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