Asian developers playing bigger roles in London’s new-build market

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SINGAPORE: Asian property developers are impacting London’s new-build market, according to Hanover Private Office, a leading London property acquisition specialist.

“With many compelling reasons for living in London or sending your children there to be educated, it is not surprising that an increasing number of major Asian investors are also getting involved in the London development market,” said managing director Alex Newall.

In the last 15 years, Asian developers have been involved in the development of less than 500 units in Inner London boroughs. Today, Asian developers have established themselves as major players in the London build market, holding more than 21% or 14,694 units at application, permission or under-construction stage on examination of current schemes.

Some of the notable Asian developers in London include S P Setia Bhd, Knight Dragon Developments Ltd and China’s Greenland Holding Group Co.

S P Setia is set to provide 2,944 units at the Battersea Power Station, with the latest phase to be launched in Singapore this week. Knight Dragon Developments, backed by Hong Kong billionaire Dr Henry Cheng Kar-shun, is to provide 10,000 units on the Greenwich Peninsula, southeast of London. Greenland Holdings recently acquired two sites in Wandsworth and Docklands, both with consent for just under 600 residential units each.

Along with involvement in some of Central London’s largest residential schemes, Asian investors have extended their interest to prime areas such as Mayfair. The India-based Lodha Group recently acquired the former Canadian High Commission and has submitted plans for 41 flats behind the existing façade. The property rests on Grosvenor Square, opposite the current US Embassy. The property was sold for over £300 million (RM1.58 billion).

According to Newall, such residential schemes have unsurprisingly proved extremely popular among Asian buyers. However, impartial advice on all investment options across the capital ensures that buyers can be assured of the property that best suits their needs, rather than simply the most convenient option.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 31, 2014.