Despite the uncertainty that Covid-19 has brought for many across the world, real estate has remained an attractive investment, according to recent data from Knight Frank. The agent’s 2021 Wealth Report reveals 26% of ultra-high net worth individuals are planning to buy a new home in 2021, with the biggest driver being the desire to upgrade their main residences – and there are some exceptional new luxury homes on the market proving popular with global buyers.
In particular, as the UK’s capital begins to re-open, it’s those with access to key business hubs, top universities, five-star hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants, and excellent airline connectivity drawing the most interest.
While there might have been a short-term exodus from cities as a result of the pandemic, Knight Frank’s latest report also put London – alongside New York – as the city leader for wealth, investment, business heft, and innovation – reinforcing the idea that city living is unlikely to lose its luster anytime soon.
The Atlas Building, in Shoreditch, is Tech City’s newest – and tallest – residential building and has continued to attract HNWIs from across the globe. With a prime position close to the City of London and moments from the start-up scene of Shoreditch, residents enjoy the buzz of the capital on their doorstep. According to Andrew Hawkins, Director at Rocket Properties, the appeal of the capital still remains strong, especially with those who are taking a longer-term view.
“The lure of life in the capital remains strong for many buyers across the globe, despite the pandemic. For many, especially those taking a longer-term view, nothing beats being able to step outside your building and having London’s near unparalleled lifestyle, dining, and cultural scene on the doorstep.
The Atlas Building is a great example – residents have Shoreditch’s impressive foodie offering, destinations like The Clove Club and Columbia Road Flower Market, and global landmarks like the Barbican and St Paul’s Cathedral all close by. Plus, for business, there are the many creative and tech start-ups that call this pocket of London home, and the financial hub of the City of London, all a short walk away.”
Now over 95% sold, there are just a handful of apartments remaining at The Atlas Building, with prices starting from £1,977,000 (www.theatlasbuilding.com).
Nearby, The Denizen, by Taylor Wimpey London, is proving to be another central London favourite. Located in the heart of the City of London, it’s the perfect spot for city living, with the range of one, two, and three-bedroom apartments served by a suite of residents’ facilities, including a lounge, private terrace, and study.
The first residents are already moved in, but there’s a range of apartments available, with prices starting from £725,000 – visit www.thedenizen.co.uk.
Taking a longer-term view has also led to many savvy buyers setting their sights on areas undergoing significant regeneration. Considerations like location, lifestyle offering, and community are increasingly important, with buyers drawn to large-scale projects that offer not just the opportunity for strong capital growth, but also high-quality new homes, upgraded facilities, and improved transport links.
A great example is Greenwich Peninsula, in London’s Zone 2 – one of the largest regeneration schemes in Europe – where developer, Knight Dragon, is creating a new cultural district spanning 150 acres. The neighbourhood is already home to a host of cultural spaces, educational facilities, restaurants, and lifestyle amenities, alongside a range of beautiful riverside apartments still for sale.
Prices at Upper Riverside – the latest neighbourhood to complete at Greenwich Peninsula – start from £487,500 for a studio apartment (www.upperriverside.co.uk).
When it comes to appeal, for buyers, lifestyle and community are now on par with investment proposition. As Kerri Sibson, sales and marketing director, Knight Dragon, explains, “emerging destinations offer fresh, new opportunities for buyers. Greenwich Peninsula offers great connectivity to wider London, a thriving community, and a multitude of leisure and cultural amenities on the doorstep – providing not just potential for stronger yields and long-term capital growth, but also a lifestyle found in few other places in the capital.
“There are already more than 3,700 residents calling the Peninsula home, and this strong community is hugely appealing for buyers. Combined with its riverside location, growing independent foodie offering and innovative design scene – as well as far more to come – it’s a destination to watch this year.”
Over in north London, the new 12-acre city village of Clarendon is quickly taking shape. With prices from £405,000, its range of one, two and three-bedroom apartments are proving a popular choice for buyers (www.clarendonn8.co.uk). This emerging new neighbourhood boasts a desirable location adjacent to the world-renowned Alexandra Palace and is close to four Underground stations which connect residents to central London in just 20 minutes. The new destination by St William will also eventually be home to 22 pockets of public space and private courtyards.
Alongside the up-and-coming destinations quickly rising up the agenda, the enduring appeal of a one-of-a-kind trophy home for buyers shouldn’t be underestimated – especially when it comes with unrivalled design, residents’ amenities, and panoramic views.
Over in west London, St James recently launched the Parkside Apartments at White City Living. Setting a standard of living rarely seen in this part of the capital, the new collection of suites, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments are located within 8 acres of open green landscaping (prices from £727,500, www.whitecityliving.co.uk).
Residents also enjoy access to an extensive range of world-class private facilities, including a state-of-the-art Home Club which brings together the best of London’s favourite members’ clubs, health clubs, modern workspaces, and leisure venues.
St James is also behind the new 30-storey landmark, The Dumont, set on the banks of the River Thames and boasting some of the best views in the capital, from the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye across to the City of London.
Most recently, the developer unveiled the Alta Collection, a selection of expansive four-bedroom apartments on the upper floors of the building, each with generous private terraces and world-class interiors – offering the ultimate London trophy home.
Prices start at £7,800,000 (www.thedumont.co.uk).
Moving further north, Regal London has recently unveiled a new collection of apartments in One St John’s Wood, situated adjacent to the world-famous Lord’s Cricket Ground and 410-acre Regent’s Park.
Residents also benefit from a raft of world-class facilities including reminiscent of the world’s finest five-star hotels, including a spa with 20m swimming pool, state-of-the-art gym, sauna, and steam room; an opulent 14-guest private dining room; business and club lounges; a cinema; and a roof terrace looking out across the capital. Prices are in the region of £1million (regal-london.co.uk).
Another consideration for an increasing number of global buyers is the desire for more space – both inside and out. St William, part of the Berkeley Group, is one developer who places as much importance on space in between buildings as it does on the buildings themselves.
For example, at King’s Road Park, a sustainable new neighbourhood just 60 meters from Chelsea’s King’s Road, homes will sit amongst an impressive six acres of public park, central square, and private residents’ gardens.
Each building is also designed to ensure every residence – a range of suites, one, two, three, and four-bedroom apartments and penthouses – enjoy views across the landscaping (prices start at £700,000; www.kingsroadpark.co.uk).
Another great example of this landscape-led approach is Prince of Wales Drive, where 955 new one, two, and three-bedroom homes are set amongst 2.5 acres of landscaping inspired by the world-renowned Battersea Park, which neighbours the new development.
Apartments start from £755,000 and feature high-specification contemporary interiors, open-plan living and spaces, and floor-to-ceiling windows, alongside private terraces or balconies, many of which overlook the central landscaped gardens (www.princeofwalesdrive.co.uk).