This new digest has been prepared on behalf of London Property Alliance by Concilio communications consultancy as part of a service agreement to provide information for our members.
City of London
City A.M. reports that one in five Londoners would want to live in the City, with the figure rising to 28% among those aged 18-34, according to new research shared exclusively with City A.M. today. The Square Mile is closely followed by Kensington and Chelsea, with 18 per cent of Londoners choosing the leafy and exclusive borough as their most desired address, specialist mortgage lender Butterfield Mortgages found. The firm asked the respondents where their dream location would be to purchase a property in London, if money was no object, with the City emerging as their dream borough. The City of Westminster, occupying much of Greater London’s central area, including most of the West End, came third in Londoners’ list of dream neighbourhoods, chosen by 16 per cent. Elsewhere, 9 per cent selected Greenwich as their ideal borough, with Hammersmith and Fulham emerging in fifth place, according to 6 per cent of Londoners.
City A.M. reports that office take-up in the City of London office take-up reached 714,683 sq ft in May, which is the highest monthly take-up by volume since December 2021, and the most number of deals by number (36) since March 2021, real estate giant Savills said this morning. Take-up for the year-to-date has now reached 2.3m sq ft across 151 deals, 70 per cent up on the same point in 2021 and 5 per cent up on the 10-year average. May’s deals follow strong activity in the spring, which has led to the supply of office space in the City to fall for the third consecutive month. Available space is now down 2 per cent on April, to 12.7m sq ft, and the vacancy rate has decreased 20 basis points to 9.1 per cent. According to Savills, the average prime rent in the City has therefore now reached a new record of £84.24 per sq ft.
Property Week reports that Harris Associates and Simmonds Heath have acquired 50 Cannon Street, London EC4 for £30m on behalf of a European private investor. The seven-storey office building is opposite Bloomberg’s headquarters in the City of London. Harris Associates said the property offered a “short-term income profile with active asset management and multiple value-add opportunities”. Jonathan Harris, chief executive and founder of Harris Associates, added that 50 Cannon Street was “a rare freehold in the City of London, making this an extremely attractive investment opportunity – the acquisition of the asset shows positive sentiment in the current office market”.
Property Week reports that the Russian owner of the Evening Standard is set to move the London newspaper from Kensington’s Northcliffe House to the Alphabeta Building on the other side of central London in Finsbury Square. The Evening Standard is leaving its Derry Street home of 34 years, where it shared space with newspapers owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust. Property Week understands the news group’s owner Evgeny Lebedev has agreed a deal to take on WPP’s remaining two-year lease for around 33,000 sq ft at Alphabeta, which sits on the fringes of the City of London near Shoreditch. The London newspaper will be joined in Alphabeta by its stablemate, The Independent, in the move east. The Evening Standard took up residence in Northcliffe House, which overlooks Kensington High Street, in 1988 following its move from Fleet Street along with the Daily Mail titles. Lebedev took control of the title in 2009 soon after it become a freesheet. Lebedev is also a minority shareholder in the Independent, which he bought from Independent News & Media in 2010.
Hammersmith & Fulham
Property Week reports that Ministry of Sound has agreed a deal with Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield to convert a House of Fraser store in west London into a mixed-use venue comprising flexible offices, a gym and a rooftop bar. The Ministry Shepherd’s Bush will take up 115,000 sq ft, with work to convert the department store expected to begin later this year and completion due by Q1 2024. It will provide flexible office space for around 1,200 people, with private offices and hot-desking spaces, plus a public health and fitness offer, a members’ gym and a rooftop bar and restaurant. The Shepherd’s Bush development, with investment coming from both Westfield and Ministry, will be the second mixed-use space owned by the Ministry of Sound, which opened The Ministry Borough Road in 2018. The west London House of Fraser store will join a list of other stores to have closed since the group was bought by Mike Ashley’s retail empire in 2018. Ministry of Sound group chairman Lohan Presencer said: “Ministry of Sound has a long history of creating experiences that disrupt the norm and exceed all expectation, in nightclubs, music, live events, fitness and more recently workspace.
Property Week reports that Native Land has submitted a planning application for Building 1, an 80,600 sq ft, sustainable office building at its Bankside Yards scheme on London’s South Bank. Plans for the 18-storey office building, designed by Make Architects, include seven double-height terraces on alternate floors, a roof garden with hospitality space, and bookable dining rooms. The building will be integrated into landscaped green space as part of Bankside Yards’ 3.3 acres of riverside public realm with views of St Paul’s Cathedral and the City. The developer is targeting BREEAM Outstanding and a NABERS 5-Star rating. Building 1 will be part of Bankside Yards’ all-electric energy network, meaning it will generate zero emissions and be net zero carbon in operation.
Property Week reports that Strettons is set to offer a £7.5m mansion block in east London at its upcoming 14 July sale, among 40 other lots. The Victorian mansion block in Bethnal Green is the highest-priced property in the catalogue and comprises an unbroken freehold of 24 one-bedroom flats currently producing £354,252 per year. The auction house claims the lot is the largest to be offered for auction in E2, and the fourth-largest ever brought to auction in the UK. Strettons auction director Andrew Brown said: “We are seeing significant interest in this prominently located, characterful mansion block as properties such as this rarely come up at auction. “There is a real opportunity here for someone to acquire a piece of Bethnal Green history that is well known by people in the area.” Elsewhere in the catalogue is a shop and uppers property in Hackney on sale for £2m, arranged as two retail units and six flats. A freehold terraced house in Manor Park, E12, is guided at £350,000-plus and is being marketed with potential to be extended. Over in Southwark, two purpose-built BI business units at Ink Works Court are guided at £675,000-plus.
Tower Hamlets council reports that it has had the biggest population increase in the country. Tower Hamlets has seen the biggest population increase in England and Wales – with the number of residents increasing by more than 22 per cent. The results were revealed by the Office of National Statistics in the 2021 Census results released on Tuesday and have heightened calls for better funding for the borough’s services to cope with the increased demand. Tower Hamlets is the densest populated borough in England with 15,695 residents per km2 – compared to the national average of 424 per km2. Tower Hamlets Council is already working hard to cope with the rise in population, and in the five years to 2021, built more affordable houses than any other London borough. However more investment is needed with 21,480 households on our waiting list. The council constantly reviews other service impacts of a changing population including demand for primary and secondary school places across the borough.
What House reports that Red Loft has announced the launch of brand new Shared Ownership apartments at Orchard Wharf in east London. Orchard Heights is a brand new development of 338 homes in Tower Hamlets, which has just been launched by first-time buyer sales agency Red Loft. Offering a collection of Shared Ownership homes to the east London neighbourhood of Leamouth, on the banks of the River Lea, the striking 23-storey tower and five further cascading blocks are oriented towards the water, creating an eye-catching landmark on the riverbank. The development also brings an onsite shop and café, an outdoor pavilion, courtyard gardens and two attractively landscaped roof terrace gardens for residents’ use, with views over the London skyline. Being delivered by developer Galliard and Section 106 partner, Eastend Homes, homes at Orchard Wharf are putting a riverside lifestyle in reach for first-time buyers, with deposits starting from just £5,338.
Property Week reports that The University of London has placed a student accommodation scheme Lillian Penson Hall in the heart of Paddington on the market for £55m. The property has 313 student bedrooms with facilities over a lower ground, ground and six upper floors. The property has planning permission for an additional 17 bedrooms and further work to upgrade the existing rooms and facilities. It is being sold with vacant possession. Savills, which is marketing the property on behalf of the university, said the scheme is being sold as the University of London is focusing on future improvement and redevelopment work on its campus in the heart of Bloomsbury. Savills development director Darren Arnold said: “The sale of Lillian Penson Hall provides a rare and exciting opportunity to purchase a significant freehold asset in central London. The building is superbly placed and provides a variety of asset management opportunities.” A spokesperson from The University of London added: “The University of London has a mission to provide all staff and students with a first-class learning experience, whether that’s through our distance learning courses, or through their accommodation with us here in London.”
Property Week reports that Travel search platform Skyscanner has confirmed it will move its London head office to Soho Estates’ mixed-use development, Ilona Rose House. Skyscanner will take 29,500 sq ft across the fifth and sixth floors in the eight-storey Soho creative hub. The travel search firm will move its 300-strong London based workforce to the building, which is close to the new Elizabeth Line on Tottenham Court Road, in early 2023. Ilona Rose House is said to be the jewel in the crown of the Soho Estates portfolio, totalling 325,000 sq ft of mixed-use accommodation. With a further 26,500 sq ft already under offer, and some restaurant deals signed, only 55,000 sq ft of offices remain available over levels 1, 2 and 3. Philip Thompson, director at Soho Estates, said: “Soho Estates is dedicated to encouraging the creative industries, innovation and businesses in Soho. “Soho has long been the centre for creative industries and entrepreneurship. Ilona Rose House is a lively destination in Soho, and we identified this as an excellent opportunity to work with a fast-growing and unique company such as Skyscanner.”
The Times reports that some of Britain’s biggest office landlords came under heavy selling pressure yesterday after a large American investment bank warned that “real estate’s glory days are numbered”. Shares in Land Securities, Workspace and Great Portland Estates all fell by more than 5 per cent. British Land, which analysts at the Bank of America earmarked for a potential dividend cut, was the worst hit as it dropped by almost 9 per cent. Even Derwent London, which they think should be the “best place to seek shelter” given its modern office portfolio, retreated 4 per cent. In total, the falls chipped £1.4 billion off their combined stock market value. Investors took fright after analysts at Bank of America did an about-turn on their view of the office sector amid a “perfect storm” of factors weighing on the outlook and cut its earnings forecasts for office landlords by 7 per cent a year for the next ten years.