Home buyers keen to find their ideal spot in London should be looking to areas already pinpointed for regeneration.
In its Homes and Property section, the Evening Standard has identified seven neighbourhoods that are ripe for investment and new developments.
Plans include the construction of new homes, redevelopment of existing retail areas and improved transport links.
The Standard looked across the capital from east to west, north to south, to pick out the seven spots where savvy home buyers should be focusing their attention.
Their picks include Walthamstow, which is at the centre of a £200 million regeneration that includes 450 new homes and the transformation of the Mall shopping centre. Walthamstow Central Station is also being given a makeover while Walthamstow Gateway, close to the station, will have shops, cafes and flats.
The transformation of Tottenham is not confined to Spurs’ football ground. A £1 billion project will see a major redevelopment of the area between the stadium and the London Overground station, delivering 2,500 new homes, parks, shops and restaurants.
The station itself has been tipped to be renamed as Tottenham Hotspur, says the Standard.
Acton is pinpointed as the ideal location for first-time buyers, thanks to the regeneration of local council estates that will bring 3,300 homes and the creation of an urban village combining retail and offices.
Go west to Hayes where the former Nestle factor is being transformed into Hayes Village with more than 1,300 new homes. Nearby the former EMI building is also being redeveloped to create 642 new flats, restaurants, a cinema and a live music venue.
Bromley offers good value for both first-time buyers and those looking to move up the housing ladder.
There will be 400 new homes off the High Street with a third of those affordably priced for first-time buyers and renters. The plan also includes new shops and eateries, while 200 new houses and flats will be completed in St Mark’s Square later this year.
A new train station is the first part of a regeneration of Meridian Water in north London where a 210-acre zone will be the centre of 10,000 new homes along with office space.
Back in west London, a 42-storey skyscraper will help complete the Paddington Basin redevelopment, the last project providing more than 400 new homes and shops.
A total of £500 million will have been spent on the Paddington Basin project, providing hundreds of homes, cafes and restaurants.
Building on London’s rooftops could provide 180,000 homes and house a potential 720,000 people.
A recent relaxation of planning rules in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) will allow homeowners and developers to build in the airspace above existing residential homes and commercial properties.
With a £10 million investment from London Mayor Sadiq Khan already in the bag for airspace developers, the new planning rules could extend the creation of rooftop homes and deal with the chronic housing shortage in the capital.
In a recent blog, building supplies expert Insulation Express analysed the number of people who share a square metre of space in UK cities.
Brighton and Hove packs the most people into that space with 10 individuals sharing every square metre in the seaside resort. In London, seven people jostle for space in a single square metre.
With developers tending to look at green belt and brownfield land as the places to build new homes, the potential to look to the sky for greater development is immense.
Insulation Express’ blog noted: “The shortage of available properties has long been recognised as an issue affecting our society, but building upwards could ease the demand in areas with less space and at a faster pace.
“In dense urban areas where there is a lack of development sites, rather than forcing people out of the city, upward extensions could allow people to live and work in city centres.”
Upwards extensions are also a more environmentally friendly way to build, says Insulation Express, because many developers use modular homes in this type of construction.
Its blog claimed: “Modular homes use marginally less materials than traditional construction, which makes them quicker to build and less damaging to the environment.”
A record number of affordable homes have been started in London in the last year, thanks to the financial help of City Hall.
New figures from the London authority have revealed that 14,544 affordable homes were started in the year 2018-19, exceeding the target of 14,000 agreed with the Government and the most in any year since City Hall began controlling housing investment in the capital in 2012.
The figures include the most council homes built in more than 30 years in London.
Housing has been a priority for Mayor Sadiq Khan since he took office three years. He has urged the Government to give him greater powers and resources to deal with the housing situation in the capital.
Mr Khan said: “Not only do these figures beat our own records from last year, but this is more than double the number the previous mayor started in the final year of his term.
“National Government needs to match our ambition and determination to deliver the homes Londoners so urgently need.”
The average prime property in London takes six months to sell, according to the latest data. And sellers are offering an average discount of 12.7 percent on the asking price of those prime homes.
The private bank Coutts analysed the current status of the prime property market in the capital to note that sales are at their lowest level since 2013.
Prime properties are those valued between £1 and £10 million with Coutts noting that prices of in that bracket have fallen since the first quarter of 2018.
Those keen to sell are willing to negotiate on price, too, with the biggest discounts offered on the most expensive homes. Those worth upwards of £10 million are being sold with an average fifth off the asking price at 21 percent.
Katherine O’Shea, of Coutts Real Estate Investment Service, says overseas buyers keen on a London home are quids in.
She said: “The current status of the pound means for that dollar-denominated buyers, prime London property is about 40 percent cheaper than it was in 2014, and for those using euros to make a purchase, it’s about 30 percent cheaper.”
Prime London prices are up by 0.4 percent in the first quarter of 2019 but 17 percent lower than their peak in 2014.
Part of a hospital site in north London is to be developed for affordable housing.
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has invested £12.8 million from the Land Fund he created to buy the 1.4 hectare site in Edmonton in Enfield. The site is part of the North Middlesex University Hospital (NMUH) and is currently home to a car park, offices and hospital testing facilities.
Those facilities are to be relocated to other areas of the hospital site while at least 200 homes are built on the vacated land.
At least 50 percent of the new homes will be social rented or other genuinely affordable housing as part of Mr Khan’s housing strategy.
The redevelopment of the site will start by March 2022.
James Murray, deputy mayor for housing and residential development, announced the purchase, saying: “The mayor and I are determined to do everything within our power to build more social rented and other genuinely affordable homes for Londoners.
“Under Sadiq, City Hall is taking a far more active approach to unlocking sites across the capital.
“We are using the Land Fund he established to buy sites like this one in Enfield, where we will be able to build genuinely affordable homes while protecting healthcare for the local community.”
Maria Kane, chief executive of North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, added: “This investment is a fantastic opportunity to develop the area around NMUH. We’re looking forward to working with the Greater London Authority to make best use of the land so that it better meets the needs of people who use the hospital and benefits our local community.”
Mr Khan has put aside £250 million for a Land Fund that acquires and prepares land for new and affordable housing, working with London’s boroughs and development partners. Any money made from selling the land is then used to buy more land for new homes.
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Best do your sums properly if you plan to move home this year. New research has revealed that buyers will have to find almost £4,000 to pay all the bills associated with moving.
That total covers the cost of conveyancing services, instructing a building survey and other costs of moving, including hiring a removal firm.
Online lender MYJAR quizzed 2,000 people who have moved home in the last 10 years.
Their research showed that buyers now pay on average £230,776 for a home across the UK, but on top of that they will pay out £3,823.88 on additional costs.
More than a third (40 percent) said they were not prepared for that extra expense, while a third ended up borrowing money to settle their bills.
The biggest expense was legal fees, on average more than £1,600. Buying new furniture and furnishings was the next biggest outlay.
Those taking part in the survey were asked for their money-saving moving tips with a third (30 percent) suggesting doing your own removal as the best way of keeping cash in your pocket.
Tom Newwould of MYJAR said: “Every pound adds up, resulting in what is clearly an unanticipated extra amount for homeowners to pay, showing perhaps a lack of knowledge around the true cost of moving.
“Not every buyer will find this extra cost easy to fund so it’s important to plan ahead and ensure you’re not left in a difficult position moneywise. Finances always need careful consideration and planning.”
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Eight new sites for affordable homes in London have been released to small developers.
The sites are part of Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Small Sites, Small Builders programme. The mayor has set a target of delivering 50 percent affordable housing across the city.
The latest eight sites – at Richmond, Ealing, Newham, Bexley, Hounslow, Lambeth and Waltham Forest – are on Transport for London (TfL) land, and they will deliver a total of 90 homes.
The development at Bexley is expected only to deliver affordable homes, while 50 percent of the homes built at Newham and Lambeth will be affordable.
The project was launched as a pilot last year with 10 TfL sites in seven different boroughs, with a great deal of interest from small builders in the capital who wanted to take part.
An £11.2 million partnership between the London Economic Action Partnership and the Mayor of London, Small Sites, Small Builders matches developers with TfL sites across all London boroughs.
James Murray, deputy mayor for housing and residential development, said: “When we launched it last year, the mayor’s Small Sites, Small Builders programme proved very popular with small and medium-sized homebuilders and community-led housing groups.
“In recent years, London has become over-reliant on large developers, and so we are pleased to be able to help more small builders play their part too through this latest batch of TfL sites.”
More than a third of conveyancing solicitors are misleading clients about the costs involved in their property sale or purchase.
A review by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) revealed that initial low quotes for conveyancing services fail to include essential fees and charges that the client must pay to complete their transaction.
Clients who choose to instruct a conveyancing solicitor through Capital Conveyancing will not, unlike those unfortunate buyers and sellers revealed by the SRA, have to pay any unexpected fees because of all our pricing is completely transparent.
We are always up front about the fees and charges involved in conveyancing services, ensuring clients stay informed and on top of their costs at all times.
That is not always the case as the SRA Residential Conveyancing Thematic Review has found. The industry watchdog visited a representative sample of 40 conveyancing firms to analyse 80 property transactions in detail.
The findings reveal that a third (34 percent) of initial quotes failed to include fees for the likes of bank transfers, mortgage administration fees and electronic ID checks.
All of these services are essential to complete a conveyancing transaction successfully, and so their omission from initial quotes was considered misleading by the SRA.
In some cases, the conveyancing solicitors imposed their own fee on top of the bank fee for transferring mortgage funds, in some cases 10 times the bank fee.
The SRA will now monitor how conveyancing solicitors publish their fees to ensure they offer best practice.
London housing associations are to receive an extra £200 million from the city’s mayor to ensure they can still subsidise new affordable homes in the capital.
The extra funding is to be used to offset the impact of any uncertainty caused by Brexit.
Mayor Sadiq Khan is offering the finance to housing associations across London but has called on the Government to protect those providers from any negative impact of the UK’s departure from the European Union.
Housing associations use the money they bring in from selling affordable homes to finance those they rent at social or intermediate rent levels.
However, a slowdown in London’s property market, partly prompted by the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit, means some bodies are not making as much money from sales as they had anticipated, meaning they have less to invest in producing new properties.
With little or no income from central government, that scenario is putting pressure on the finances of many housing associations.
The mayor’s deal means associations will be able to take some of the properties they cannot currently sell off the market and switch them to rental properties. With guaranteed rental income, they are then in a position to cement their future construction plans.
Mr Khan said: “At City Hall, we are building record numbers of new social rented and other genuinely affordable homes. That’s why it is right we push our funding to its very limit to keep housing associations building more affordable housing through the ongoing uncertainty.
“Whatever happens with Brexit, Ministers must at the very least match my support and ensure we can keep building the homes Londoners need over the coming years.”