Docklands News

GLA could take over Royal Docks scheme

The Greater London Authority (GLA) could take back control of a mixed-use Royal Albert Dock project in the coming weeks, due to the financial issues faced by developer ABP (London) Investment. In 2013, then-Mayor of London Boris Johnson agreed the selection of ABP to regenerate a 15ha swathe of dockside, masterplanned by Farrells. The £1bn development would have hosted 2.5m sq ft of office space, as well as leisure, retail and serviced apartments – creating a “vibrant 24/7 location” by 2021-2022, and 4,000 new homes by 2037-38. So far, only the scheme’s 21-unit first phase is complete, with the exception of two listed buildings earmarked for restoration. The GLA said that since April 2019, no significant activity, lettings or investment had been undertaken by ABP. “The GLA has been concerned for some time by the lack of progress by the developer at Royal Albert Dock and served ABP with a final termination notice in August after the developer proved unable to meet all of its obligations under the agreement in place for delivery of this scheme", a GLA spokesperson said. “ABP’s guarantor Dauphin Holdings Group has now formally stepped into the project and assumed ABP’s responsibilities. As part of this process, Dauphin Holdings Group must comply with all of ABP’s outstanding obligations and bring forward the development of this key site".

Building (08/02/2022)   Building Design (08/02/2022)   The Times (05/02/2022)  

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Mayor seeks crackdown on overseas ownership

Sadiq Khan wants the Government to stem the flow of Russian "dirty money" into London by setting up a register for overseas property ownership. The mayor of London has called on Westminster to take action to stop the capital from being used for international money laundering. "Ministers have turned a blind eye to the use of our capital city as a safe harbour for corrupt funds, which is having a negative impact on our international reputation for transparency and our local housing market," he said. Almost a quarter of a million properties in England and Wales are now registered with buyers based abroad. There were fewer than 88,000 in 2010. Westminster has more properties in this category than any other local authority but other London boroughs including Tower Hamlets, Kensington, Wandsworth, Southwark and Lambeth have also had strong growth over the past decade. There are 85,451 property titles held by foreign owners in the capital.

The Sunday Times (06/02/2022)  

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House price growth set to slow considerably

House price growth is set to slow "considerably" in the coming year, according to the Halifax, as households face a squeeze on their finances. The mortgage lender said house prices grew by 0.3% in January, the lowest monthly increase since June 2021. However, the rise meant the average price hit a record high of £276,759, whilst affordability remained at "historically low levels". Annual house price growth remained at 9.7% in January. The Halifax noted that house price rises continued to outstrip earnings growth. "Despite record levels of first-time buyers stepping onto the ladder last year, younger generations still face significant barriers to homeownership as deposit requirements remain challenging," said Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax. 

BBC News (07/02/2022)   Daily Mail (07/02/2022)   Evening Standard (07/02/2022)  

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Ten-year fixed rates cut by lenders

Interest rates on 10-year fixed-rate deals are being reduced by mortgage lenders, with Lloyds Banking Group launching a mortgage with an interest rate fixed for 10 years at 1.66% this week. Halifax meanwhile launched a 10-year deal at 1.68% for 60% loan-to-value borrowers. Chris Sykes, mortgage consultant at broker Private Finance, noted that “Competition in the 10-year fixed-rate market is fierce and has emerged as a key battleground for lenders. As we now expect consistent base rate rises for the next year and likely more . . .  we are seeing increased inquiry levels and increased interest from potential borrowers.”

Financial Times (04/02/2022)   The Daily Telegraph (03/02/2022)  

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Apartments on the market at New Union Wharf

L&Q is launching a collection of one-to-three-bedroom apartments through Help to Buy at New Union Wharf in the Isle of Dogs. Architects Jestico + Whiles have designed a pattern of terraces and apartments blocks overlooking the Thames, with U-shaped blocks orientated towards the water, interspersed with landscaped gardens. A 20-minute walk from Canary Wharf, and seven minutes on foot from Cross Harbour DLR station, the apartments feature flexible open-plan living spaces, large double bedrooms and private balconies. Contemporary handleless kitchens include integrated appliances, whilst bathrooms are fitted with modern white sanitaryware and bespoke mirrored cabinetry. Prices start from £390,000 for a one-bedroom apartment, with Help to Buy available on all homes under £600,000.

Property Wire  

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Mayor says construction costs threaten London home-building

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has warned that the soaring cost of construction materials is slowing house-building progress in the capital. Government data shows prices for materials, including steel, timber, and concrete, shot up 23% last year. Mayor Khan said one development in south east London has experienced costs rising 45% based on tender returns. He wants the Government to issue more grant funding for affordable housing as London councils and housing associations face added pressures. 

City AM (28/01/2022)  

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