Cap­i­tal Ap­pre­ci­a­tion

PROP­ERTY PRICES IN LONDON ARE ON THE RISE, AS IS FOR­EIGN IN­TER­EST IN BUY­ING A PIECE OF THE CITY. Tam­sin Bradshaw FINDS OUT WHY, AND WHICH AR­EAS ARE HEAT­ING UP

Hong Kong Tatler - - Real Estate -

The london real es­tate mar­ket is run­ning hot, par­tic­u­larly at the lux­ury end. The cu­mu­la­tive value of the city’s real es­tate is sec­ond only to that of Hong Kong in a com­par­i­son of lead­ing ci­ties, with wealthy in­vestors pump­ing US$676 bil­lion into the mar­ket, ac­cord­ing to in­ter­na­tional de­sign house Candy & Candy’s lat­est re­port on trends in prime real es­tate.

“The London mar­ket is very strong. It’s back to pre-re­ces­sion pric­ing,” says An­drew Hawkins, in­ter­na­tional res­i­den­tial as­so­ciate di­rec­tor at Sav­ills. “It’s an in­ter­est­ing place for peo­ple look­ing to buy sec­ond, third and fourth homes, from an ed­u­ca­tion point of view, for the clar­ity of the le­gal sys­tem there, and the real pos­si­bil­ity of cap­i­tal re­turn on your in­vest­ment.”

The Bri­tish cap­i­tal is also at­tract­ing in­vestors be­cause of its ex­cit­ing cul­tural of­fer­ings, such as a huge va­ri­ety of the­atres and the arts, as well as great ar­chi­tec­ture and de­sign. “I’m also struck by the in­fra­struc­ture that has de­vel­oped since the 2012 Sum­mer Olympics,” says Hawkins, cit­ing the high-

fre­quency, high-speed Cross­rail due to start op­er­at­ing in 2018 from Read­ing in the west to Shen­field in the east. Barts Square, a new de­vel­op­ment in the City of London that Sav­ills is re­spon­si­ble for sell­ing, will be next to one of Cross­rail’s ticket gates.

Barts Square is just one of many new lux­ury res­i­den­tial projects chang­ing the city sky­line. Th­ese in­clude Kens­ing­ton Row, Great Min­ster House and River­walk in West­min­ster, the award-win­ning Gaz­zano Build­ing in Far­ring­don, and The Heron in the City. And they come with all the ameni­ties a buyer could ask for, in­clud­ing gyms, spas, pools, park­ing and 24-hour concierge ser­vices.

The flurry of ac­tiv­ity is noth­ing new, says Hawkins. “There’s al­ways some­thing hap­pen­ing in London in terms of de­vel­op­ment. Even in the down­turn, there was still a good amount of de­vel­op­ment. You can al­ways see cranes some­where in London.”

Cer­tain ar­eas are gain­ing trac­tion. One, St James’s Park, has been over­looked in the past but is “un­der­go­ing a re­nais­sance,” says Su­san­nah Odgers, di­rec­tor of pe­riod house sales for Hath­aways. “Th­ese streets have be­gun to at­tract a young and fash­ion­able buyer, who can recog­nise the area’s prox­im­ity to some of London’s most iconic in­sti­tu­tions.”

Maryle­bone is another area grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity. “In the last 12 months, Maryle­bone has seen house price growth of 14.9 per cent, which makes it the best-per­form­ing prime cen­tral London area,” says Si­mon Hedley, of London es­tate agency Druce. “This is cer­tainly, in part, due to the open­ing of the ul­tra-fash­ion­able Chiltern Firehouse, launched this year by in­ter­na­tional hote­lier An­dré Balazs.”

A dis­trict popular with Chi­nese buy­ers this year is St John’s Wood. As­ton Chase has re­ported three sales in the area to Chi­nese na­tion­als, from £7.95 mil­lion to £17.95 mil­lion. “St John’s Wood is renowned for large pe­riod prop­er­ties on leafy roads a stone’s throw from the West End and many of the city’s top schools and univer­si­ties, which makes the area highly at­trac­tive to Asian buy­ers,” says di­rec­tor Mark Pol­lack.

While London has plenty of ap­peal, there is a down­side. A man­sions tax on prop­er­ties worth £2 mil­lion or more may be levied after next year’s elec­tion, Mid­dle­ton Ad­vi­sors says in its June 2014 re­search re­port on London, Hong Kong and New York.

city STYLE HIGH CEIL­INGS AND CLAS­SIC CON­TEM­PO­RARY IN­TE­RI­ORS ARE HALL­MARKS OF THIS CADO­GAN GAR­DENS APART­MENT NEAR KNIGHTS­BRIDGE AND SLOANE SQUARE, AVAIL­ABLE THROUGH AYLES­FORD

KEEP­ING HOUSE THIS 8,078- SQUARE- FOOT, DE­TACHED HOUSE IN HAMP­STEAD, WHICH BOASTS GAR­DENS, A WINE CEL­LAR AND A HOME CIN­EMA, IS AVAIL­ABLE THROUGH SAV­ILLS AND AS­TON CHASE

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