Prime London de­vel­op­ments are seen as ideal in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for South Africans, writes Michelle Swart

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Prime London de­vel­op­ments are seen as ideal in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties

WITH the in­di­vid­ual off­shore al­lowance for South Africans now at R4m, cou­pled with the fact that the cen­tral London hous­ing mar­ket has started its re­cov­ery, the tim­ing is ideal for lo­cal in­vestors to cap­i­talise on op­por­tu­ni­ties to ac­quire London res­i­den­tial prop­erty, says An­drew Gold­ing, CE of the Pam Gold­ing Prop­erty group.

There are prime lo­ca­tions at at­trac­tive pric­ing and with the po­ten­tial for medium-to longterm cap­i­tal growth, he says.

“While there has been an im­prove­ment, the London prop­erty mar­ket has not yet fully re­cov­ered from the down­turn of the past 18 months and as a re­sult pric­ing is ap­peal­ing for in­vestors seek­ing good value and a sound re­turn. This is cou­pled with the fact that the rand is cur­rently rel­a­tively strong com­pared with the Bri­tish pound,” he says.

“His­tor­i­cally, the London mar­ket has achieved good re­turns for in­vestors and re­as­sur­ingly — in times of global eco­nomic un­cer­tainty — it of­fers in­vestors not only an op­por­tu­nity to di­ver­sify their in­vest­ment port­fo­lios but also to make a sound ac­qui­si­tion in a strong cur­rency.”

He says the de­mand for well­lo­cated rental prop­erty re­mains strong in London, as the city con­tin­ues to be seen as the cen­tre of Europe’s busi­ness deal­ings.

Sav­ills, a lead­ing UK prop­erty com­pany that has an as­so­ci­a­tion with Pam Gold­ing Prop­er­ties, says that rental val­ues of apart­ments in prime cen­tral London have in­creased by 9% since June 2009, while de­mand con­tin­ues to out­strip sup­ply. Of fur­ther in­ter­est is that, in re­gard to rental val­ues, prime south­west London out­per­forms both prime cen­tral and prime east of the city mar­kets.

On a re­cent trip to the UK, Gold­ing and Chris Im­mel­man, MD of the Pam Gold­ing Prop­erty group’s in­ter­na­tional di­vi­sion, viewed sev­eral res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments in cen­tral London, and hand-picked the two most ap­pro­pri­ate for the South African in­vestor mar­ket. These are be­ing launched in SA.

Says Im­mel­man: “Cur­rently there’s a ground swell of in­ter­est in prime cen­tral London res­i­den­tial prop­erty among in­vestors from around the world and among lo­cal UK buy­ers.

“Over the years, and through our part­ner­ship with Sav­ills, which is listed on the London Stock Ex­change and rated the top prop­erty com­pany in the UK in terms of turnover and prof­itabil­ity, we have had con­sid­er­able suc­cess in the sale of Lon­don­based prop­erty to South African in­vestors. Most of these were ac­qui­si­tions as a buy-to-let in­vest- ment among those seek­ing a well­hedged off­shore in­vest­ment an­chored in prop­erty. One of the projects that we are now launch­ing on the South African mar­ket — Queen Mary’s Place — is the best of any of the projects we have ever seen in London.”

Both of the cho­sen prop­er­ties were de­vel­oped by St James Homes, a mem­ber of the Berkeley Group. The first is Av­ing­ton House in Queen Mary’s Place, a col­lec­tion of lux­ury apart­ments and houses set in the his­toric grounds of Roe­hamp­ton House in the heart of south­west London’s golden triangle, with cafés, shop­ping, restau­rants and with Wim­ble­don and Put­ney eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble. One of only three Grade 1 listed build­ings in SW15, the orig­i­nal house is a stately baroque land­mark built in the early 18th cen­tury and en­larged 200 years later.

“The bulk of the units sold to date in this stylish and el­e­gant devel­op­ment have been snapped up by UK pur­chasers, so we are for­tu­nate to be able to bring to the South African mar­ket units in Av­ing­ton House, which con­sists of 20 one-and two-bed­room apart­ments and pent­houses on the 14acre land­scaped and re­stored grounds.”

On the fringes of Rich­mond Park, within easy reach of busi­ness dis­tricts and cen­tral London via over­land and un­der­ground train routes as well as ex­cel­lent pri­mary and sec­ondary schools, more than 30% of the site of Queen Mary’s Place has been set aside as open space. The mag­nif­i­cent baroque ar­chi­tec­ture of the orig­i­nal Roe­hamp­ton House has been re­tained through­out the devel­op­ment, en­abling buy­ers to en­joy all the ben­e­fits of a mod­ern apart­ment in el­e­gant sur­round­ings. Res­i­dents also have the ben­e­fit of an es­tate man­ager, a car and cy­cle club and their own gym­na­sium.

The two-bed­room units are priced from £339 000 to £380 000, with un­com­pro­mis­ing at­ten­tion to de­tail and the lat­est technology, mak­ing them at­trac­tive to young pro­fes­sion­als work­ing in London, in­clud­ing South African ex­pa­tri­ates.

“This is ar­guably one of the best-lo­cated de­vel­op­ments, with Heathrow Air­port only 30 min­utes’ drive away and the heart of London’s en­ter­tain­ment and cul­tural cen­tre eas­ily reached. It is rare to be able to pur­chase prop­erty within a project with such a grand her­itage, yet with cut­tingedge de­sign in­te­ri­ors in­te­grated into the devel­op­ment.”

The sec­ond devel­op­ment mar­keted by Pam Gold­ing Prop­er­ties is Trin­ity Place, also in south­west London, where 51 pri­vate apart­ments are be­ing de­vel­oped by St James Homes, each with con­tem­po­rary open-plan liv­ing ar­eas and an Alno kitchen with in­te­grated ap­pli­ances.

Well sit­u­ated close to Raynes Park Sta­tion, Trin­ity Place is ide­ally lo­cated for ac­cess to cen­tral London, with the wide open green spa­ces of Wim­ble­don Com­mon, Mor­den Park and Beverley Park close by and Can­nons Hill Com­mon less than a kilo­me­tre away.

With con­ve­nient trans­port links to London and to Heathrow and Gatwick air­ports, Trin­ity Place in­cludes a 2 000m² Wait- rose store with a wide range of prod­ucts, as well as a cof­fee shop, res­i­dents’ gym­na­sium, car club and cy­cle stor­age.

With spa­cious new one-bed­room apart­ments priced from £245 000 and two-bed­room units from £350 000, Trin­ity Place has been de­signed with a com­mit­ment to sus­tain­able en­ergy. As well as reusing pre­vi­ously de­vel­oped land, by the care­ful choice of build­ing ma­te­ri­als and a cen­tral com­bined heat and power boiler sys­tem the project is able to achieve green ob­jec­tives and de­liver 25% re­duc­tion in car­bon diox­ide emis­sions be­low the ap­pli­ca­ble build­ing reg­u­la­tions.

There is also an on-site re­cy­cling fa­cil­ity and green roofs to con­trol sur­face wa­ter run-off. Con­tact: Pam Gold­ing Prop­er­ties By­ron Dick 083 655 7444 Of­fice 021 762 2617

Artist’s im­pres­sion of Trin­ity Place in London, top left. Av­ing­ton House at Queen Mary's Place, left. View of the orig­i­nal house at Queen Mary’s Place, set in beau­ti­fully land­scaped grounds, above.

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