and fittings in the property. It is thus vital for tenants to double check the contract agreements to prevent future problems. — ESTATE AGENT NETWORKING

Sale prices of top-end homes in London have been falling for nearly four years, as the British capital experiences, the Longest property price plummets in decades. The Financial Times had earlier attributed this trend to the Brexit uncertainty, tax hikes, a crackdown on money laundering and a surplus of new properties. “I’ve always said that what we could not cope with economically in this country is a long, prolonged period of uncertainty,’’ said Mark Preston, chief executive of the Grosvenor Group, the property company that owns the vast upscale Belgravia and Mayfair districts on behalf of the billionaire Duke of Westminster. A perfect example is the Havona House in London’s Notting Hill neighborhood. The luxury home which was listed for 25 million pounds, was taken off listing by the owners just over a year. — BLOOMBERG

#HavonaHouse #LondonProperty
The Havona House

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 (May 13th, 2019)

Below we highlight the latest London property News & Headlines, trends in the real estate market and property investment analysis.

The average property in the UK takes around 56 days to go under offer from when it’s first listed, states the latest property market research by Zoopla. “Despite widespread reports of a subdued housing market, Brits may be surprised that it takes less than two months for the average British property to go under offer from the date it was first listed for sale.” Annabel Dixon, spokesperson for Zoopla said. The research found out that properties in Blackpool and London take the longest to go under offer averaging 71 and 70 days respectively. The research suggested that properties priced fairly in regards to the current market conditions sell quicker. Edinburgh and Falkirk are the fastest places to sell a home in the United Kingdom, with an average of just 27 days to go under offer, compared to the overall UK average. — PROPERTY REPORTER

UK Hottest Property Markets (Courtesy Zoopla)

60% of high earners across the UK reside in London and the Southeast reveals estate agent Savills. The conclusion of the research was drawn upon the measurement of households with an annual income of £100,000 or more. “The consistent pull of high earners to certain locations has resulted in significant concentrations of housing equity in established prime markets. As they have climbed the career ladder so their spending power has risen, fueling higher long-term rates of house price growth than elsewhere in the country.” Savills’ residential research director Lucian Cook stated. In summary, the report finds that one in six London households earns more than £100,000 as compared with one in 32 in the Southwest, and just one in 87 in Northern Ireland. — Financial Times

Courtesy Savills

According to a report from Acadata, the London property market is experiencing the hardest Brexit hit of all UK cities. House prices fell by 1.1% in April as compared to the previous year, the report depicted as property sales are down 14% since the first quarter of 2017. Property sellers in London are dropping prices to secure early sales. The report further affirms recently released data by the RICS and a prior comment by Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist who said: “The combination of the increased cost of moving, a lack of fresh stock coming to the market, uncertainty over the political climate and now an interest rate hike appears to be taking its toll on activity in the housing market.” — BLOOMBERG

Statistics released by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) illuminate the impact of the buy-to-let crackdown in addition to the struggle of property buyers in Britain. Findings by the RICS depict that tenant demand is on the rise across the UK while the number of new landlords entering the market is plummeting. This follows last week’s research by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) which found out that a quarter of private landlords are looking to sell at least one property over the next year. The future continues to look bleak for Landlords with the Tenant fees bill scheduled to come into force this June in addition to the proposed abolition of Section 21. “One explanation for this could be that first-time buyers and family movers have decided to push ahead with their plans for this year regardless of the current political climate, while the more discretionary-led buyers, who would be purchasing luxury homes, are potentially taking a more circumspect view.” Brian Murphy, head of lending for Mortgage Advice Bureau said. — THIS IS MONEY

Much like popular dating app Tinder, Polygon a PropTech startup aims to ease student hunting hassles. The PropTech app has developed a housemate matching algorithm to minimize disputes between renters. Students using the app swipe left on homes they don’t like and right on homes, they are interested in. Students then leave their availability with the homeowner for a viewing or instant reservation on interested homes. Launched in 2018, Polygon states that its housemate-finder algorithm pairs students based on their domestic habits and personalities. The app offers free listings to landlords, purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) and letting agents. Once the student signs a tenancy agreement, the landlord/letting party must pay an agreed fee to the app. “Due to the many horror stories of rogue landlords taking advantage of unsuspecting students, Polygon only lets regulated landlords and letting agents list their properties on their platform.” Polygon stated during its Launch. — PROPERTY INVESTOR TODAY

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 (May 10th, 2019)

We highlight the latest London property News & Headlines, trends in the real estate market and property investment analysis.

A recent survey by estate agency comparison site, GetAgent reveals that for the price of one single flat in London’s most coveted boroughs (Kensington and Chelsea), one can buy as many as eight detached houses in other areas of the country.  “Getting a foot on the ladder is a momentous task for many and so it’s quite mind-boggling when you consider how many houses you can buy in other great parts of the UK for the price of just one flat in Kensington and Chelsea,” Colby Short, CEO GetAgent, states. A flat in Chelsea would cost a property buyer £1,161,580 compared to an average house price in the Western Isles which averages around £137,742. This is an astounding 8.4 houses for the price of one Chelsea flat. — REAL HOMES

#Londonproperty #realestate #UK
Courtesy Real Homes

US and India property buyers top interested parties in London’s property market. According to London real estate agent Chestertons, the US has been the most interested foreign country in London properties for the past three years. It recorded visits to Chestertons’ website up 85% between the period of January and March 2019 compared to the same time in 2018. India’s growing interest in the London property market has been attributed to the expanding middle class, a growing economy, and favourable currency exchange rates. Chestertons recorded web traffic from India up by 94% during the same period. Guy Gittins, managing director of Chestertons stated that “A common theme among both nationalities that we are dealing with is that they are taking a longer-term view about London and the UK. Brexit is generally regarded as a shorter-term blip which will not detract to any significant degree from London’s pedigree as a world city and a safe haven.” — PROPERTY INVESTOR TODAY

London’s Skyline

Property lender Fitzrovia Finance launches GBP100 million institutional platform to private investors with annual returns of up to 5.5%. This means “every £100 loan is secured against £150 of bricks and mortar assets “as Mortgage Introducer states. Fitzrovia’s lending model is mainly focused on residential and commercial property developers. Since its launch, it has provided over £100m of loans. Investors can now access the platform with a £1,000 minimum investment in addition to their prior funding capability of between £1m- £15m. “We compete by offering better rates to better borrowers, in less time and with less hassle, armed with the insight and hands-on experience of our seasoned lending team. We then make these attractive, property-backed returns to our preferred borrowers available to investors with ease and convenience via our state-of-the-art platform.” Katia Pourgalis, COO of Fitzrovia Finance said. — WEALTH ADVISER

London ranked second worst locations in the UK to raise a family after Bristol. Revealed by MoneySuperMarket’s annual Family Living Index, 35 UK cities were surveyed based on six key factors that are; local school rankings, house prices, the likelihood of burglary, job opportunities, access to green space, and average salary. For the second year in a row, Bath has retained its title as UK’s best place to raise a family. Even though London has the highest average income and level of disposable income, it continues to rank near the bottom of the list due to the high average house prices (£478,749). “If you’re thinking of buying a home, it’s worth looking at the bigger picture and taking things such as local amenities, job opportunities and green spaces into consideration. If you have young children, take a look at the schools and the catchment area – many people will pick the area they live in based on this alone.” Tom Flack, editor-in-chief at MoneySuperMarket stated. — PROPERTY REPORTER

A new white paper by London based investment introducing firms, Hunter Jones reveals that individuals could have received almost three times as much by investing in property bonds, compared to buy-to-let properties. In cases where buy-to-let properties would have provided a return of 4.6% per annum, assuming 100% occupancy, the property bond delivered a return of 27.2% over two years, breaking down to about 13% per annum. This is a clear difference of over 8% per annum. “In comparing the return of investing in a buy-to-let property with a property bond, this comes as no real surprise. Aside from receiving a far greater return, investing into a property development fund through a property bond enables individual investors to benefit from the profitability associated with the property sector, without all the downsides of direct property ownership.” Reece Mennie, CEO of Hunter Jones stated. — 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.

London Property Headlines (May 8th, 2019)

The latest property headlines in London, UK.

The awe of communal gardens in London and why properties with access to such green spaces are the most coveted. – “If one were to count communal gardens that are not called ‘squares,’ ‘crescents,’ etc., I expect the number would be closer to 600 to 700. Some of the newer ones are merely street widenings and excuses for the builders to inflate the asking prices that surround them, as it is still very desirable in London to live on a square.” Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, author of the London Square states. A property unit costs around £2,000 a month without a garden whereas it would cost £2,500 if a communal garden was accessible. Eaton Square in the Belgravia district comprises of six gardens, where apartments can fetch an outstanding $10 million. Each June, these breathtaking spaces are open to the public at the Open Garden Square Weekend event. — THE NEW YORK TIMES

Kew Gardens, Southwest London
Kew Gardens, Southwest London

Besides Mayor Ed Holder and six councilors, all other politicians voted in favor of 10 principles for building on the lands surrounding Victoria Park, London. Since January the public has raised concerns over controversial plans to ring Victoria Park with high-rise towers. City hall in a series of meetings has been debating on plans of how tall developments around Victoria Park edges should be. Zoning laws allow for towers to be 35 storeys tall with bonusing on two sides of the park and nearby on a third. An Auburn Developments proposal for a 17-storey building at Wolfe and Wellington remains undecided until full plan with rules for intensification is solidified in June. Last night (Tuesday 7th May 2019), the council narrowly approved guidelines for Victoria Park development in an 8-7 vote. — THE LONDON FREE PRESS

Zoning laws allow for towers to be 35 storeys tall with bonusing on two sides of the park and nearby on a third
Courtesy Orchard Design Studio INC

According to the Estate Agents Network and data provider LonRes, huge drops have been witnessed in the prime London property market. Prices were down 9.7% compared with a year ago, while new instructions were down 27%. The prime London locations surveyed comprised of the most expensive postcodes in London, including Kensington and Chelsea. It revealed that new instructions were down by 38% compared with the first quarter of 2018. “The lack of activity within prime central London over the last four years has created a significant pool of pent-up demand.  Those who have tried to sell failed and withdrawn, together with those would-be sellers who have never even brought their home to market (instead of holding out for signs of improvement) will, we expect, re-enter the market as conditions improve.” A recent article by LonRes stated. — PROPERTY INDUSTRY EYE

The 1,000-foot Tulip Skyscraper building which was approved by planners last month evokes mixed feelings among Londoners – A survey by YouGov states.  The building which will serve as a multi-deck viewing platform when it opens in 2025, is considered to improve London’s skyline by 37% of people whereas 32% think it will have a negative effect on the city. Pensioners add up the majority of people who seem to hate the idea of the Tulip skyscraper, with as few as 14% saying it will make the skyline better. “It would seem, however, that the classics really are still the best: 70% of Londoners think St Paul’s Cathedral has changed London’s skyline for the better. A mere 1% think it has done so for the worse,” YouGov reported. — CITY A.M

Tulip Skyscraper in London
Tulip Skyscraper

Innovative lettings platform, Howsy reveals areas across the UK where one can find the best value rental spots when considered in context with the cost of buying a house in their latest research. They achieved this by comparing the average annual rent to the average house price in each surveyed area. These places were then ranked by the lowest percentage ratio to highlight the sought-after homeowning hotspots offering the lowest rental barriers. “The affordability of living anywhere in the UK is always relative to the place itself, the wage on offer and the cost of living and of course these tend to be higher in more desirable areas.” Calum Brannan, Founder, and CEO of Howsy stated. Kensington and Chelsea have the lowest rent as a proportion of house price with an average annual rent of £38,076 which is 2.63% of the average house price (£1.4m). For people who can afford to rent in the prime London borough, it offers the best value to rent while faking the high-class homeowner lifestyle. — ESTATE AGENT NETWORKING

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 (May 3rd, 2019)

Below we explore the trending property headlines in London, UK.

The Westminster Council has approved application plans for a 42-storey residential tower dubbed the “Paddington Cucumber Tower”.  The 490 ft-tall building covered in a dark blue glazed terracotta cladding will feature a “crown-like peak” in addition to being the tallest tower at One Merchant Square. It will also consist of a sister building on the same basement podium, raised in height from 15 to 21 storeys. Even though the development was originally given consent eight years ago, the developers made changes and therefore needed fresh planning approval. As revealed by the planning documents, major changes involved the removal of a planned hotel so as to fit in flats. The development is however surrounded by controversies as only 67 of the two towers’ combined total of 426 flats will be classed as affordable housing. This is below Westminster Council’s own guidance for at least 30% to be affordable in addition to the Mayor of London’s 35% affordable target. — SECRET LONDON

42-storey residential tower dubbed the “Paddington Cucumber Tower”.
Paddington Cucumber Tower

‘The Loft Collection’ at Landmark Pinnacle has launched in London. The new studio and one-bedroom apartments are designed by architects Squire & Partners and comprise of neutral palettes with timber floors and floor-to-ceiling windows. Landmark Pinnacle is within walking distance of three DLR stations, and the Jubilee line at Canary Wharf Underground station. It was re-imagined by London developers Chalegrove Properties Ltd (CPL) and consists of 752 prime residential properties with over 70% of all available units sold to date. Rami Atallah, the project coordinator at Chalegrove Properties, said: “The Loft Collection is a premium upgrade to our studio offering, providing sophisticated living spaces for those looking for a prime apartment in London’s ever-growing financial district.” — BDAILY NEWS

‘The Loft Collection’ at Landmark Pinnacle has launched in London.
The Landmark Pinnacle

The UK witnesses an increase in the number of mortgages being taken out by first-time home buyers despite the Brexit environment. According toUK’s largest building society Nationwide, first-time home buyers seem to be benefiting from the weak house price growth as the country’s housing market continues to slump. Britain’s housing market registered a growth of less than 1%for the fifth month in a row. “While the ongoing economic uncertainties have clearly been weighing on consumer sentiment, this hasn’t prevented further steady gains in the number of first-time buyers entering the housing market in recent quarters. Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist stated. This trend follows a recent report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors which forecasted a modest improvement in Britain’s housing market over the next 12 months. — TELEGRAPH PROPERTY

Preliminary data for the first quarter on the UK property market has revealed two transactions worth almost $171 million from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.  Despite the Brexit uncertainty these Gulf-based investors are atop the London commercial property investment leader board for 2019. Property broker, Knight and Frank expects the central London commercial property market to thrive estimating as much as £40 billion targeting real estate assets in London this year. “Despite the uncertainty thrown up by Brexit, there are bigger macro political considerations that are helping to cement London’s position as the number one global property investment destination,” added Faisal Durrani, an associate at Knight Frank. — ARAB NEWS

New market analysis reveals that property sellers remain cautious whereas property buyers in the central London market appear unbothered. The report reveals that demand far outweighs supply with most of these property buyers purchasing for family, work, and study in London. Dominic Agace, chief executive officer of Winkworth stated, “Despite some more challenging times in the central London market recently, we have every confidence that this year will see a return to positivity and now that the market is bottoming out, we expect activity to increase as the year goes on.’ He added, “People are more eager now to get moving, and those who had been adopting a wait and see approach are starting to move. It is now more crucial than ever for sellers to instruct a quality estate agent who can offer realistic advice based on years of experience.” — PROPERTY WIRE

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 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.