Buyers Arrive Early for London Development

London’s Southbank Place is seeing a surge of interest from buyers more than a month before its apartments hit the market.

The development in central London invited buyers to register their interest on July 29th, and some 600 had done so within 24 hours, the marketers say. A week later, that number had surpassed 1,000.

Southbank Place is on the iconic 5.25-acre Shell Centre site overlooking the River Thames, with views of the Palace of Westminster and the House of Parliament. It took four years for the developers to get planning approvals.

Also known as the Shell campus, the plot is considered one of London’s last big sites available for development, and more than 20 suitors approached the oil company to buy it.

It was won by a joint venture between Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar, whose proposed residential development will surround the existing Shell offices in the 27-story Shell Tower, a landmark building just behind the London Eye.

“Our vision and commitment is to produce some of the most contemporary homes available in London,” said George Iacobescu, CEO and chairman of Canary Wharf Group.

The mixed-use development will consist of seven new buildings, new public spaces and on-site amenities such as a health and fitness center and a spa. The first phase of its 868 homes, which are yet to be priced, will go on sale on Sept. 17.

Plans are for the development to be complete before the end of 2019, although the first buildings will be completed as early as 2017.

Southbank Place will also include 48,000 square feet of shops, restaurants and cafes, and 530,000 square feet of office space.

The development is being marketed to U.K. buyers, and local London investors get priority. But international buyers will not be turned away if they show interest or would like to buy as soon as sales open.

Riverside homes in London are proving an increasingly popular investment. Research by the agency Savills found that, in 2014, the average sale price of apartments within 100 meters of the Thames was 21.4% higher than those between 100 meters and 1 kilometer of the river Thames.

That figure is rising: two years ago, the riverfront premium was 13.1%, according to Savills.

Fran Moynihan, of Savills, said that property with direct river views can fetch, on average, 18% to 20% more than a similar property without river views only a street away. She adds: “Flagship new developments along the river have contributed to the rising premium of waterfront property.”


Source: Mansion Global

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