In the famous words of the legendary singer Tom Jones, “It's good to touch the green, green grass of home.” And just two years from now, the facade of the EDEN residential tower in Frankfurt am Main will be one of the greenest façade in the world. In EDEN’s case, the green, green grass of home takes the shape of vertical gardens.

It probably makes sense to begin at the beginning: Just what are these vertical gardens that everyone is getting so excited about, including architects, real estate aficionados and environmentalists, and how are they installed and maintained?

 

THE TALLEST VERTICAL GARDEN IN THE WORLD

In hotel lobbies, office foyers, multi-story car parks and shopping centers around the world, living walls, also known as vertical gardens, have been a feature for some time now. There has been a noticeable growth in the popularity of indoor living walls, and the facades of medium-high buildings can be equipped with plants of all kinds. But a complete high-rise residential building with a green living facade? According to Christiaan Bakker, specialist for green exterior wall systems at Sempergreen, the 98-meter EDEN residential tower in Frankfurt will be the first 70-meter-plus building in the world with a green facade.

 

This stunning high-rise apartment building, designed by the renowned international team at Jahn Architects, is adorned with a unique combination of vertical gardens and a filigree glass facade. In EDEN, state-of-the-art architecture forms a symbiosis with the power and beauty of nature in a way that has never been seen before in an ultra-modern high-rise.

 

WELCOME TO THE URBAN JUNGLE

The 27-story EDEN residential tower fits in perfectly with the city’s green philosophy and the facts speak for themselves: EDEN will feature a total of 186,000 plants over an area of almost 2,000 square meters (as 20% of the façade). Most of the plants will be planted on the building’s exterior facade, creating a striking and highly visible green wall that is sure to amaze passers-by and visitors to EDEN. In the lobby, a 37-square-meter living wall will create the feeling of an urban jungle in the heart of the city. Claudia Blum of Studio Architects Düsseldorf has also developed an interior design concept that integrates plants throughout the building. Her principal theme is nature, with other elements included to provide subtle, background accents. And when it comes to EDEN’s balconies, the living wall’s plants provide privacy and a genuine outdoor experience.

 

 

ENHANCING VALUE WITH VERTICAL GARDENS

EDEN’s vertical gardens are far more than just attractive architectural and design features. The green living facades also create a host of benefits for the tower’s residents (for example improvement of acoustics and sound emission), and the climate. Green facades absorb CO2 and particulate matter and provide a cooling effect and cleaner air as well as making a valuable contribution to maintaining the diversity of urban fauna. Green indoor walls ensure a healthy indoor climate, reduce noise levels and are flame-retardant. In offices, they even increase employee productivity.

 

As Christiaan Bakker from Sempergreen explains: “Vertical gardens make a significant contribution to the physical and psychological well-being of residents.” They even extend the life of a building’s facade. These numerous advantages increase the overall value of the property.

 

SOPHISTICATED PLANT CARE TECHNOLOGY

When it comes to looking after the plants, vertical garden experts have developed efficient solutions in recent years. Tending to the plants’ needs is now largely handled by automatic systems: Irrigation and nutrients are supplied with the aid of small drip lines and an irrigation computer. The plants can be monitored around the clock from an off-site control center. The technological sophistication of the system is certainly impressive. Christiaan Bakker explains: “The irrigation system installed on the roof automatically supplies water and fertilizer to the plants for a few seconds at a time. At night, the system pauses because the plants rest. Sensors in the panels monitor moisture levels and allow us to check fill levels via computer.” The vertical gardens even have their own frost protection system. As soon as there is a risk of frost, the system switches itself off and ensures that the water drains off before it can freeze in the pipes.

 

CREATING GREEN URBAN SPACES

With such a truly innovative project as EDEN, it was important that the architects and green facade specialists worked in perfect partnership. The considerable weight of the planting system, the complex network of water pipes and the space for drainage all needed to be expertly integrated into the building’s planning from day one. In addition, the plants are chosen with the utmost care. In the case of EDEN, the plants are individually selected for the project and planted a year in advance on precision engineered panels before being attached to the building with the help of a gondola. “Given the height of the building, the installation is of course more time-consuming than with other green facades,” explains Bakker. EDEN is truly a project of superlatives. For the green facade specialists at Sempergreen, the vertical gardens are more than just a business: “Our cities are growing and we need to make more space for greenery. Vertical gardens are an ideal, and very necessary, solution as we seek to create more green spaces!”

 

FRANKFURT: METROPOLITAN VIBE IN HARMONY WITH GREEN SERENITY

There is hardly another city in the world so perfectly suited to the combination of vertical gardens and high-rise architecture than Frankfurt. The metropolis on the Main River is rightly famous for its exciting skyline. Urban greenery is also deeply rooted in the city’s DNA – in the truest sense of the word. One of Frankfurt’s preeminent garden architects, Franz Heinrich Siesmayer, created the famous Palmengarten 200 years ago. In total, he is credited with having designed and landscaped more than 300 parks. Greenery has always played an important role in Frankfurt’s urban planning: the miles of green belt running around the city’s core and more than 40 urban parks make a valuable contribution to creating a balanced urban climate. More than 52% of the city’s urban area is green.

 

Here you can find more information about the condominiums in EDEN.

15 Oct 2019

著名發展商EcoWorld London将隆重推出旗下發展項目Verdo Kew Bridge第二期Jasmine House。這個全新發展項目位於交通便利且發展蓬勃的Brentford區域。 

仲量聯行榮獲發展商委任為香港的獨家代理,專責推介有關物業。Jasmine House鄰近Kew Bridge站,提供84個一房、兩房、三房,以及首度推出的開放式單位,面積介乎538至1,066平方呎。每個單位均精挑材料打造,並設有高大的門窗及優雅的陽台,明亮通風。單位入場價由350,000英鎊(約337萬港元)起。 

Jasmine House的住戶可享受一系列齊全的配套設施,包括24小時禮賓服務和集工作區、會議室、健身室及多媒體室於一體的寬敞的私人會所,以及露台、遊樂區和私家花園等廣闊的共用空間。EcoWorld London以注重質素和風格而著稱,是次項目秉承這項設計理念,為住戶締造非凡的現代生活體驗。 

作為耗資數百萬英鎊的Brentford重建項目的一部份,EcoWorld London運用其專業的國際知識,於西倫敦打造了這個充滿活力的新社區,這有賴其曾參與英國多個引人矚目的發展項目。Verdo Kew Bridge坐擁各式各樣的商店、咖啡店、餐廳和園景花園,以及Brentford足球會新建的先進足球場,讓住戶在倫敦最令人興奮的全新社區中心盡享優質生活。

項目地理位置優越,步行至Kew Bridge火車站及鄰近District線和地上鐵沿線的Gunnersbury站只需1分鐘,前往倫敦市中心用時不超過30分鐘。Verdo距離M4高速公路不足500米,交通便利,可經高速公路直達Heathrow機場和西倫敦。此外,項目坐落河畔,與泰晤士河只有數步之隔,被一眾風景宜人的公園環抱,當中包括位於Kew區的標誌性皇家植物園(Royal Botanic Gardens)。Verdo Kew Bridge毗鄰匯聚逾200家公司的Golden Mile和商業中心Chiswick Business Park,目前多家全球著名企業已在此設立環球、歐洲及英國總部。 

此外,Verdo Kew Bridge亦鄰近區內多間首屈一指的學校,包括現代男女中學Kew House、The Queen’s Church of England School、Grove Park School及Lionel School,盡享優越地利。上述學校距離Jasmine House均不足一英里,因環境一流而備受推崇,並獲英國教育部評級為「極佳」(Outstanding)。 

仲量聯行國際住宅部主管黃嘉欣表示:「我們很高興能為香港投資者提供機會,以了解這個位於倫敦的最新發展項目。Verdo Kew Bridge著力打造優質舒適的生活社區,這和我們致力締造卓越和創新生活的核心價值觀不謀而合。我們留意到,近期香港投資者對英國地產的需求與日俱增。此外,EcoWorld已參與發展英國多個屢獲殊榮的地標性項目,並於Brentford的大型重建項目中創造卓著往績。Jasmine House的周邊配套完善,極具投資價值。」 

 

開放式單位入場價由350,000英鎊起,預計將於2021年第四季至2022年第一季竣工。 

如欲瞭解更多項目詳情,請聯繫我們。電話:+852 3759 0909或電郵:irp.hk@ap.jll.com

15 Oct 2019

EcoWorld London launched Jasmine House on 15 August, the second phase of their Verdo Kew Bridge development, a new neighbourhood within well-connected and burgeoning Brentford. 

Available through JLL, the sole agent appointed by the property owners to introduce Jasmine House in Hong Kong, the collection of 84 homes for purchase in Jasmine House located next to Kew Bridge station consist of one, two and three bedrooms, as well as Verdo Kew Bridge’s first set of studio apartments, ranging from 538 sq ft to 1,066 sq ft in size. Each of the airy, light-filled apartments benefit from tall windows and elegant balconies, with quality finishes used throughout. Prices of the apartments start from £350,000 (about HKD 3.37 million). 

Residents of Jasmine House will have immediate access to a comprehensive set of premium amenities including a 24-hour concierge service, an ample private residents’ lounge that includes work zones, a meeting room, a gym and a multimedia room, as well as extensive communal spaces such as sunlit terraces, play areas and a private residents’ garden. The development is designed with EcoWorld London’s signature focus on quality and style, offering residents outstanding contemporary living. 

As a part of Brentford’s multi-million-pound regeneration project, EcoWorld London deployed its global expertise working on some of the most high-profile projects in the UK to create a vibrant new neighbourhood in West London. With a variety of shops, cafés, restaurants and landscaped gardens, alongside Brentford Football Club’s new state-of-the-art football stadium, residents of Verdo Kew Bridge will be at the heart of one of London’s most exciting new destinations. 

The development boasts an exceptional location just a minute’s walk away from Kew Bridge Rail Station and nearby Gunnersbury Station on the District Line and Overground, allowing access to central London within 30 minutes. Verdo is less than half a mile to the M4, offering direct motorway journeys to Heathrow, and the West as well as easy access to the M40. It also enjoys a riverside location, just minutes from the River Thames and surrounded by a number of beautiful parks including the iconic Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Verdo is also within easy reach of the Golden Mile, home to over 200 companies, as well as Chiswick Business Park, a commerce hub with world-leading global, European and national headquarters. 

Verdo Kew Bridge also benefits from its proximity to some of the area’s leading schools. These include Kew House, a modern co-educational senior school, The Queen’s Church of England School, Grove Park School and Lionel School. All within a mile of Jasmine House, they are highly regarded for their thriving environments and are Ofsted-rated ‘outstanding’. 

Mandy Wong, Head of International Residential at JLL in Hong Kong, said, “We are very pleased to be able to offer investors in Hong Kong the opportunity to view this contemporary development in London that has liveability and lifestyle at its heart, in close alignment to JLL’s core values of exceptional, innovative living. We note that there has been rising demand recently for real estate in the UK from investors in Hong Kong in particular. EcoWorld has been involved in developing some of the most iconic and award-winning developments in the UK, with impressive work being done as a part of Brentford’s vast regeneration project, making Jasmine House an incredibly solid investment with its blossoming surroundings.” 

 

Studios start at £350,000 (about HKD 3.37 million), with completion expected Q4 2021 – Q1 2022. 

For more information, please contact us for Mandy Wong at +852 3759 0909 or email: irp.hk@ap.jll.com

15 Oct 2019

Art-Invest Real Estate 及 Dukelease Properties發展商攜手合作,推出坐落於倫敦西區W1其中一個極具優質居住環境的Fitzrovia地區,全新豪宅 101 on Cleveland Street。項目共有88個單位,為Fitzrovia地區帶來嶄新生活潮流品味。

 

101 on Cleveland Street 由英國發展商 Dukelease Properties 聯同首次進入英國房地產市場Art-Invest Real Estate發展商傾力打造。在此之前,Dukelease Properties 已成功發展多個優質高尚住宅項目,如 Beau House,Artisan 及 Oxford Street 等。

 

Dukelease Properties行政總裁Richard Leslie表示:「我們很高興能夠將101 on Cleveland Street高尚住宅項目帶來亞洲。位於倫敦西區的Fitzrovia現時已成為倫敦首屈一指,且最具競爭力的地區之一,我們十分期待透過這個與Art-Invest Real Estate共同發展的項目,展現最優越的家居品味生活。」

 

兩家發展商一致認為倫敦中心優越地段極具物業升值無限潛力,而該項目正正矗立在黃金地段。儘管政治和經濟存在不明朗因素,但根據仲量聯行的最新物業市場預測,2019年的

住宅樓價將上升1%,至2020年上升幅度高達2.5%。

仲量聯行國際住宅部主管黃嘉欣指出:「根據仲量聯行最新的預測,假設英國就脫歐達成協議,樓價將會大幅上升。而當歐盟協議獲得全面通過,預期2019年,投資者對倫敦市中心物業市場的信心將會增強。隨之而來,本地買家及海外買家的需求將即時急增,而海外買家更可受惠於短期貨幣匯率波動的優勢。」
 

項目概要

101 on Cleveland Street提供88個設計精緻高貴的住宅單位,每個單位均附設私人露台。

項目共建有2座物業,提供1房、2房及3房豪華住宅單位,另備有4個連私人天台露台矜罕特色頂層單位,物業預計於2021年第四季落成。

 

住戶專享各式設施配套,包括健身室、放映室、餐廳、貴賓室及桑拿浴室等。園林花園設於平台樓層,為大樓添上綠意盎然,令整體建築內外結合,融為一體。

 

地理位置

Fitzrovia是倫敦核心一個新崛起的優質居住地點。101 on Cleveland Street向南為Oxford Street,向北為 Regent’s Park,南北相接,項目正正位於Fitzrovia的核心位置,亦是該區近年首個推出的尊貴豪華住宅物業。

 

物業位置優越,佔盡地利優勢,舉步間即可輕鬆前往多個地鐵站,如Great Portland Street站、Goodge Street站、Warren Street站及Tottenham Court Road站等。隨著Crossrail鐵路預計於明年投入服務,屆時住戶經Tottenham Court Road站,僅5分鐘即可到達倫敦東面,28分鐘內即可到達西面的希斯路機場,快捷貫通全球。前往倫敦King's Cross St Pancras車站亦十分方便,不論商務出差或周末出遊均輕鬆方便。

 

項目物業鄰近倫敦多所頂尖大學,前往倫敦大學學院 (University College London) 及西敏大學 (University of Westminster) 僅7分鐘步程,前往倫敦經濟學院 (The London School of Economics) 只需15分鐘路程,往倫敦國王學院 (King’s College London) 亦只需有17分鐘路程。皇家戲劇藝術學院 (RADA) 及富比藝術學院 (Sotheby’s Institute of Art) 也只是舉步之間。

 

生活品味

101 on Cleveland Street 坐落倫敦市中心繁華黃金地段,擁有高級餐廳及世界級娛樂設施,新品牌餐廳、五星級酒店及辦公大樓令該區迅速成為倫敦繁華熱鬧地區。如米芝蓮食肆LIMA London及Pied a Terre,還有Setoor Ceviche、Ottolenghi旗下最新開業的ROVI、Kyseri及Serge et le Phoque等,除此以外,長期備受大眾追捧的酒店Charlotte Street Hotel及The Mandrake Hotel亦在該區內,擇居於此,足可彰顯住戶的生活品味。

 

此外,這裡還有享負盛名的高級會所Mortimer House及只限女性會員的全新俱樂部The Allbright,同時亦有著名的健身中心,包括F45、FRAME、Psycle及Define London。這一切都令該區閃爍耀眼成為繁華都市明珠。

 

Art-Invest Real Estate英國管理合夥人Ali Abbas表示:「我們很高興能將我們豐富的投資及發展經驗與Dukelease Properties聯合起來,共同打造這個坐落於倫敦W1區, Fitzrovia佔地1英畝的尊貴住宅項目。」

 

香港展銷會:

日期:2019年8月30日至9月1日 (星期五至日)

時間:上午11時至下午7時

地點:香港中環皇后大道中15號置地文華東方酒店15樓Entertainment Suite

 

有關銷售查詢,請聯絡:

仲量聯行國際住宅部 – 黃嘉欣

電郵:ipr.hk@ap.jll.com 或致電 +852 3759 0909

 

15 Oct 2019

Art-Invest Real Estate and Dukelease Properties today launch its latest residential development, 101 on Cleveland Street. The luxury development, comprising 88 residences will showcase a new proposition for Fitzrovia, one of W1 London’s finest locations in which to live.

 

101 on Cleveland Street follows Dukelease Properties’ local success with previous high-end schemes, such as Beau House, Artisan and Oxford Street, and marks Art-Invest Real Estate’s first venture into the UK property market.

 

Richard Leslie, CEO of Dukelease Properties comments: “We are excited to be bringing 101 on Cleveland Street to Asia at this time. Fitzrovia is now firmly on the map as one of London’s premier and most competitive destinations and we are looking forward to showcasing all it has to offer through our development with Art-Invest Real Estate.”

 

Both companies believe the Prime Central London market is resilient and that new developments have a firm place in the market. Despite the uncertain economic and political backdrop, JLL’s latest forecasts anticipate prices in 2019 will rise almost immediately by 1% with future growth to 2.5% by 2020.

Mandy Wong, Head of International Residential Property Services of JLL comments: “JLL’s latest forecasts assume a Brexit deal is agreed and that a strong upturn in values ensues. We anticipate a boost in confidence to the Prime Central London market in 2019, once the EU deal is fully approved. In turn, the greater certainty will immediately boost demand from domestic and international buyers, with the latter benefitting from the short-term currency advantage.”

 

The Scheme

101 on Cleveland Street comprises 88 beautifully designed apartments, each with their own balcony. Spreading across two buildings, a range of one, two and three-bedroom apartments will be delivered in Q4 2021, alongside four premium penthouses with private rooftop terraces.

 

Residents will have exclusive access to a suite of amenities including a gym, screening room, dining room, lounge and sauna. Landscaped gardens will adorn the podium level of the building and bring to life the exterior architecture.

 

Location

Fitzrovia is emerging as the new and desirable destination in Prime Central London. Bordered by Oxford Street to the South and Regent’s Park to the North, 101 on Cleveland Street takes prime position in the heart of Fitzrovia and will be the first residential offering of its kind in recent years.

 

The development sits within easy access to a number of tube stations, just a short walk from Great Portland Street, Goodge Street, Warren Street and Tottenham Court Road to name a few. Tottenham Court Road will also benefit from the highly-anticipated high speed Crossrail service next year where residents will be able to reach the City to the east in five minutes and Heathrow to the west in 28 minutes, enhancing the global connectivity of the area. London King’s Cross St Pancras is within easy access, perfect for international business meetings and weekends away.

 

University College London and The University of Westminster are within 7 minutes’ walk of the development. Moreover, The London School of Economics is a 15 minutes’ away, joined by King’s College London which is 17 minutes’ away. RADA studios and Sotheby’s Institute of Art are also within walking distance.

 

Lifestyle

A hub of restaurants and world-class amenities sit on the doorstep of 101 on Cleveland Street. New restaurants, hotels and workspaces are contributing to this corner of London fast becoming a premier destination. Leading restaurants in the area include Michelin starred LIMA London and Pied a Terre, alongside Señor Ceviche, Ottolenghi’s latest opening ROVI, Kyseri and Serge et le Phoque, which join long-time favourite hotels, Charlotte Street Hotel and The Mandrake Hotel.

 

Moreover, prominent workspaces including the acclaimed Mortimer House and the new women’s only member’s club The Allbright are accompanied by prestigious gyms including F45, FRAME, Psycle and Define London.

 

Ali Abbas, UK Managing Partner at Art-Invest Real Estate comments, “We are excited to be combining our experienced investment and development capability with Dukelease Properties, to create a unique destination in this one-acre site in Fitzrovia, London, W1.”

 

Exhibition details:

30 Aug – 1 Sep 2019 (Fri-Sun)

11am-7pm

15/F, The Entertainment Suite, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong

 

For sales enquiries, please contact Mandy Wong at irp.hk@ap.jll.com or +852 3759 0909.

15 Oct 2019

Hong Kong property investors looking to Europe have traditionally focused on London, but events over the last few years have seen an increasing number expanding their horizons to other markets. With strong price growth, a stable economy, record low unemployment, and a growing population in need of properties to rent, Germany's capital Berlin has emerged as the strongest contender.

A global capital of culture and heritage, Berlin's booming tech economy and high quality of life make it one of the most popular places to live in Europe among students and professionals alike. With house prices growing around 10 percent each year, according to Deutsche Bank, it's a big hit with residential investors too. Berlin took first place in PwC's Emerging Trends in Real Estate report for the last three consecutive years for its overall investment and development prospects.

Berlin received more institutional investment than any other city in Europe last year at €3.7 billion (HKD 33.7 billion). This growth was partly driven by a rise in foreign investment, including several large-scale transactions such as US billionaire Warren Buffett's €3.8 million acquisition of a luxury real estate agency. While most foreign capital originated in established markets such as France, Switzerland, and Israel, there was also a noticeable rise in investment from further afield.

Price and rent gains continue

With one of the world's lowest home ownership rates, Berlin is a perfect fit for landlords looking for buy-to-let investment properties—but there can be considerable differences across city districts and price brackets.

Last year, the weakest rent growth was seen in the lower end of the market, owing to increased competition from the government's affordable housing provision. At the opposite end of the scale, luxury apartments in prime locations saw the highest rental growth, with new builds letting for €15 to €17 per square meter per month (HKD 137–155) in the traditionally expensive districts of Mitte, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg.

For Berlin residents who prefer to buy, condominiums are the main focus of new build activity in the city. Condominiums appeal to city dwellers looking for a stable long-term investment as well as to buy-to-sell investors looking for a faster turnover when the price cycle peaks. By the end of 2017, new condominiums in Berlin city center were fetching approximately €4,000 (HKD 36,400) per square meter. Condominium prices have more than doubled since 2010.

No end to supply shortage

Lack of housing supply is a problem facing many European markets, but the market is particularly squeezed in Berlin. The government's emphasis on affordable municipal housing with capped rents means that building permits are strictly limited for private developers. Much development activity instead involves refurbishing existing housing stock to add extra floors or turn old rental apartments into modern condominiums. However, this too is being hindered as wider areas of central Berlin are designated conservation areas and become ineligible for redevelopment.

While Berlin's housing shortage will likely continue to frustrate tenants and investors for years to come, there are already signs that things are improving. The number of building permits has been rising sharply each year and reached a new height of 22,000 units in 2017. This trend is expected to continue as more projects begin construction this year. Population growth has also started to slow down, dropping from more than 60,000 in 2016 to less than 40,000 in 2017 as migration into Germany declines.

With tough competition and complex property laws that can be intimidating for first-time buyers, investing in Berlin property isn't without its headaches. But as a lucrative and comparatively secure investment, it's easy to see why Germany's capital remains Europe's hottest pick year after year.

For more information about residential properties in Berlin, please contact JLL International Residential  at +852 3759 0909 or irp.hk@ap.jll.com

15 Oct 2019

The recovery in the United Kingdom's residential property markets is exceeding expectations. The growing urban population in London and major regional cities is pushing demand to ever greater heights, and investors the world over are eager to stake a claim now that property prices are back on the upswing.

Institutional investment totaled £2.4 billion (HKD 24.7 billion) in 2017, an increase of 15 percent over the previous year. This is only just below the record transaction levels seen in 2015, prior to the EU referendum vote that temporarily shook investor confidence. 2018 is set to be a record-breaking year for UK property investment, and this is largely thanks to sustained optimism from overseas buyers who supported the markets through those turbulent times.

Our research shows that foreign capital accounted for 54 percent of investment volumes last year. This came primarily from established investors in Europe, the Middle East and North America, although growing interest from Asia is also making significant contributions, with Hong Kong investors being the biggest spenders.

As in the rest of Europe, the greatest obstacle preventing the UK’s residential markets from achieving their full potential is the lack of available housing supply to meet demand. An active development pipeline is aiming to address this imbalance, leading to a record number of forward purchases being made as investors secure prices today for properties that will enter the highly competitive marketplace in the coming years.

Best performing cities

London received the lion's share of UK residential investment in 2017. Institutional investment volumes grew by 20 percent to reach almost £1 billion with a net yield of 3.75 percent on average.

Although it is only the fifth busiest investment market in Europe—after Berlin, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Paris—the UK capital is favored by Asian investors, whose confidence in the city following the Brexit vote has been borne out. Prices have been recovering across the capital this year, with prime Central London seeing an increase in transactions and consecutive rental gains in the first two quarters of 2018.

There's more to the UK than London, of course, and Asian investors are increasingly looking to regional powerhouse cities such as Greater Manchester and Sheffield in the north, Birmingham in the Midlands, and the Scottish capital Edinburgh, to expand their portfolios. A number of large-scale construction projects are also underway in smaller cities across the UK, which are set for rapid price growth over the next few years.

Overcoming the supply shortage

The lack of available housing stock is the most significant barrier to new investors entering the UK’s property markets. This affects prime Central London most severely, with opportunities too scarce or upfront costs too expensive for less experienced investors.

The landscape is evolving however, with an increasing focus on purpose-built developments targeted at institutional investors and landlords. With the majority of these projects currently in the construction phase, forward purchase deals now comprise the largest share of investment volumes across the UK and patient investors must wait for their properties to enter the market and start generating income.

More and more investors are also entering into joint partnerships to increase their buying power and gain access to larger assets. These investment strategies are expected to continue through 2018.

Outlook remains positive

Looking ahead to the next 12 months, the UK’s residential markets are expected to continue their trajectory of growth, fueled by ever-increasing interest from overseas property investors.

Our head of UK residential investment, Simon Scott, explains: “The growth in city populations, strong supply/demand fundamentals and relative economic stability provide many reasons for investors to remain positive about London and the wider UK in the next year.

“The impact of Brexit does not seem to have dampened investors' appetites and there is an increasing desire to gain exposure to the sector.”

For more information about residential properties across the UK, please contact JLL International Residential at +852 3759 0909 or irp.hk@ap.jll.com.

15 Oct 2019

Central London's housing markets are back on a firm footing after three years of uncertainty, making property developers and investors optimistic about the future.

Our UK residential research shows that property prices remained stable over the past year before picking up strongly in the first three months of 2018. This was aided by the government-backed Help to Buy equity scheme that allows buyers to secure homes under £600,000 (HKD 6,231,000) with as little as a five percent deposit.

Developers are eager to increase construction activity and capitalize on this high demand, but new government restrictions, such as the increased affordable housing provision, have caused a slowdown in planning applications. While development activity has held steady over the past year, the longer term outlook is less certain unless these challenges can be met.

 

Sales rebound in Q1 2018

The number of sales of ‘new builds’ in Central London jumped 31 percent in the first quarter of 2018 to 2,450 sales. Annual sales are expected to stabilize around 8,500 units, a turnaround from the steady decline in the market since 2015.

House prices in Central London have also remained stable across all submarkets over the past 12 months. Large discounts of 10 percent or more have become less common, suggesting stronger market conditions and growing confidence.

Demand is highest for lower-value properties, such as those that qualify for the Help to Buy scheme, with more affordable districts of Outer London outpacing those closer to the center of the capital. Homes in up-and-coming regeneration areas such as Nine Elms and those close to Crossrail stations are especially popular with investors owing to the price growth that is forecast over the coming years.

Buyer demographics are also changing, with a higher proportion of domestic owner-occupiers buying new build units. Foreign investment is still a driving factor however, with Chinese and Hong Kong buyers being attracted to the UK market by the weakened pound.

 

Construction volumes holding firm

Over 42,600 homes are currently under construction across Central London—close to a record high. Of these, 45 percent are being built in Core markets closer to the center of London—predominantly in more affordable Canary Wharf—but development activity is gradually shifting to the Outer Core to meet buyer preferences for lower-value properties. Around 75 percent of new planning permissions are for Outer Core markets, particularly in the east of the city.

Like sale prices, construction volumes have stabilized over the past six months, although a decline in planning permissions has already seen a drop in the number of new projects commencing in the first quarter of 2018. This slowdown is believed to be largely due to new initiatives launched last October by London Mayor Sadiq Khan that require 35 percent of new builds to be affordable housing and for developers to be subject to stricter reviews and greater transparency.

While these measures have reduced the appetite of some, most residential developers say they still feel positive about building in Central London, especially in the most desirable locations.

 

Gradual improvements ahead

Our research forecasts ongoing stability and steady price growth through the rest of 2018 that will reward the patience of developers and investors. Central London house prices are expected to grow by 9.8 percent from 2018-22 and rents by 8.8 percent over the same period, supported by the Help to Buy scheme before its expiry in 2021. Sales growth is also expected to continue.

Construction activity will remain relatively stable across the year, with Outer Core developments increasing their share from 55 percent of projects at present to 75 percent by 2020. Canary Wharf and Nine Elms will be the most sought-after Inner Core markets.

Director of Residential Research at JLL UK, Neil Chegwidden, explains: “The Central London development sales market remains slower than developers would like, but prices have remained firm for the past year. Some developers are delaying launches, but most are continuing with existing plans.

“The volume of construction activity is high by historic standards but, with planning applications slowing sharply—driven in part by the Mayor's firmer stance on affordable housing provision—the medium-term supply pipeline is less certain.”

 

For more information about London residential properties, please contact JLL International Residential at +852 3759 0909 or irp.hk@ap.jll.com.

15 Oct 2019

Tokyo's successful bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics has accelerated the pace of urban regeneration in Japan's high-tech capital. As well as the new sports venues, hotels and transport upgrades catering to international visitors during the events, the Japanese government and Tokyo Metropolitan Government are also investing heavily in long-term improvements within the city's rapidly growing CBDs.

Japan's population is becoming increasingly urbanized, with Tokyo in particular drawing an influx of workers, entrepreneurs and students from surrounding regions to its thriving central wards. The international population is also on the rise, with global companies being tempted by lower corporate taxes and relaxed visa rules in Tokyo's Special Economic Zones. Overseas property buyers can also benefit from cheaper stamp duties and a lower price index compared to other major world cities such as Hong Kong, London and Shanghai.

The most high-profile redevelopments are primarily located in Shibuya, the trendy heart of the capital that has also been a major hub of tech and creative industries since the 1990s. The Shibuya Station area is currently in the midst of a “once-in-a-century” regeneration which is aiming to establish the district as a world-leading business and entertainment center to rival the likes of London, Paris and New York.

 

Shibuya regeneration

Tokyo's answer to Times Square, the Shibuya Station area is the iconic image of Tokyo. Home of the world's busiest train station, the famous scramble crossing and the statue of loyal dog Hachiko, this popular meeting place is also a haven for startups and international headquarters, for example, Mixi, online Japanese social media company like Facebook, its headquarter is located in Shibuya.

The Shibuya regeneration is adding to these landmarks to make the area even more appealing to businesses and investors, with an extensive development plan involving over nine million square feet of new buildings and infrastructure. These include:

 

    Shibuya Hikarie – this 183-meter skyscraper was the first phase of the redevelopment and was completed in 2012. It houses offices and conference facilities, restaurants, shops and the Tokyu Theatre Orb, which hosts Broadway musicals and other entertainment.

    Shibuya Station Building  – a new 230-meter skyscraper adjacent to the rebuilt station and scheduled for completion in 2019. Its rooftop observation deck will offer panoramic views over the city that stretch as far as Mount Fuji.

    Shibuya Station South – another 180-meter skyscraper will be constructed on the former site of the redirected Tokyu Toyoko Line railway, housing office space, a hotel and services for creative startups.

 •   Dogenzaka – a new commercial and office building will be erected near the existing Shibuya Mark City complex.

 •   Sakuragaoka – this area south of the station will be home to a new 180-meter office tower and 150-meter condominium targeted at foreign buyers.

 •   Shibuya River – this overlooked waterway running through the district will be turned into an attractive pedestrian plaza that is expected to open later this year.

 

(Image from Shibuya Station website)

 

Further commercial buildings of various sizes will follow in the second phase of the redevelopment which will carry through to 2027 and is expected to unlock even more of Shibuya's potential.

Solving the housing shortage

With more local and international talent being drawn to the district, the already high demand for accommodation in Shibuya is skyrocketing, especially for larger family homes. Only 20 percent of condominiums in Shibuya currently have two or three bedrooms, compared to the 50 percent average for other central Tokyo wards. New residential developments are addressing this shortfall.

For more information about Tokyo residential properties, click here or contact JLL International Properties at +852 3759 0909 or irp.hk@ap.jll.com.

15 Oct 2019

It may be the world's most powerful financial center and have a huge appeal for tourists, but there's a less showy side to London that makes the UK capital a timelessly appealing place to live. Look beyond the shimmering skyline and you'll find a world of red brick Victorian mansions, tranquil waterways, and sprawling Royal Parks.

The impending launch of the new Crossrail service by year's end is making certain areas of London even more attractive to residents and investors alike, with our research forecasting house price growth of 16 percent above the Greater London average by 2020.

Among the best connected stations on the new line will be Paddington, which lies within walking distance of leafy residential neighborhood Maida Vale. Combining classic red-brick charm with this convenient Crossrail connection, the affluent W2 district offers more affordable house prices than nearby St. John’s Wood, Notting Hill or Mayfair. Garrett Mansions is a new property in Maida Vale by leading developer Berkeley Homes that updates the traditional mansion square for the 21st century.

 

Serenity in the city

Renowned for its peace and quiet and the canal side cafes of ‘Little Venice,’ Maida Vale offers the experience of close-knit village living while still being enviably close to London's top sights and destinations, from Harrods to Buckingham Palace. Home to the BBC's Maida Vale Studios, the area has long attracted musical talent, some notable residents including singers Björk, Jarvis Cocker and Noel Gallagher.

Garrett Mansions is less than 15 minutes' walk from two of London's most famous parks—Hyde Park to the south and Regent's Park to the north-east—totaling a combined 760 acres of green space. The boutiques of Marylebone High Street are less than 20 minutes on foot, and it's not much further to the cultural charms of SoHo and fine dining in Mayfair.

Families with children will also be spoiled for choice when it comes to exceptional education options. Local St. Saviour's primary school is rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, and notable universities including the University of Westminster, Regent's University London and London School of Economics are all within easy reach.

For getting around the city and beyond, the district is as well-connected as you'd expect for prime Zone 1 London. Edgware station offers access to four Underground lines just a minute's walk from Garrett Mansions and it's also a short walk to Paddington station and Crossrail, taking you to Heathrow Airport in 21 minutes.

 

Classic style with modern amenities

Garrett Mansions is part of the larger West End Gate development that's reimagining the London mansion block for the modern age. Architects Squire and Partners designed the red brick buildings to blend sympathetically with their period surroundings, overlooking a serene private garden.

This classically-inspired design continues inside the apartments, which are characterized by warm bronze and heritage tones, and feature engineered timber flooring, integrated appliances, and bespoke fittings. Residents can also access exclusive amenities at the development's Westmark building, including a swimming pool, fully-equipped gym and spa, private lounge, dining and cinema rooms, and a 24-hour concierge.

Berkeley Homes Sales and Marketing Director, Simon Howard, says the West End Gate development offers an excellent opportunity to overseas property buyers. “With great design, amenities and location, the mid-range pricing opens up room for investment growth,” he explains.

“With the current and predicted lack of supply, it's a safe option for an investor. With the area’s new transport connections, the opening of Crossrail, and the prestigious, established locations all around, I see it as a very good opportunity.”

 

For more information about Garrett Mansions at West End Gate and other Central London residential properties, click here or contact JLL International Residential at +852 3759 0909 or irp.hk@ap.jll.com.

04 Dec 2019