Own a little piece of Britain

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 March, 2007, 12:00am

A peek at exciting developments in and outside London and a general idea of prices

Property Parkwest, West Drayton, Middlesex

Location West of London in the borough of Hillingdon and part of the Outer London area. Central London is 26km away, so West Drayton is becoming something of a commuter town. It is also close to Heathrow Airport - less than 6.4km to terminals 1, 2 and 3 and less than 11km to terminal 4 by road.

Development A newly built gated community containing one-, two- and three-bedroom units. As with most gated communities, this one comes with landscaped grounds, a gym and parking. In the architect's words, these are 'exceptionally carefully planned apartments combined with spacious and well-landscaped grounds'. The development will comprise one- and two-bedroom units and duplex units with two and three bedrooms. The latter will include en suite to master bedroom. One-bedroom units will feature an open-plan living and dining area; two-bedroom units will have an en suite to the master bedroom. Lexington House will be the next phase to be marketed and will be completed in mid to late 2008.

Price A one-bedroom unit will cost about GBP200,000 (HK$3.01million); a two-bedroom unit about GBP250,000. Prices have not been released for two- and three-bedroom duplexes.

Potential annual yield About 6 per cent

What the agents say 'This area of London consists mostly of houses, so there is high demand for apartments, especially two-bedroom units,' says Antony Fung of Antony Fung & Co International Property Advisers. The development is near the purpose-built business community of Stockley Park and so is a potential pull for workers looking for apartments to rent nearby.

Heathrow Airport, which is less than 7km away, now has a workforce of about 70,000 and is set to expand when the new Terminal 5 opens next year. The combined workforce of Heathrow Airport and Stockley Park is estimated at 90,000. Potential tenants will probably come from Stockley Park, Heathrow Airport and nearby Brunel University.

Property Canary Quarter E14

Location London Docklands, east of the capital and 750 metres from Canary Wharf Tower, one of the premier buildings in the area. Canary Wharf's working population is expected to double every two years, and the 2012 Olympics will mean dramatic improvements to the infrastructure around the Docklands area which will catapult this once run-down part of London into a 'des-res' (desirable residences) area.

Development Two blocks of 500 units that will eventually be available for sale. The project will incorporate studio units and one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units. Developer Galliard Homes says the apartments will include premier fixtures and fittings 'to evoke a new generation of interior design style and decor'. Details have yet to be finalised, but interiors are expected to include lacquered light oak finishes, ceramics and marble. The finished development should include restaurants, cafes and bars, office and retail space, a spa and gym, business centre, hotel and open gardens and terrace space. Studio and one-bedroom units will be marketed in the coming weeks. The development is expected to be completed in 2010.

Price The starting price for a studio unit is GBP225,000 (HK$3.39million); one-bedroom units start at GBP287,000.

Potential annual yield GBP220/week/studio; GBP290/week/one bedroom.

What the agents say Canary Wharf has huge employment growth potential, with more than 100,000 people working in the district, says Mei Han-wong, director and head of the Hong Kong and Shanghai division at King Sturge. The majority of these high earners are beneficiaries of the GBP12billion city bonuses given this year, Ms Wong says.

Property GH20, Glasgow Harbour, Scotland

Location On the banks of the River Clyde and minutes by foot to the city's west end district of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. The development is part of a GBP2billion (HK$30.12 billion) regeneration of Clydebank, incorporating residential, commercial, retail and leisure districts.

Development Fifteen different styles of units which, according to the developer Dandara, will be 'a fusion of modernism, minimalism and post-modern colour'. Two-bedroom units will have an en suite to the main bedroom. Glass will feature heavily in the exterior to 'reflect the ripples from the River Clyde below', according to the developer. The development will include studio apartments and one- and two-bedroom units.

Price From GBP132,950 for a one-bedroom unit, and from GBP167,950 for a two-bedroom flat.

Potential annual yield 5 per cent

What the agents say According to Sinko International, increased employment opportunities created by a growth in the finance and IT sectors have resulted in a marked rise in demand for quality rental accommodation in the city, which has increased the potential returns for property investors. Investors will also have access to the developer's in-house residential lettings and management service.

Property Quartermile, Edinburgh, Scotland (pictured above and right).

Location In the city's World Heritage site. It gets its name from its proximity to the city centre and the size of the development (1/4 of a mile from corner to corner). The development is next to the University of Edinburgh and close to Edinburgh Castle. Quartermile is a regeneration project and is being promoted as a new urban district with cafes, bars, restaurants and shops alongside residential units and office buildings.

Development Quartermile in a former life was the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, so investors looking to add a period piece to their property portfolio have an opportunity with this Victorian building. There will be 906 units of between 460 and 2,000 sqft, and between one and four bedrooms. Buildings are being converted into contemporary living spaces and newbuilds are being incorporated into the development. The latter will feature full-width glass walls along the front. Converted apartments will make use of double-height ceilings with duplex units to incorporate mezzanine floors. Period features such as turrets and conical slate roofs will be restored to their original 19th century state. Contemporary interiors will include bespoke kitchens and bathrooms. First apartments will be completed this year, while the entire project will be completed in 2012.

Price A one-bedroom unit sells

from GBP185,000; a two-bedroom unit from GBP399,000; three and four-bedroom units are priced from GBP1.07million. All prices are based on estimates.

Potential annual yield 5 per cent

What the agents say The project is the largest scale project in Edinburgh, with extensive facilities and integrating historic Victorian buildings with contemporary architecture. Colliers International has declared Quartermile an excellent development.