Docklands News

Olympian secures £7.5m bridging loan for Canary Wharf co-living project

Olympian Homes has secured a £7.5m facility for a co-living block at Canary Wharf. The loan from Recognise Bank will aid the development of a 46-storey tower housing 795 units, a residents' lounge, cinema room, fitness studio, and gym. Olympian chairman Mark Slatter commented: "This facility will allow us to commence site investigation works, progress the scheme design to BSA gateway 2 and demolish the existing structure in preparation for seeking an equity partner to build out the project". 

Development Finance Today (12/02/2024)  

Read more »

London house price growth outperforms Home Counties

A new prime property report from Investec reveals that houses in the Home Counties valued at over £1m have seen an average of £151,130 knocked off their asking prices since last summer. Analysis shows that sellers are having to drop their prices by 10% on average to attract buyers. It comes as homes in or close to London are back in demand as employers backtrack on work from home arrangements introduced in response to the pandemic. The Greater London area outperformed the home counties, with home owners selling £1m plus properties reducing their asking prices by 8.6% on average, taking £159,540 off the price tag. In West Sussex, where the average price of a £1m plus property is £1.49m, sellers knocked £187,805 off their asking prices on average - a reduction of 12.6%. Essex saw the second largest drop in asking prices for homes over £1m, with sellers knocking an average of £159,671 off their asking prices, a discount of 11.2%. 

Evening Standard (12/02/2024)  

Read more »

Mortgage rates set to rise as price war ends

Experts claim mortgage rates of below 4% could disappear within days as a price war between banks appears to cool. Halifax cut rates on Tuesday and was offering a market-leading 3.93% five-year fixed rate for buyers, then put it up to 4.18% on Friday. On Thursday someone remortgaging with a 40% deposit could get a five-year fix at 3.89% from NatWest. By Friday the best rate was 3.93% from Cumberland Building Society. Nick Mendes from the broker John Charcol said: "It won't be long before those remaining sub 4% deals are no longer available. Any rate war seems to have cooled off". Martin Stewart from London Money said: "The honeymoon period seems to be over for what many thought was a new direction of travel for mortgage rates. Hoping for things to improve may come with an expensive price tag, as I think only a significant recession is going to see a big reduction in the overall cost of borrowing".

The Sunday Times (11/02/2024)  

Read more »

Chancellor urged to allow first time buyers to use pension for home deposit

The cross-party Housing and Finance Institute has urged Jeremy Hunt to allow first time buyers to take money from their pension contributions to fund a deposit on a home. The HFI says that it will bring home ownership within reach of tens of thousands of young people currently priced out of the housing market. The report also calls on Hunt to introduce new Government-backed housing deposit guarantees, and housing deposit loans which would be repayable through the tax system in the same way as student loans. It also estimated that the pension transfer and new Government loan schemes recommended in the report could result in 30,000 more people being able to get on to the housing ladder every year. Sir Steve Bullock, chair of the HFI and former Labour Mayor of Lewisham, said: "From homelessness and affordable housing to home ownership and house building, the housing crisis is getting worse. The measures in this report are practical steps that can be taken in the Budget to end the housing crisis".

Daily Mail (12/02/2024)  

Read more »

Demolition of housing estates should be discouraged

Sakina Sheikh, chair of a London Assembly committee, has said that the demolition of housing estates should be discouraged and builders should be incentivised to retrofit as part of measures to cut carbon emissions. In a new report, she said: "A trend towards discouraging demolition could positively impact how we manage the quality of our historic housing estates going forward. This, in turn, could positively impact the capacity for communities to remain in their homes and to protect beloved historic community buildings, if they choose to." Ms Sheikh said the government can also make retrofitting more “financially viable” by listening to industry calls to cut the VAT builders have to pay to retrofit properties. Her committee’s report also recommended that the government make it mandatory for all buildings to have a whole-life carbon (WLC) assessment to tackle the issue of embodied carbon. 

Inside Housing (09/02/2024)  

Read more »

TfL seeks partner to develop 1,500-home Limmo scheme

Places for London, Transport for London's property company, is searching for a development partner for a 1,500-home project on the Limmo Peninsula in Newham. Located within the Royal Docks and Beckton Riverside Opportunity Area, the site covers five hectares, with 600 metres of river frontage. The north part of the site is five minutes’ walk from Canning Town train and bus stations. Places for London said plans could also include commercial space, public spaces, a new cycle and pedestrian bridge, and a river walk. “With the ability to build up to 1,500 new homes, including affordable housing, alongside a range of other improvements, this is a unique opportunity for a partner to help us transform this site into a sustainable development that will benefit the local community", said Ben Tate, head of property development at Places for London. “This partnership will form part of our wider programme, which seeks to build the homes and commercial spaces the city needs, while also generating vital revenue that can then be reinvested into the transport network".

Inside Housing (02/02/2024)   My London (05/02/2024)  

Read more »