PGP launches prime London development to SA market

Prime central London residential property prices have recorded their first quarterly growth since starting their slide from the peak of September 2007, rising by 4.3 percent over the past three months and effectively wiping out the falls seen in the first three months of the year, reports Pam Golding Properties (PGP) International Division.

There has been a notable change in sentiment among buyers in the second quarter of this year and pent-up buyer demand, which built up through 2008 and the early months of this year (2009), has flowed into a market that is increasingly short of quality stock, says Simon Gibb, GM of PGP's International Division.

PGP, together with international associate, Savills, UK's major property group, this month (July 20-24, 2009) hosts personal presentations to interested South African investors in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town, regarding prime central London residential developments.

Says Gibb: "In the first half of this year buyer activity initially picked up in the GBP*500 000-1 million price range, particularly in south west London. This has flowed into the higher price bands, rippling out across wider geographical areas, with areas such as Wandsworth, for example, seeing a particularly strong improvement in market conditions. In addition we are already starting to see properties in the London market swing back from the rental to the sales market as interest in the prime residential sales market picks up from equity rich and foreign buyers. This will help stabilise rental levels during 2010, followed by significant rental growth in 2011.

"For those able to invest at this stage, the financial returns are significant - on average the 10 year growth in the value of UK residential property between 1968 and 2008 has been 170 percent. So over the past 50 years prices have grown on average by 2.9 percent per annum according to the UK based Nationwide Building Society in real ie inflation-adjusted terms each year, and by 40 percent over each decade. By 2019, Savills' long term forecasts suggest that inflation-adjusted, 10 year house price growth should be in line with the longer term 40 percent inflation adjusted average, even if nominal growth is less aggressive than it has been historically. This highlights the potential benefits of buying during 2009 - for those with the funds to do so," says Gibb.

Ahead of the official launch date, PGP and Savills are marketing to the South African market a London development which offers sound investment opportunities for overseas buyers. Developed by Mount Anvil - one of London's premier contractor/developers - 173 private studio, one and two bedroom apartments are being brought to market in a flagship project, 'this space', situated in the Nine Elms area of south London. A conversion of the former Southbank University Building, this landmark development forms part of the regeneration of the Wandsworth Road area in SW8, which is enjoying ongoing investment form the UK and overseas market.

"this space' is conveniently located close to the green areas of Clapham Common, Battersea Park and the River Thames, with Stockwell London Underground station a seven minute walk away and easy access to mainline train stations with links to major stations. Oxford Circus, the very hub of London's trendy West End, is only a 10 minute tube journey away while the city's financial district is 14 minutes.

The apartments, some of which have breathtaking views of the iconic London skyline, have high ceilings and full length windows creating bright, airy rooms, as well as a high standard of finishes. The development incorporates landscaped courtyards, a 24 hour concierge and underground parking is available. Prices are from GBP195 000 for the studios, from GBP230 000 for one bedroom apartments and from GBP330 000 for two bedroom apartments. A GBP2000 reservation fee secures, 10 percent deposit is required on exchange and mortgage finance is available for qualified buyers through the South African offices of Lloyd's TSB.

Meanwhile sales are progressing well at the Chorus development, also well situated - in popular Wimbledon, with only 10 apartments remaining available for purchase, priced from GBP290 000. Purchasers, which include a number of South African buyers, are a mix of owner occupiers and investors. These units offer investors rental incomes of GBP300 per week for one bedroom apartments and GBP400 per week for two bedroom units.

Issued by Gaye de Villiers

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