The property crash three years ago in Britain left a void in the new-build real estate market. Developers ran out of cash to invest in new projects and many construction projects were put on hold. Last year, just 7,500 new homes were completed. That's almost 75 per cent fewer than in 2007. According to property agency King Sturge, the downturn in the economy saw the supply of new developments hit an all-time low. James Talbot, partner at King Sturge, says that in terms of supply and demand, 'in recent history, demand is at all-time low levels with little signs that it is likely to improve over the next 12 to 18 months.' He says that in London, latent demand does still exist and that developers continuing with construction are reporting high levels of sales. Talbot says that Asian buyers have sought out good investment opportunities in London property thanks to the weakness of the pound and the fall in values. 'The lack of supply has also been a significant contributor to increasing yields, with professional tenants looking at renting high-quality apartments and being prepared to pay a premium for the nature of this type of new-build,' Talbot says. Starting today, King Sturge will host a three-day exhibition of a new development in London called The Residence. The exhibition will be held at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental hotel. This high-rise development is a 27-storey block in North London with a waterfront location on the banks of the New River and West Reservoir. Though small by Hong Kong standards, the development will be one of London's tallest residential buildings with views over the reservoirs, the city and Canary Wharf largely unobstructed. One, two and three-bedroom units are available with prices starting from GBP157,000 (HK$1,843,760). Inside, high-specification finishes include contemporary kitchen and bathrooms, electrical appliances, full-height storage units, under-floor heating and multiroom audio systems, including an iPOD docking station, and paved terraces and private gardens in certain units. Apartments will be built above shops, cafes, restaurants and a gym. North London is not on the hot list of many overseas investors but, as a long-term investment, Talbot says it has 'great long-term growth potential', over a six- to 10-year period. 'This confidence is based around it being at the start of the regeneration of 4,000 units which will be complete in approximately seven years' time,' he says. The Residence is in Woodberry Park in Woodberry Down, Hackney, and is part of the wider regeneration plans for the Woodberry Down area. Woodberry Park is regarded as a poor neighbourhood. However, the local Hackney council has embarked on a substantial urban regeneration project, which it says will transform the area. About 4,000 new homes, education facilities catering to toddlers and college-level students, and a new church and improved infrastructure, will form the newly-refurbished area on completion. Talbot says that in terms of investment, The Residence fits the classic 'location, location, location' mantra. He says it is the landmark building within the entire Woodberry Down regeneration with 'excellent views all around it and especially of the 43 acres of water to the south'. Transport links are good. The Residence is 200 metres from the Manor House tube station and in Zone Two of the London Underground. King's Cross is a 10-minute ride, while Covent Garden, Bank and Stratford are all less than 20 minutes by tube. Talbot says that the developer, Berkeley Homes, is renowned for design and quality construction, which 'are all key factors for a good investment'. The expected tenant profile includes young professionals working in the city or in the media industries in the West End, who Talbot says will be attracted by the waterside location and easy access to night-time entertainment such as bars and restaurants. King Sturge says with exchange rates still working in favour of overseas investors, it is an opportune time to buy a property which 'promises real long-term potential once the market returns to full strength'. According to the National Association of Estate Agents in Britain, there are growing signs of a property market recovery, with an increase in enquiries since the beginning of last year. Berkeley Homes sales and marketing director Piers Clanford says: 'The Residence provides the opportunity to make an investment on a development which will transform the local area for future generations. 'The time is now to invest in the first and arguably the best phase of this major regeneration project.'