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London property deals with Crossrail potential, features as one of our property updates from this week’s press.
Actor Jamie Dornan
Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan and wife Amelia Warner, aka musician Slow Moving Millie, have sold their Gloucestershire holiday home for £500,000. The three-bedroom, semi-detached Cotswold stone cottage, which had been on the market since May, features a quirky monogrammed wall in the kitchen.
Wes Brown’s Property Woes
Sunderland footballer Wes Brown and his wife, reality TV star Leanne Wassell, have been struggling to sell their five bedroom house in the village of Prestbury, and have now reduced the price by £1m down to £2.95 million. The well-appointed house has a cinema, an impressive indoor pool and spa and is a short distance from fellow footballing icon Wayne Rooney.
Apple of his eye?
Apple design guru and celebrated technology designer Ross Lovegrove, is selling his unique West London pad for £12 million. The three-bedroom property has eco-aware technology throughout and is adorned with unique design features such as, a dramatic spiral staircase and large open-place rooms filled with light, plus a roof terrace.
Profit for Pamela Skaist-Levy
Fashion designer Pamela Skaist-Levy (founder of Juicy Couture) and her husband, film director-producer Jeff Levy, are selling their Thirties-built Beverly Hills manor house for £32.8 million.. The couple bought the eight-bedroom, 10-bathroom home in 2005 for £11.4 million from former Ticketmaster CEO Fred Rosen, so they stand to make a very healthy profit.
Is Manchester the new London?
London aside, no region has embraced the private rented sector (PRS) more than the North West. Plenty of city-centre developments in Manchester and Liverpool have been planned since the start of the decade but now many are actually beginning to rise out of the ground.
This has led one leading market professional to claim that Manchester “is starting to act like a mini London”.
Although Mancunians may object at being seen to follow the capital’s lead Steven Verity, senior director, at CBRE’s Manchester office goes onto say “Traditionally there used to be places such as No.1 Deansgate [a luxury high-rise developed in 2002], which was the epitome of where everyone wanted to be but now people want to live in certain parts of the city centre, not because it’s a better or a worse place, but because of their lifestyle which means that rents are derived from the quality of a scheme and its facilities rather than its immediate surroundings, allowing scope for PRS developments right across the central zone”.
There are now a plethora of Manchester schemes either underway or on the starting blocks with initial investor backing but the PRS effect is “spreading out across the Manchester-Liverpool megalopolis”, according to David Ramsdale, residential research analyst at Cushman & Wakefield.
Although Liverpool’s PRS market does not match Manchester’s in size, with 730 units currently under construction over three sites, its first major scheme, the Keel, Moorfield and Glenbrook’s £30m redevelopment of a former HMRC building, is close to completion and flats are now being shown to potential tenants. Liverpool is also the location chosen by Vista UK Residential Real Estate Fund (the UK’s first investment fund solely for PRS) for its first investment a £50m, 324-bedroom scheme in the city’s Baltic Triangle.
Outside of the two main cities the market is already moving into surrounding satellite towns including plans for 100 residential apartments in Chester but developments are likely to be smaller and potentially aimed more at downsizers with visiting families.
It does seem that PRS is in the North West to stay and as more schemes deliver and investor confidence grows so more schemes are likely to follow.
Labour poised to back public housebuilding drive
A new report issued by Shadow housing and planning minister John Healey argues that it is not possible to meet the country’s housing needs “without a substantial and sustained programme of public house-building”. He argues that in the long run the benefits of more public homes will outweigh the upfront costs of building them and also reduce the housing benefit bill.
Criticizing the last five years of coalition government as a “failure for housing with higher rents, more homelessness, less home ownership, and fewer homes built” the report predicted that by 2020 if current trends continue average deposits will have reached £76,000; there will be 508,000 fewer homeowners than in 2010; renting will be £3,500 more a year, costing an average of £11,500 annually; and 74,000 families will be made homeless a year.
Healey said: “Ministers spent the last parliament blaming Labour. This won’t wash now. The Tories have their own track record in government, which is five years of failure.
“Their five years of failure on housing means worry and misery for millions of people now struggling with the cost of housing crisis – higher rents, more homelessness, the lowest rate of home ownership in a generation, and fewer homes built than at any time since the 1920s.”
London Deals Including Crossrail Potential
Thackeray Estate has added a potential £40m of value to its existing £300m portfolio following a range of completed site acquisitions and exchanges across London including the planned conversion of a 21,000 sq ft commercial site in Ealing into a 150,000 sq ft residential scheme.
Other big transactions include the acquisition of a 25,000 sq ft site in Hammersmith, the sale of a 7,000 sq ft Edwardian building, planning permission for a commercial to residential conversion in Southwark and a mixed-use development scheme comprising 17 private residential apartments in Chelsea with a projected value of more than £30m.
Charles Thompson, director at The Thackeray Estate, said: “Recently we’ve been focused on optimising the development potential of a number of sites in our growing portfolio. To gain planning permission for these two sites has significantly increased their value enabling us to develop high quality product in these two key London areas.
“While adding value to our current stock, we’ve also been busy acquiring new sites. The site in Ealing is an exciting prospect due to its prominent location, which is boosted by the imminent launch of Crossrail in the area”.
Workspace Group has exchanged contracts for the acquisition of a former Mecca Bingo site in Wandsworth for £26.1m. The site adjoins Workspace-owned Riverside, an existing 100,000 sq ft office and workshop building with a rent roll of £1.2m. The combined site provides nearly six acres of land with significant redevelopment potential, including residential.
It is located close to Earlsfield station, which is one stop from Clapham Junction, a current mainline and proposed Crossrail 2 interchange station.
(For more information on Crossrail see https://thehomecloud.co.uk/blog/buying-property-on-the-crossrail-route)
This deal increases the number of Wandsworth properties owned by Workspace to four including a recently completed town centre mixed use redevelopment and the launch of The Light Bulb, a new 52,000 sq ft business centre.
Jamie Hopkins, chief executive of Workspace, said: “This is a hugely exciting purchase for Workspace of a site we have been tracking for some time. It provides the opportunity to create a major employment hub in Wandsworth, complementing the schemes that we have already delivered at Kennington Park and The Biscuit Factory in Bermondsey. We look forward to working with Wandsworth Council and the local community on the redevelopment of this strategic site.”
Arnaud Touret has acquired two adjoining Victorian properties near Battersea Park at values which are thought to exceed the record for the area of £2,000 per square foot. They will be redeveloped into super-prime mansions and both are expected to be worth £13m-£15m after redevelopment.
The site overlooks Battersea Park on the south bank of the Thames and is only three minutes from Chelsea.
Press reports suggest that Ptarmigan Land is seeking a developer to build 237 homes at Albert Wharf, either through a partnership or an outright sale. It is rare for such a riverside site with planning consent to become available and the Wandsworth Bridge Road site is one of the few remaining residential riverside development opportunities in south-west London.
As competition from developers for Thames side sites remains fierce offers are likely to exceed £60m for the 3.6-acre site which is currently home to a CEMEX concrete batching plant and includes three riverside wharves. The developer will need to provide 87,000 square feet of space beneath the flats to allow the cement plant to remain on the site.
The proposed scheme will comprise four buildings ranging from five to 13 floors with flats and commercial and retail space, a Thames path and a jetty.
This will be part of a wider redevelopment of the Fulham riverfront into a residential strip and will be adjacent to a 463 flat development at Fulham Wharf and opposite the Hurlingham Retail Park, which is being converted into 242 homes.
More Investment in the Student Market
The Student Hotel (a hybrid student housing and hotel brand) has received a €100m (£74m) equity investment from APG, the asset manager for the Dutch pension fund ABP which raises the equity capacity of the Student Hotel group to €250m.
The Amsterdam-based group which currently operates more than 2,750 rooms across six cities plans to invest more than €600m in the coming three to five years and will focus on leading European university cities including the UK in a bid to attract international students, young professionals and youth travellers.
Its ambition is to create a €1bn core real estate portfolio, totalling more than 10,000 rooms by 2020.
“We think that the European student housing market offers a very compelling investment opportunity,” said Robert-Jan Foortse, head of European property investments at APG Asset Management.
Tesco looks at site disposal
Tesco, Britain’s biggest supermarket, is negotiating to sell a £250m portfolio of 10 residential sites in London and the South East to Meyer Bergman. The portfolio which includes sites in Woolwich, Kensington, Barnet and St Albans (mostly with planning consent) has a capacity for 4,000 residential units and an end value of more than £1bn, according to Euro Property.
Because of declining sales Tesco announced the closure of 43 stores in January and also cancelled 49 development projects and is now looking to use its land bank for residential development instead.
Councils decline approval for 1/5th of all office to residential applications
Councils in England have declined approval for 20% of recent office-to-residential applications, according to analysis of government data by Property consultancy Daniel Watney (the first national overview of office-to-residential applications since planning laws were relaxed in May 2013).
The report shows that between April 2014 and June 2015, 916 of 4,887 applications for conversion through permitted development rights (PDR) were refused on ‘prior approval’ grounds across England. In London, 493 of 1,959 applications roughly a quarter were blocked. The average for other cities was one in 10.
Although PDR allows office-to-residential conversions to be carried out without a planning application, developers still have to seek prior approval from councils where certain other planning consents, such as transport and highways issues, contamination and flooding risk, are required.
Charles Mills, partner at Daniel Watney, warned that councils should not misuse the prior approval process as a “workaround” to veto conversions.
The research found that Bristol has approved the most conversions at 54, while Brighton and Hove has rejected the most – turning down 12.
In London, Richmond upon Thames, has had the greatest number of applications at 208, refusing 74 and approving 134.
Statistics of the Week (thanks to Property Week Magazine)
This week’s vital residential stats
£8,250 is the amount the government’s Help to Buy scheme has pushed up the average house price, according to Shelter.
6.7% is the proportion of Help-to-Buy sales in the North East – the highest level of any region.
£3.4bn is the rise in mortgage lending in August – the biggest monthly increase since spring 2008, according to the Bank of England.
71,000 are the number of mortgage approvals in August, the highest level in 18 months
4.2% is the rise in house prices in England and Wales in August, the slowest month since November 2013, according to the Land Registry.
17% is the fall in sales of properties of more than £1m in August, when compared with the previous year, according to the Land Registry.
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