London was recently named as the world’s most expensive city to live in, as well as the most desirable city in which to work. With the strength of the pound remaining high and London property prices increasing exponentially every month, foreign investors are now snapping up some of the capital’s prime real estate. While some may be striking it lucky, others believe that the current housing situation is in need for change to cater for all. We sift through the headlines to ask: are these changes on the horizon?
One man and his city
London major, Boris Johnson, and his ideas for the city’s future could play a massive role in how the capital will be shaped over the coming years. Johnson regularly voices his opinions and ideas on new, large infrastructure projects to help ease the housing crisis felt by increasing numbers. While some of the majors’ schemes are certainly questionable, one has caught the eye of savvy developers: a new, £200 million investment scheme for developers and housing associations to accelerate the building of affordable homes across London.
The scheme, supported by the London Housing Bank, will offer tailored, low-cost loans at just one percent interest to entice developers to build around 4,000 affordable homes on a range of sites. The loan will be exchanged on the condition that these new homes will be offered to Londoners at low-cost rents. Exciting news indeed for those who had almost given up of living in the capital.
Calls for expansion
However, this isn’t the only news to brighten up London’s property future. The major and The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced on June 13 that 50,000 new homes are set to be built across twenty new housing zones. While London zones 3 to 6 have been widely recommended as the go-to areas for affordable housing options, a vision of twenty new housing zones is huge for homeowners and the UK property market. Since the news broke back in June, it has been forecasted that this bold strategy will create ‘billions’ in work for the slowing UK construction industry. Due to the lack of planning constraints, with the help of Mayoral Development Orders, these brownfield areas can be turned into prime retail land at a much quicker rate.
Moves for thought
After a bumper year for house prices across the UK – aided by London’s soaring figures – concerns are started to rear that predicted price drops may slow the UK housing market. While the UK property market is in a constant state of flux, any minor changes are likely to affect the average property investor. With this in mind, how can those investing in British property maintain a high place on a wave of success? One strategy could be to steer towards commercial property while residential schemes are put into place. Recent figures suggest that this sector is set to see returns of 20% by the end of 2014 thanks to investor confidence, business-friendly tax breaks and liquidity in the market.
While the government busy themselves with the future of London and its people, for now, the market hangs on a balance of careful risk assessment and the daily flux of news. While 2014’s rapid growth has built up confidence amongst the cash hungry, finding a balance which suits all will determine how the some of the biggest planned schemes will fare over the coming years.
While we hope that this blog has highlighted some of the most important property news centred on London from the latter half of 2014, we recognise that we have cherry picked several from a large pile. Which schemes would you like to highlight that will play an important role in 2015 and beyond? Get in touch and let us know.
How we can help
One thing is for certain: staying connected to the latest industry news has never been so prevalent. An excellent way to do this is by utilising the power of business networking. Since 2007, LD Events have offered a competitive advantage to thousands of senior property professionals and investors, through the latest high level market knowledge, networking and CPD. Our guests travel from all over the UK, Europe and the rest the world to attend our various sell-out conferences throughout the year.