While the population of London continues to grow alongside demand for new homes, the Capital faces the challenge of building more than 42,000 new homes per year over the next 20 years. This level of house building has been unseen since the 1930s and current build levels are quite far off the high targets which the Mayor has put in place.
One of my main objectives for the Land and New Homes division this year was to source development opportunities in key areas to ensure that we enjoy the benefits of playing a part in London’s future and new housing growth. To date this year, we have agreed 60% more land transactions compared to 2013, providing many developers with the land they desperately need to build much needed housing in the Capital.
Areas seeing investment:
Across London this year, building activity for both residential and commercial property picked up and we’re now seeing many areas benefitting from regeneration. In South West London, in addition to the considerable Nine Elms regeneration project, SW19 and surrounds has seen the launch of many new schemes this year. A development near to Wimbledon Park station which we marketed in early 2014 proved extremely popular among buy-to-let investors while another yet to launch in Southfields has received record levels of interest despite not yet being available. In South East London, the area around Crystal Palace and Streatham is seeing significant investment and we’ve been marketing a number of fantastic schemes in this area which are proving popular among first time buyers and investors alike.
Permitted development rights:
A hot topic this year was permitted development rights. In 2013 the government made changes to permitted development for change of use from commercial to residential property without the need for planning permission. This was designed to help regenerate towns where businesses had previously been located but had since moved out, and aid the process of providing much needed new homes in central locations more swiftly. Our Development Consultancy team has been advising on a number of properties of this type and we look forward to seeing many of these launch in 2015.
Off plan sales:
As demand for new homes has continued to outstrip the supply, off-plan sales have flourished this year and enabled buyers to secure their homes for next year at this year’s prices. Our experiences in Brockley, South Wimbledon and Southfields this quarter alone would suggest that at least 25% of many developments will be reserved before the show home is ready for viewing.
2014 has been the most successful year to date for Land and New Homes and the nine new developments that we already have lined up to be launched next year confirms that this trend is set to continue for 2015.
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