A £3.7 billion regeneration project is set to transform Canning Town in London’s east end.
Around 10,000 new homes will be built as part of the development with upgrades to the local transport network.
The biggest project is at Hallsville Quarter, where 1,100 new homes will be created on a 15-acre site near Canning Town station at a cost of £600 million.
Of those homes, a third will be affordable and marketed for those on low and middle incomes.
The latest part of the project will include a retail area with shops, restaurants and facilities such as a health centre.
Canning Town has an Underground station while the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) also runs through the station.
Crossrail, the rail project to connect London’s stations from east to west, will also stop near to Canning Town at the newly created Custom House station once complete.
Average property prices in Canning Town are now £439,000.
Meanwhile, Newham Borough Council is considering planning applications for the redevelopment of Custom House, plans that include 800-900 new homes, community facilities and improved local shops.
The house price premium for living close to the UK’s top 100 state secondary schools has dramatically fallen.
According to new research from Santander, the price premium for parents keen to secure a spot for their offspring at the best non-fee-paying schools has fallen from 15 percent to 5 percent in the last year.
That means an actual financial drop of £32,100.
In 2018, parents moving into the catchment area of the best state schools were paying a premium of £51,600. In 2019, that has fallen to £19,500.
More than a quarter (26 percent) of parents said they were willing to pay a premium to ensure their child got a place at their preferred state school, with £20,000 the average extra willing to be paid.
Parents rate proximity to a good school as more important than being close to good transport links, family and friends.
Meanwhile, the Santander research has revealed that parents start thinking about school places long before their child is ready to pull on a uniform for the first time.
Seven percent think about schools when planning a family, 6 percent when pregnant and 22 percent shortly after their child is born.
Miguel Sard, managing director of Santander UK, said: “The recent property market slowdown has seen house prices in many school catchment hotspots cool significantly, giving an unexpected boost to parents looking to move near to sought-after state schools.
“With many parents planning for their child’s education straight after or even before their baby is born, and properties in top school catchments now more accessible, competition for school places looks set to be fiercer than ever.”
The walls and roofs of London are helping to keep the capital green.
A decade-long policy, part of the creation of the Ultra Low Emission Zone, has led to the “greening” of buildings that has resulted in new developments that host roof gardens, create greener public realm and offer a home for wildlife.
New figures show that London has more than 40 percent of the UK’s green roofs and walls, representing around 1.5 million square metres of space. Green space that includes plants and vegetation helps to reduce air pollution.
In Barnet, urban greening is being promoted at a new development that is creating 2,900 new homes.
Covering 47 acres, Colindale Gardens will include parks and sports pitches as well as other facilities such as a primary school and retail units.
The homes will feature green roofs and podium gardens, while the development will also include wildlife habitats, allotments and an area for urban agriculture.
Home sellers in London have had some good news with new house price data showing the first year-on-year price growth in the capital since 2017.
Rightmove’s monthly house price index has revealed several reasons to be cheerful for those looking to sell up in London.
The price of property coming on to the market is up by 1.3 percent on the same month a year ago, the first time since August 2017 there has been an annual rise.
With the summer months usually seeing a flattening of asking prices, this marks a positive change for those keen to secure a sale before the autumn.
Meanwhile, the number of sales agreed in London is also up by 5.2 percent on the same period a year ago.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “Some potential buyers have sat back and watched the price of property coming to the market in the capital falling year-on-year for the last couple of years, giving many of them little incentive to do anything but sit on the sidelines.
“It’s always hard to spot the bottom of a market, especially in a massive place like London with its myriad of local markets.
“However, new seller asking prices are now 1.3 percent higher than at this time last year, and if that trend continues, buyers might decide to stop sitting it out before prices rise further.
“That could happen if we have more certainty on our Brexit outcome, and this annual price rise may be an indicator of more market activity to come.”
Chris Osmond, sales director at London-based Johns&Co, told Rightmove that his company has registered more buyers in the first seven months of 2019 than in the whole of 2018, suggesting that those keen to move are no longer inhibited by the prospect of Brexit.
He added: “It’s not surprising; it’s been three years since the vote and Brexit fatigue has kicked in.
“After all, life goes on and you can only put plans on hold for so long.
“We’ve also seen the number of vendors wanting to cash in on long-held investments increase, and there are plenty of canny investors on the periphery looking for good deals, so overall we expect the summer season surge to linger on into autumn.”
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.”
Topping the list is Barking and Dagenham in east London, according to analysis of the sold prices for property recorded by the Office for National Statistics.
The east London borough is the cheapest in the capital with its property up to a third cheaper than other boroughs. The average price there is £300,518, up 4 percent on the year. This district is also expected to be boosted by another 11,000 new homes created on the Olympic legacy sites.
At No.2 on the most affordable list is Bexley in south-east London, with average property prices of £341,784, up 1.8 percent on the year. The town will benefit when a Crossrail station eventually opens and directly connects the area with the centre of the city.
Newham, again in east London, takes the third spot on the most affordable list, followed by Croydon in fourth place. Newham’s average property price is £365,182 (down 0.8 percent), while Croydon’s is £365,931 (down 2.6 percent).
The rest of the top 10 is: 5. Havering, average property price, £375,014 (down 2.1 percent); 6. Sutton, average property price £382,607 (up 0.3 percent); 7. Hounslow, average property price £395,734 (down 0.4 percent); 8. Enfield, average property price £396,908 (down 0.5 percent); 9. Hillingdon, average property price £399,639 (down 4.5 percent); 10. Greenwich, average property price £411,492 (up 2.9 percent).
The downturn in the retail sector could mean a boost to London’s housing stock. Landsec, which owns and manages a large number of offices, retail and leisure facilities in the capital, is to build more than 4,000 homes on some of its sites.
The property giant is to submit planning applications for schemes at Finchley Road and Shepherd’s Bush that would include 1,700 homes. There are further plans to add residential property to its site in Lewisham, which includes a shopping centre.
The Lewisham development would create a new town centre in the south London borough.
Landsec chief executive Robert Noel said: “We are exploring the potential at other locations in London.”
There is increased demand from home buyers for property in London and across the UK. At the same time much of the retail property sector is contracting.
Last month the Chancellor Philip Hammond addressed that situation in his Budget, announcing relaxation of planning regulations that will allow easier conversions of retail and commercial units into domestic residences.
The move by Landsec to build homes on their retail sites reflects the direction of travel for that type of land.
The possibility for modular housing to help resolve the crisis of a lack of housing supply in the UK will be at the centre of a three-month exhibition in London.
The exhibition has been put together by New London Architecture (NLA), an independent forum for discussion, debate and information about architecture and construction in London. Accompanying that exhibition, which opens on October 9, is a series of events looking at how factory-made housing could benefit the capital.
NLA research has looked at how factory-made housing could revolutionise attitudes, processes and delivery to provide quality housing in London.
Experts in the field of modular housing manufacturing will discuss new and innovative models of design, construction and delivery at a number of events over the next three months. The exhibition itself is in the NLA galleries at the Building Centre in Store Street, central London, until January.
Meanwhile, Birmingham City Council is to launch a pilot scheme to deliver 50 homes that have been manufactured off-site.
The housing scheme will be built using both modular and volumetric solutions – volumetric building involves stacking and joining factory-built modules on site, while modular homes are often completed in a factory setting before being moved to their permanent site.
Birmingham Municipal Trust, which is owned by the council, is to trial this project before a bigger programme of modular homes is rolled out in 2020. Work is expected to start in the spring with contractors invited to tender to build one of five pre-designed homes.
Modular homes are factory built using precision engineering. An entire home can be completed in weeks compared to the months required for traditional construction. Financial giant Legal & General, which is investing in a variety of housing programmes, has established a factory at Selby, near Leeds, with the capacity to build up to 3,000 modular homes every year.
Up to half of the properties in a new 3,000-home development in east London will be genuinely affordable. The redevelopment of the former Ford site in south Dagenham was given the go-ahead by City Hall last month.
And Jules Pipe, the deputy mayor for planning, regeneration and skills, confirmed permission for the site to be developed hinged on the developers, L&Q and Countryside, upping the number of affordable homes from 35 percent to 50 percent.
The site at Beam Park was once an assembly site for the car giant. Its future includes a new neighbourhood and railway station, two primary schools, a nursery, community facilities, retail and open spaces alongside 5,000 homes.
Beam Park is within the London Riverside Opportunity Area where up to 26,500 new homes and 16,000 new jobs are predicted to be delivered over the next decade.
As the site straddles two boroughs – Barking and Dagenham, and Havering – both had to agree to give planning permission. Barking and Dagenham gave the project the thumbs up, but Havering rejected the plan over concerns about the height of the proposed new buildings.
That meant City Hall “called in” the decision on whether the project would be given the go-ahead.
Mr Pipe said: “This is a large, very important site, and these plans will deliver 3,000 much-needed new homes, along with transport, schools and community facilities to help make this a liveable and attractive new neighbourhood for this part of east London.
“Having weighed up the evidence available to me and given the overall importance of the application, I have decided to grant approval.
“The wider area around Beam Park has the potential to deliver thousands of new homes and jobs, and could play a crucial role in London’s economy in the decades to come.”