As a property finder my role is to find properties that match my house hunters requirements but it’s also to manage expectations around those requirements.
Most of my lovely house hunters have never lived in London, many of them are from abroad or are foreign investors coming into an absolute bubble of a property market! Working with the factors of area vs size vs price vs specification, a request that I often come across from my house hunters relocating here is wanting to live in a new build or modern development and of course for my investor clients these are target properties too. But in London this requirement in itself will have an effect on location as there are pockets of new builds in certain areas. So I’m going to talk you through some of them below, if you fancy trying to guess some of the areas first and testing your London knowledge then I have a highlight called ‘Property Games’ on my Instagram! http://www.instagram.com/lexiecarducci
Nine Elms and Battersea
So kicking off then with the area of Nine Elms and Battersea. This area was previously marsh land and then it became very industrial, dominated of course by Battersea Power Station. In 2012 Wandsworth Council approved developer Ballymore’s plans for the 15 acre development of Embassy Gardens providing 1,982 new homes. In 2013 the regeneration of Battersea Power Station began with 7 phases of homes, retail and office space being built. The area will be the future home of Apple! A down side (or plus side if you live there I guess!) of the area was that there was no tube line, however this is soon to change as 2 new northern line extension stations will open, Nine Elms and Battersea.
The area itself, although lacking in a main high street, has some lovely restaurants, particularly down by the river, including my favourites Megans and 197 Battersea Power Station by The Address, as well as Vagbond wine bar, Mothers pizza and Black Sheep coffee and cocktails. There’s also a huge Waitrose in Embassy Gardens and the Australian cafe called District and a Sainsburys Local underneath Riverlight Quay. You are also right next to Battersea Park!
Popular developments around here include Chelsea Bridge Wharf, Vista, Prince of Wales Drive, Embassy Gardens, Battersea Power Station, Riverlight Quay, Nine Elms Point and Battersea Exchange.
Heading further East is Canary Wharf. Probably the biggest Urban hub in London as the majority of buildings in the vicinity are modern and home to a lot of the people who work in the many offices here. Some people have compared it to the Dubai marina of London! And indeed there are beautiful waterways that are lined with restaurants and bars but my personal opinion is that the area as a whole is very much a business district and often people can feel a little bit isolated and cut off from the rest of London. Although if it’s a high rise with concierge you’re looking for then there are plenty on offer in the area!
Many of London’s highest residential buildings are in the district, including The Landmark Buildings, Newfoundland Quay, South Quay Plaza, One Park Drive, Wardian, The Madison, Pan Peninsula, 24 and 40 Marsh Wall and Dollar Bay.
Now heading to the completely opposite side of the City, from the South East to the North West – Quintain Living (also known as Tipi incase you have seen their advertising on the tube) has not only completely changed Wembley as an area and brought it into one of my top recommended areas for modern living but also changed the way we rent!
Looking at the latter there, Qunitain are known for advertising a ‘hassle free’ process, and having put tens of house hunters into the development I would absolutely agree! So firstly there are no deposits and secondly all of your utilities are included, apart from council tax, yes even high speed broadband! If that wasn’t enough they LOVE pets! One of the biggest set backs to wanting to live in a modern development is that most of the headleases of these buildings have a no pet policy, however Quintain are much more flexible!
The buildings themselves offer communal spaces such as roof terraces, work spaces, social chill out areas and kitchens that you can hire for events or parties, they also put on regular social events for residents, again why so many of my clients love it here because if you are coming from another country this is the perfect way to meet people! They really do go that extra mile to make you feel special, as you are so close to Wembley Stadium it would be rude not to take advantage of that, and so there are often ticket giveaways for residents. Another resident perk is discounts from partner companies such as Zipcar, mindful chef and bloom and wild.
There is free bike storage and if you want any extras like car parking or extra storage pods they are available at an additional cost. A few of the buildings have gyms too. Plus in terms of safety and maintenance there are teams on site. Boxpark is right there as is the London Designer Outlet and London the City centre is just 12 mins away on the tube!
The only real down side is the noise level from event days at Wembley and that the main high street maybe still has a little way to come.
Moving back towards the City centre to City Road in fact! Situated between Angel and Old Street stations is London’s first bypass, where in the last few years there have been a number of brand new developments built! Including Canaletto Tower, Carrara Tower, 250 City Road, The Arc, Lexicon Tower, The Atlas Building, Eagle Point and even the Bezier Apartments on Old Street Roundabout which have been dubbed The Silicon Implants (LOL) due to the nickname of the tech hub Silicon roundabout.
Again I have a few clients residing in many of these buildings because of their proximity to the City, to Shoreditch and to the lovely Upper Street with an array of shops, cafes and restaurants. Many have beautiful views of the City, all the facilities such as concierge, gym, media rooms etc and there is also easy access for walking or jogging along the canal.
This area is about to blow up!!! It’s probably one of the most exciting regeneration projects in London in my opinion! Another development by Ballymore, The Brentford Project’s goal is to establish a new residential quarter of dining, entertainment and retail spaces. Set on the waterfront the development aims to connect that scene with the highstreet through ‘The Lanes’ creating a place for Londoners to eat, drink, play and work as well as experiencing independent makers, growers, art, music and waterside activities. There will also be an area known as ‘The Wick’ which is a beautiful open air residents pool, members only gym, treatment room and spa. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it!
The regeneration program over 11.8 acres of disused industrial facilities (as many of these new build areas are) is expected to take 8 years and deliver 876 homes. It is expected to be complete in 2024 but the first phase of apartments have been released.
Home of the 2012 Olympics and one of those 2012 Olympian’s accommodation could be your home! I tell no lies, in the East Village developments there are over 1000 flats many of which were the residencies of athletes such as Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis! Available for rent through Get Living.
Other developments in the area include Chobham Manor, Unex Tower, Stratford Halo, Stratosphere, Legacy Tower and Glasshouse Gardens. JLL always have a good selection on the market!
Another former industrial suburb which was once referred to as marshy wastes, very similar to Nine Elms, it was home to various factories and manufacturing centres. By 2030 more than 10,000 new homes will have been built in the park.
Talking of parks one of the main attractions of the area is of course The Queen Elizabeth Park which is home to the ArcelorMittat Orbit, The London Aquatics Centre, many sports facilities and the open parkland. And we can’t forget the biggest drive of the area, Westfields shopping centre! Haha well that and the fact that Stratford has some of the best connections you could ask for with the central line zipping you straight into the City to Bank and Oxford Circus and the speedy 7 minute fast train direct to Kings Cross.
Although there has been so much change to the area in the last few years, some are concerned there is still a long way to go.
And then came the Manhattan Loft Gardens! I was invited to the launch of this development by Hamptons and it was epic! The latest project from the Manhattan Loft Corporation (MLC) who are known for their developments at Ealing Studios, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel and apartments and Chiltern Firehouse to name a few. The 42 storey double cantilevered tower houses various living spaces, three sky gardens, two restaurants, a gym, spa, cinema and even a hotel. It has been dubbed London’s sexiest sky scraper and I think I would have to agree!
I moved to London over 10 years ago and Putney was the first place I called home in the City. I cannot believe how much it has changed in those 10 years, particularly around East Putney station where the majority of the purpose built blocks of flats were ripped down and replaced with modern alternatives with balconies and communal roof terraces. With them came more retail space, local supermarkets and other amenities.
The new builds now line the majority of Upper Richmond Road between the station and along towards the junction with the highstreet such as Carlton House, Oakhill Park, Millenium House, Putney Plaza, London Square and Bowery Building. Then heading down to the river there are more luxury new build and modern developments right on the river including Putney Wharf by Putney Bridge and then heading towards Wandsworth on the other side of Wandsworth Park is Riverside Quarter.
And finally Kings Cross. The 3 billion pound regeneration of the area has been described as ‘industrial luxury’ with former gas works being turned into residential flats and old coal sheds converted to boutique shops in Coal Drops Yard. The canal of course adds to the ambiance with many bars, restaurants and cafes on offer. The little granary square bridge easily connects you to Kings Cross which will take you just about anywhere!
Developed by Argent, the area was formerly disused railway land. Being a property finder for the last 8 or so years I have really seen the transformation of this area, from a sky full of cranes and half finished buildings where the roads leading up to the units were like mud tracks and there wasn’t a shop insight. To something that has become a very much sought after area for a lot of my clients to live.
There does seem to be a cut off to the glitz and glam of the development as you head further up York Way the old warehouses and abandoned tube station still remain which I’m sure will be next on the list!
Popular developments include Gasholders, The Plimsoll Building, Tapestry Apartments, Saxon Court, Luma House, Cadence and ArtHouse.
The only way is up for the area as there are some huge companies that are either in the vicinity already or will be relocating there soon including Google, Youtube and Facebook.
So there you go, a little look at some of the modern developments that are located across the capital and which areas are hot spots for new builds.
That’s the beauty of my job, no two searches are the same. While one person sees new builds as lacking in character and not a traditional London period property, another likes the ease of having everything on site from concierge to gym and the luxury of everything being fresh and new.
I hope you have found this blog useful for your house hunt! If you are looking to move to or invest in London and want some help with finding your dream home then please do get in touch to see how I can be of help.