GAMES boost

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 10:54pm


The Olympic Games is generating excitement and many temporary jobs this summer. Nevertheless, its greatest impact could be felt in east London's property market after they end.

After the Games, the Athletes Village, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and surrounding land in Stratford, the east London district where these sites are located, will be transformed into a residential neighbourhood of up to 13,500 new homes, increasing the area's housing stock by 80 per cent.

At the core of this neighbourhood will be Stratford City, the largest regeneration scheme in London. Covering 73 hectares, this development is designed to be a city within a city, the new heart of east London, when completed in 13 years time.

The GBP4 billion (HK$48.3 billion) scheme includes Westfield Stratford City, Europe's largest shopping centre which opened last year, and 371,600 square metres of new office space.

Most new housing will be built for rent or sale to low income families, but new schemes for sale to the wider public are also being constructed. These include Manhattan Loft Gardens, a cantilevered 42-storey tower accommodating 248 apartments, restaurants, spa, seven-storey hotel and 'sky gardens', which developer Manhattan Loft Corporation will complete in 2016.

Prices start from GBP350,000 for a 495 sqft studio apartment. Yolande Barnes, head of Savills residential research, says the Olympic Games' legacy will transform Stratford. 'The Olympics could not have come at a better time, because regeneration would not have happened otherwise,' Barnes says. 'It has brought forward redevelopment of the area by 10 to 20 years.' 'Beyond Stratford, the Olympics will have raised London's profile which might attract investors,' she says.

Stratford City will be the next piece in the jigsaw of the redevelopment of east London that has seen Canary Wharf become an international investment banking centre, the former Greenwich gasworks make way for The O2 arena, and derelict dockland turned into London City Airport and the Excel Centre exhibition halls.

These developments, coupled with transport improvements, such as the Crossrail train line that will run through Stratford from 2018, have helped make east London the place where most Londoners now live. New prime residential zones in parts of the Isle of Dogs and the City of London have been established.