Blog Post No. 178
Landlord Exodus, Revitalizing Camden Town, Greystar’s Battersea project – 1st Aug Property Bulletin
The London property market is experiencing support from a phenomenon known as the “landlord exodus”
according to the CEO of Foxtons, Guy Gittins. Rising mortgage rates and government regulations have led many landlords, especially smaller buy-to-let investors, to sell their rental properties. The increase in mortgage rates has made their investments unprofitable. Additionally, government policy changes, such as higher stamp duty and the removal of interest tax relief, have further contributed to landlords leaving the market.
As a result of the landlord exodus, there has been an increase in the number of property sales agreed and completed. Meanwhile, Foxtons, reported a 9% increase in revenue in the first half of the year, with a 14% rise in income from lettings due to surging rents. However, Gittins warns that the rental market could face a crisis if the government does not take action to encourage landlords to return to the sector. The current lack of new landlords entering the market exacerbates the existing supply and demand imbalance.
While Foxtons’ lettings business is performing well, their sales have declined by 19% in the first half of the year, likely influenced by previous government policy changes. The CEO anticipates that the sales market will continue to be slow in the foreseeable future.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has intervened in London’s housing situation, challenging Mayor Sadiq Khan’s ability to deliver the necessary homes for the city.
To address the issue, Sunak announced over £200 million in funding for affordable homes in London. He also set a deadline for the mayor to agree on changes to the London Plan, which guides the city’s development over the next two decades, before intervention by the Levelling Up secretary. However, Mayor Khan criticized the move as “pathetic gesture politics” and claimed that Labour in London has exceeded the government’s affordable housing targets, despite the Tories blocking new housing projects. The government’s commitment includes direct funding for housebuilding to London boroughs, investments in specific projects, and a review of the mayor’s housing plan. Sunak pointed out that not enough homes are being built in London, making homeownership unaffordable for many.
Camden Town, a fashionable and iconic enclave in Central London known for its vibrant nightlife and independent retail scene, is set to undergo a regeneration that offers investment opportunities.
The regeneration aims to make Camden Town not only a popular place to visit but also an attractive place to live. The area is well-connected to the rest of London with various transportation options.
One of the significant residential developments in Camden Town is Verdica by Vistry Ventures, featuring studio, one, and two-bedroom apartments around a courtyard garden, close to the famous Roundhouse music venue. Other residential projects in the pipeline include an eight-acre development with around 600 new homes and a mixed-use development with approximately 60 apartments.
Another exciting addition is the Camden Highline project, inspired by New York’s High Line. It is a 1.2km elevated urban park along a disused railway route from Camden Town to Kings Cross. Planning approval has been granted for the initial section of the line.
The regeneration also includes the Camden Green Loop, a public realm strategy connecting key landmarks and green spaces to create walkable 15-minute neighborhoods.
The Roundhouse, a renowned arts and performance venue, is also expanding with Roundhouse Works, which will provide new rehearsal spaces, a podcast studio, and affordable workspaces for creatives and freelancers.
Investors, young professionals, first-time buyers, and students are showing interest in Verdica, given its unique location with access to cultural and lifestyle events. The area’s concentrated regeneration is expected to yield significant gains, making Camden Town an attractive investment prospect for landlords and property buyers alike.
London Land Group, a residential developer, has entered into a multi-million pound innovation partnership with Samsung Electronics UK.
As part of this collaboration, Samsung will supply digital appliances for all of London Land Group’s current and future developments.
The flagship development of London Land Group, The Waterfront Poole, will be the first to benefit from this partnership. The 291 apartments in the development will be equipped as fully connected homes, allowing residents to control their smart devices through Samsung’s SmartThings platform. The digital appliances, including ovens, hobs, fridge freezers, dishwashers, and washing machines, will be funded using Samsung Capital, and ongoing maintenance will also be covered.
Samsung’s state-of-the-art products, such as the Smart Oven with Dual Cook Flex and Air Fry, will also be featured in The Waterfront’s communal club lounges with full kitchen and dining facilities.
London Land Group aims to create long-term value and a lasting legacy by integrating innovative technologies and connected systems into their developments. The partnership with Samsung is expected to enhance energy efficiency and provide residents with flexible, convenient, and immersive living experiences.
Murtaza Bukhari, General Manager of Strategic Partnerships in Europe and the UK at Samsung Electronics, expressed excitement about the partnership, stating that it will transform residents’ living experiences with smart home innovation and seamless integration through Samsung’s award-winning SmartThings platform.
Greystar’s Battersea Build to Rent Scheme Receives Planning Approval
Greystar, a prominent Build to Rent provider, has successfully obtained planning approval for its new development on Lombard Road in Battersea. Wandsworth Council unanimously endorsed the plans, which include a significant 35% allocation of on-site affordable housing.
The prime location at the junction of Lombard Road and York Road offers convenient access to a variety of local amenities, including shops and restaurants in both Battersea and Clapham.
The forthcoming Greystar scheme will introduce 294 Build to Rent homes, featuring a diverse mix of one- to three-bedroom apartments. Notably, 90 of these units will be designated as affordable properties, catering to families, couples, and single renters in need of reasonably priced accommodation.
Amidst the current landscape of rising rents and living costs, the provision of a substantial number of London Affordable Rent properties (amounting to 71% of the affordable units by habitable rooms) addresses the pressing demand within the borough for affordable rental options that do not compromise on quality or tenancy security.
For the initial three months, the homes will be exclusively marketed to individuals residing and working within the borough.
Daniel Thompson, the Managing Director (MD)– UK Development at Greystar, expressed delight with the outcome, emphasizing that this development would foster a diverse community within a high-quality building. The significant proportion of below-market rent properties makes this an accessible and attractive option for local residents. Greystar looks forward to collaborating with Wandsworth Council to promote these properties to Wandsworth residents.
Aside from residential units, the Battersea scheme will also feature three retail spaces on the ground floor, bringing new local services to the area and enhancing its vibrancy.
The development will be car-free, except for nine off-street Blue Badge parking spaces, and will boast 872 square meters of landscaped public space. Additionally, it will offer 516 long-stay and 22 short-stay cycle spaces to support sustainable transportation options.
Residents will benefit from excellent public transport connectivity, including easy access to National Rail links at Clapham Junction Station. Furthermore, Battersea Park, with its sports center, tennis courts, and expansive parkland spanning 200 acres, will be within walking distance.
Moreover, the Battersea scheme is expected to generate 250 full-time equivalent construction jobs and 15-20 full-time equivalent operational jobs, with a focus on employing local residents.
Greystar has also made commitments to contribute to Employment and Skills initiatives, as well as to assist in funding the implementation of a Controlled Parking Zone surrounding the building and supporting Open Space development.
The approval of this project follows Greystar’s acquisition of the site from Big Yellow approximately a year ago.