The London market - Bargains to be had, but investors must be shrewd

8 July 2009

The London property market is currently offering some interesting opportunities for investors - but now more than ever, buyers must pick wisely, says Ed Lewis of Savills. Lewis, head of London new homes for the international real estate adviser, is currently on a tour of South East Asia advising investors on where they should - and shouldn’t - spend their money.

 

“There have been huge price corrections in the London market which can give the impression that everything is a bargain,” he said. “This is not always the case. While there ARE some bargains out there, there are also opportunities for wasting money, and the canny investor must differentiate between the two. Just because a property is cheap now, does not mean it will be expensive in 25 years’ time. Chances are, in many non-established locations, it will still be cheap in 25 years’ time.

“It is similar to buying properties in Singapore, given a choice, investors would go for prime established districts. On a global perspective, we look at established or developed cities with huge growth potential as "prime districts", such as London, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, etc. In real estate investment, location is of paramount factor. One that will weather the storm during downturn, would always will; one that will not, would never will. Districts 9, 10 & 11 will always be in demand be it in an upturn or downturn,” said Julian Sedgwick, Senior Associate Director, International Marketing, Savills Singapore.

“Buyers need to be focussing on quality and location above all else. In recent months we have seen investors from SE Asia paying a lot of money for property in unfashionable areas in greater London and its suburbs. Prices there are cheap – but they still will be several years from now – so this is not money well spent,” added Lewis.

Lewis says key locations for good investments are more central – typically in established neighbourhoods with good facilities and transport links. Chevalier House, in Knightsbridge, and Highbury Square, in north London, are both examples of developments that tick every box for wise investors.

Located opposite Harrods, Chevalier House enjoys not just the best possible location, but also sleek contemporary design with 24-hour porterage, and triple-glazed windows to ensure peace and tranquillity. Prices start at £1,150,000 for a one-bed apartment and go up to £5,750,000 for a three-bed penthouse overlooking Harrods and Harvey Nichols. Savills, which is selling apartments in this popular new development, has seen much interest in the properties here from international buyers, many of whom are planning to buy to let – easy, given the location. Ed Lewis said: “This is the property equivalent of the first day of the Harrods Sale. It is a fantastic opportunity to buy an apartment opposite the most famous department store in the world - the perfect pied’ a terre or ideal lettings opportunity.”

“This is a steal. Gone are the days that one would have thought they would never buy anything near Harrods in London. Chevalier House is not just near but opposite to Harrods. With the price correction and weak sterling, Chevalier House offers the best opportunities and value for money. It is important to note that such opportunity does not always come by, so either you hit or you missed”, added Julian.

Highbury Square, in north London, is one of a kind – a development of apartments and penthouses set behind the Grade II* listed art deco façade of Arsenal Stadium, home to Arsenal Football Club from 1913 to 2006. With the historic football pitch transformed into a lush urban oasis covering more than two acres (8,000 sqm), a health club with pool and 24 hour concierge, it is easy to see why this iconic development makes such a good investment buy. Lewis said: “Prices now average at £525 psf compared to prices achieved in 2007 in excess of £700 psf, which makes Highbury Square an extremely exciting investment opportunity. One-bedroom apartments start from £275,000 while twobedroom apartments will start from £375,000, and the development is just 20 minutes from Knightsbridge or 15 minutes from Piccadilly Circus.”

 
 

Key contacts

Edward Lewis

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Head of London New Homes

Lansdowne House, UK

+44 (0) 20 7409 9997

 

Julian Sedgwick

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Head of International Marketing

Shaw House, Singapore

+65 6836 6888

 

Michael Lim

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Corporate Communications Manager

SGX Centre 1, Singapore

+65 6415 7579