Tacky and overpriced, The Broadway luxury ghost home development on the former New Scotland Yard site in Victoria, London.
According to a Knight Frank survey London’s luxury property prices fell for the third quarter in a row in the period ending September 2017. On a 12 month basis there was a 4.6% decline in London’s ‘premium’ property values. Contrast this with a 4.2% increase across the 41 cities the estate agent surveys around the world. As London prices crashed, European cities like Madrid and Paris were booming; with 11.9% and 11.3% annual increases respectively; even Berlin luxury properties went up 7.3%. Elsewhere the cost of luxury homes leapt by 36.3% in Guangzhou, China.
Amid London and Brexit buy to leave investment gloom, the developer who bought the old Metropolitan Police headquarters in central London has tried floating the fantasy that those in the market for City fringe ghost homes in EC1 – places like Dance Square, Lexicon, Canaletto and Taylor Wimpey’s yet to be built The Denizen in Golden Lane – would soon be heading uptown and upmarket. A PR puff piece has appeared on the websites Zawya and Arab News in recent days:
The high-end property market in London is likely to see a “dramatic” increase in buyers from Asia over the next decade, potentially rivaling more traditional investors from the Middle East, according to a luxury developer.
“Our bread-and-butter clients have been from London and the Middle East in the recent years … however I think there is going to be a huge emergence of clients from Asia,” said Niccolo Barattieri di San Pietro, CEO of property developer Northacre. The developer is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG).
“You have seen them in the low-end, but I think people are underestimating the purchasing power that they are going to have in the next five to 10 years. I am a big believer that a lot of the high-end residential market in London will be sold to the Asia market in the coming years,” he said.
Northacre is redeveloping New Scotland Yard, the former headquarters of London’s Metropolitan Police, into luxury apartments and a high-end retail area. The project — known as The Broadway — is due to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2021.
The developer has started to sell off-plan its proposed 268 apartments spread across six towers — ranging from one-beds to penthouse suites — to investors (our emphasis). One-bedroom apartments have a starting price of about £1.56 million ($2.1 million).
The development has a 25-metre pool, gym and a cinema room for residents.
Given the potential of the Asian market, Barattieri di San Pietro said that Northacre has just conducted its first roadshow in the region, traveling to Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. This was “first of all to get the Northacre brand out,” Barattieri di San Pietro said during a preview tour of an apartment from the Broadway development, “and second to do some exhibitions there that went really well.”
Securing new sources of demand will be important for property developers in London, where concerns about the impact of Brexit on the UK capital, as well as recent increases to stamp duty, have curtailed investor appetite for luxury homes.
“This is not like it was in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Mid-2014 was when the market peaked,” Barattieri di San Pietro said.
…The development of The Broadway has attracted some controversy since ADFG acquired the New Scotland Yard site in 2014, with many criticizing the decision to build high-end luxury apartments in a city facing a dearth of affordable housing.
Asian buyers to rival Arabs in London luxury property market by Paul Hackett.
Because this is all about bling and the ghost homes are aimed at investors who won’t even rent them out, let alone live in them, three of the six towers containing the development’s 285 over-priced flats are tackily named after diamonds, seriously! And those who want to buy into The Sancy, The Paragon and The Cullinan, will have to part with more than £1.5 million for a one-bedroom flat – so that requires them to have more money than sense. The prices are higher, but not that much higher, than those for The Denizen – which is just as tacky.
So it seems there isn’t that much difference between the old Metropolitan Police HQ and an old police section house in London. In case you don’t know, The Denizen’s 99 luxury flats fail to replace any of the 110 social housing units in the soon to be demolished Bernard Morgan House, which for 55 years put a roof over the heads of both cops and nurses. Notice in the piece quoted above there isn’t even any pretence that these safe deposit boxes in the sky will contribute anything at all towards solving London’s housing crisis, this PR puff unashamedly describes them as being marketed to ‘investors’. Taylor Wimpey have been marketing their Denizen flats off-plan to the same South East Asian ‘investors’.
For more on the fury about the lack of affordable housing and breach of planning guidelines in the New Scotland Yard/Broadway/Squire Towers development see: https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/london-mayor-refuses-squire-towers-change-as-affordable-housing-stance-toughens/10023126.article
“A spectre is haunting the cynical overdevelopment that characterises London’s buy to leave property boom, the spectre of modernism!” #savegoldenlane