Posts with tag: London luxury property developments

New Luxury Apartments (Complete with Gin Garden) Go on Sale

The latest luxury apartment block in London is set to go on sale today (Thursday 24th September). Residents will enjoy its gardens, set 55 storeys up, and the highest botanical gin garden in the capital.

Developers Ballymore and EcoWorld, who created the sky pool plans at Battersea’s Nine Elms (/sky-pool-suspended-over-nine-elms/), will start selling the Wardian development in Canary Wharf today.

Alongside the typical concierge, private gym and cinema, the luxury block will also feature a sky garden, one of which measures 37.2 square metres.

The 624 apartments will be spread across two new towers, named after the Wardian case – a sealable glass container for growing or exporting plants.

The towers will feature heavy foliage, from sunken gardens outside the lobby to exotic plants in the rooftop bar.

The 25-metre open-air swimming pool will be “set within a flourishing tropical environment”1.

Both towers, one of 50 storeys and the other of 55, were approved by Tower Hamlets Council last year and are due to be completed in 2019.

Prices start at £395,000 for a studio flat and £525,000 for a one-bedroom apartment. The penthouses are priced from £2m.

The area is popular with foreign investors and, although the homes will not be on sale abroad until next weekend, marketing has already begun in Kuala Lumpur.

Huw Morgan, of Camlins, the landscape architect that worked on the project, explains the concept: “Green space is one of the most sought-after commodities in London, and Wardian London capitalises on this with abundant planting of more than a hundred different exotic species of plants and flowers across the development.”1


The Problems with London’s Luxury Property Boom

Along the Thames in central London is what can only be described as a building site. The many luxury properties being built in the capital are said to bring money into the city, which trickles down to the general public, not just to the super rich.

In fact, this luxury property boom could have damaging effects on the rest of the country. A Global Witness investigation discovered that around one in ten properties in the City of Westminster (9.3%) and 7.3% of properties in Kensington and Chelsea are owned by investors registered in offshore firms.

The Problems with London's Luxury Property Boom

The Problems with London’s Luxury Property Boom

It is easier to invest stolen money in property than try to hide lumps of cash. The London property market is increasingly attractive to tax dodgers, secret overseas investors and criminal gangs.

As the housing crisis has continued, and continued, politicians have insisted that housing shortages, soaring house prices, eradication of social housing and the messy private rental sector are normal. Politicians have taken no blame for the state of the housing market, but expect the public to manage.

This is no surprise, as they are not the ones struggling. Families are being moved out of London and over half of the people hit by the benefit cap will find the whole of the South of England unaffordable to them.

However, the coalition government pushed through a change to planning rules that mean many developers do not have to build or pay for social housing when constructing large residential developments.

Luxury property developments will not solve the housing crisis. Public housing is where investment is needed.

Some argue that rent controls and regulation of private landlords will avoid more housing stock being sold off to the buy-to-let sector.

While politicians suggest that the problems will end, the situation for those struggling to keep a roof over their heads seems to be increasingly challenging.

Housing as a concept has moved from shelter to asset. When Labour proposed a mansion tax, critics focused on those that have supposedly earned their capital gains, rather than entered the market at a convenient time, leaving many now without a viable option.

The current problem of a lack of supply and growing demand is deep-rooted in a housing system that has simply not been building enough homes.

Housing is now considered a profitable pursuit and central London showcases exactly that. It is no longer a liveable space for many people.

Luxury developments are not solving the problems that those in unstable situations, or even homelessness, are facing.