While questions abound about Brexit deadlines, strength of the pound and city expansion, the one thing investors can be sure of is the value of bricks and mortar. At least, that's the message from high end realtors Knight Frank. With a range of luxury developments here in Britain's capital, and attracting interest from around the globe, Knight Frank's residential development partner Alex Carr talks Tempus through the changing trends in how we're living – and what that means for London's latest developments. Read on for more...
With foreign exchange rates favouring the US dollar over sterling, Carr says property within Greater London – like the idyllic Teddington Riverside development – is seeing interest from foreign investment. "Currently, the lower exchange rates and weakness of the Pound are proving very appealing to overseas investors, especially those denominated in US Dollars," he says. "Dollar buyers into London have benefited from a relative discount of c.22% when looking back over the past three years – all acting as an additional draw to London and a positive for the UK’s wider economy."
Carr says one of London's major draws is the capital's choice of world class education, enticing families to seek property with great access, such as Pinks Mews. "London has some of the most recognised educational institutions in the world; Kings College, London School of Economics and Imperial College to name just a few. The capital’s schools and universities have developed a following globally and have become widely recognised as centres of excellence."
London is one of many major cities embracing residence-style living, with concierge, chauffeur and room services all offering the convenience of a hotel stay right at home. "The world has become much more global than ever before, people are used to traveling the world and staying in hotels which offer a full range of amenities and leisure facilities. The high-end development market has been replicating this for a while now," Carr says, indicating properties such as Lincoln Square (pictured), "where similar hotel-style facilities have increasingly become the norm. Buyers into luxury new homes have become used to the convenience of hotel style living and now expect this level of amenities."
A more divisive trend, Carr says there's a split between property investors' love of traditional multi-story houses and hotel-style apartments. But with a plethora of penthouse and loft-style living available in the capital, such as Long & Waterson's stylish penthouses, lateral living is here to stay – at least in the city. "Lateral living is very easy for people to understand, it provides manageable living spaces and again comes back to hotel style accommodation. Lateral properties tend to have a minimum of a concierge, with the larger developments offering a wider range facilities."
Carr explains that Thames-side properties, such as Chelsea Waterfront, always prove popular with investors. "All over the world, waterside properties command a premium, however this is especially relevant in London," he says. "The Thames is one of the most famous rivers in the world, with properties along its banks in high demand. It is very hard to find new homes which offer the views and living experience that Thames-side homes do."