Luxury flats replaced by offices as demand plummets in Battersea

1 min read
1

The Malaysian developers of Battersea power station are preparing to replace planned apartments with as much as 1 million sq ft of extra office space, following a slump in the market for luxury homes“, announced the FT on February 24th. It means twice the size of the Gherkin tower in central London. However there are questions raised as the Brexit perspective and the consolidation in the insurance industry is already reducing the need for office space in the City.

Rob Tincknell, chief executive of the Battersea Power Station Development Company, is blaming the stamp duty rise for expensive homes. Back in 2013, almost all of the 865 units where sold within the first weeks and about 1460 have now been sold in total. According to the developer’s website, you can purchase a 2-bedroom flat for £1.33 million and a 3 bed from £1.9 million (they don’t say if that’s the price for their quota of affordable units… ).

Back in 2014, the Guardian warned in an article that “sites for close to 30,000 homes are owned by just 10 investors in Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Australia, Singapore and Sweden, sparking warnings from politicians and housing industry experts that too many are being built to act as “safe deposit boxes” for international investors rather than for Londoners in housing need“.

Boris Johnson, former London Mayor, was encouraging all those investments, while advocating that they would benefit Londoners (the famous trickle down economics). Nicky Gavron, the former deputy mayor of London and member of the London assembly said at the time: “There is a perception these major residential developments backed by international money, particularly in super-high towers, only serve a market for overseas investors who want to buy a luxury flat in a skyscraper to treat as a safety deposit box. Such properties often become buy-to-leave investments and don’t meet the needs of Londoners. London is in the midst of a housing crisis – what we need is mixed-income housing where people actually live.

It appears now that even those foreign investors are reluctant to spend more money in accommodation in London. But instead of taking this occasion to turn those super-rich units into homes for Londoners, the investors prefer to bid for more office space. At least it might act as a deterrent for the future schemes of luxury flats popping around…

Did you like reading this article? Help us writing more!

CJAG website has been publishing local news for more than 14 years and remains committed to providing local community information and public interest journalism.

We aim to feature as much as possible on community campaigns and initiatives, local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents and helping residents.

We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more. 

Until recently, all stories, analysis and reports published have been made with the great help of many volunteers. However, at the end of the day it cost time and efforts and we are frustrated that we cannot do more: there are many subjects that we would like to cover but we need financial resources to help us providing regular information.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

2 ways of supporting our project

Do you think what we are doing is helping the community and you want to encourage us to do more? We have set up two ways of supporting our project:

  1. Paypal: For one-off contributions, you can just use your bank card. However if you wish to encourage and support us regularly with a small amount, you will need a Paypal account to set up a monthly subscription. Click here to donate.
  2. Patreon: this is a well-known membership platform that connects content creators with supporters. Mainly, it offers financial tools that let supporters subscribe to projects that give creators a predictable income stream as they continue to create content. Click here to subscribe and support us regularly.

If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

CJAG News editor and Clapham Junction Action Group co-founder and coordinator since 2008, Cyril has lived in Clapham Junction since 2001.
He is also funder and CEO of Habilis-Digital Ltd, a digital agency creating and managing websites and Internet solutions.

1 Comment

  1. It looks so crammed, and so uncomfortable as a way to live. Coming home in the dark…imagine.
    Greedy developers (and Councils) are wrecking London.

Comments are closed.