Expectations for the London property investment scene have been conservative of late. Factors ranging from the results of the Brexit referendum in the summer, to the increased stamp duty for higher-value properties since 2014 were predicted to introduce market uncertainty and impact buyer appetite. However, a recent Savills report revealed that London remains the world’s most popular destination for cross-border investment into real estate, surpassing its closest competitor, Manhattan, by approximately $12.53 million (Dh46.04 million) in the previous year alone.
Furthermore, it continues to be the third-biggest residential property market for Middle Eastern wealth after Abu Dhabi and Dubai, according to Savills’ research. London’s unique cultural advantages play a large part in this stability, where heritage and a cosmopolitan landscape go hand in hand with structural strengths and a large and mature real estate market. Reasons such as these have seen the capital long remain at the top of Savills’ world cities index. But it is recent developments, specifically the weakening of the pound sterling, which have presented opportunity for overseas buyers. Savills’ estimated transaction costs for prime London properties among non-resident buyers were already relatively low in comparison to other global real estate powerhouses and, even with concerns around city employment emerging, its medium and long-term forecasts are ones of price growth. This is encouraged by the UK’s desirable constants: world-class educational institutions, a stable and safe legal system ensuring secure tenure and a large pool of prospective tenants with national demand for residential property at a five-year high.
Nowhere more so are these advantages as concentrated as in the central London boroughs, where PW visited three recent residential developments by the team at Ronson Capital Partners that exemplify the attractive investment opportunities on offer.
Located in The City of London – a major business and financial centre in the capital – The Heron is a 36-floor tower designed by David Walker Architects and is the largest residential project to sit in the Square Mile for over 30 years. With only 8,000 residents and a day-time population of 350,000, the area remains a thriving hub, while maintaining its exclusive credentials. With the Heron’s lower floors providing a home for the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and its unusual location beside the landmark Barbican Centre, this is a prime real estate option with all the convenient accessibility of the city, while still laying claim to desirable artistic and cultural links.
Proving immensely viable as an investment among both non-resident and domestic buyers and demonstrating the high buyer demand within the Square Mile, 98 per cent of the Heron apartments have been sold. Only two units remain, a two-bedroom, 2,017-sq-ft panoramic apartment on the 32nd floor, selling for £3.25 million (Dh14.9 million) and the stunning 6,000-sq-ft penthouse for £13.5 million.
With its smaller partner penthouse recently acquired by an overseas buyer, the undeniable appeal of a central city address with an eye for best-in-class finishings is evident. From luxury materials such as Sahara Noir marble, smoky quartz and black granite, to top-of-the-range fittings, including Boffi kitchens and Gaggeneau appliances, every detail has been considered. Building amenities include a private residents’ club with lounge, bar, gym and a landscaped roof garden, as well as valet parking and concierge service, completed by impressive views of London’s skyline, including St Paul’s Cathedral and The Shard.
In a rare new development on the north bank of the Thames, Riverwalk is designed by Stirling Prize-winning architects Stanton Williams and consists of two connected buildings comprising six and 17 floors respectively. A striking silhouette situated directly on the river, Riverwalk’s gently undulating shape echoes the curves of its waterside location, allowing maximised views across the 116 apartments. Units range from one to five bedrooms, with two-bedroom, 1,187-sq-ft apartments starting at £2.25 million. Each residence displays a trademark attention to detail, ensuring generous living spaces, elegant design and an abundance of natural light.
With landscaping from Chelsea Flower Show gold medal winner Stephan Woodhams, Riverwalk’s organic motif extends to the picturesque outdoor spaces, creating a development in harmony with its environment. Already 80 per cent sold, with the 15th floor penthouse going to an overseas buyer, Riverwalk is a testament to the power of quality design and a prestigious location. The 16th floor duplex penthouse, with a roof terrace boasting expansive vistas of the city, remains poised to enter the market.
Situated in Westminster, the historic heart of London, Riverwalk enjoys the sought-after SW1 postcode that guarantees a neighbourhood of the city’s most crucial landmarks. Just a minute’s walk from The Tate Britain art gallery, the development is also within walking distance of the world-famous Westminster Abbey and Hyde Park. World-class educational institutions, such as St Paul’s School, also reside just a stone’s throw away. With concierge service operated by Harrods Estates and impressive amenities such as a gym and river-view yoga studio, Riverwalk is an unmissable opportunity.
Chiltern Place is a residential building set to command a key presence in one of central London’s most increasingly attractive areas. The historic Marylebone village thrives with boutique cafés, shops and restaurants and is a favourite spot among London’s high-profile individuals, enjoying an unusual small-community culture within the heart of the city.
For this 16-storey, 55-apartment building, architects PLP Architecture have focused on delivering a contemporary structure, while complementing the heritage of the area, incorporating a specially selected terracotta facade into the building. Offering varied layouts of one, three- and four-bedroom apartments, starting at 596 sq ft for a one-bedder and 1,129 sq ft for a two-bedroom unit, the off-plan development has already garnered unprecedented demand. All of the four-bedroom apartments have been sold, with both of the penthouses selling to prestigious domestic buyers.
This makes a clear statement on the excellent reputation of Ronson Capital Partners in delivering the highest quality, as well as Chiltern Place’s enviable position as one of the few contemporary luxury apartment buildings available in the area. Using finest materials, including timber, stone and marble, the residences feature impressive finishing touches, such as underfloor heating and bespoke Italian kitchens. A private club, concierge service and fully equipped fitness suite will be available to residents, with interiors provided by Tomasz Starzewski Home.
Nestled beside Paddington Street Gardens and just a few minutes’ walk from Regent’s Park, Chiltern Place is due to be launched during in the first quarter and presents a very interesting investment option.