Huntley Wharf, Reading: riverside apartments in the UK's fastest growing economy
Berkeley's new waterfront quarter appeals to overseas property investors and London commuters
Just 40 miles from London, Reading has long been a favorite of commuters looking for cheaper rents than the capital. Now, heavy investment in business facilities, education and transport infrastructure are making the town even more appealing to professionals, families and property investors.
Residential research by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) forecasts stronger price growth for Reading than for London and the South East overall – an average of 2.6 percent per year for 13.6 percent cumulative growth from 2019–23. Rental yields are expected to be similar at 13.1 percent total growth by 2023, driven by continuing population growth and the launch of high-speed Crossrail services from Reading station by 2021.
With demand being high for well-connected Reading property, a number of residential developments are currently underway in central locations to capitalize on this and offer long-term growth potential for investors. The most significant is Huntley Wharf, a new riverside quarter by the Berkeley Group that will feature more than 750 homes once complete, just a few minutes' walk from the town center and Reading station.
Reasons to invest in Reading
Named the fastest growing region in the UK by Ernst & Young, Reading is set for consistent growth as investments in business parks and the new £900 million Crossrail station continue to drive demand and property values in the coming years. Reading's digital sector is one of the most concentrated in the UK, attracting major global companies such as Microsoft and Huawei that can benefit from world-class amenities and a steady supply of talent from overseas and the local University of Reading.
Reading is also popular for its proximity to London. Just 26 minutes from London Paddington by train, commuting to the capital is about to get even more convenient when the new Crossrail station opens in the next two years, with a direct route to Bond Street and financial district Canary Wharf in just over an hour. London Heathrow Airport is just 35 minutes by car, with a proposed rail link set to shorten journey times further in the future.
Many London commuters prefer living in Reading for its lower prices and the smaller town experience. With modern shopping malls, Michelin-starred restaurants and a busy festival program – including the world-famous Reading Festival every August – Reading offers the best of city living without the inconveniences, surrounded by green countryside on the banks of two rivers.
The Huntley Wharf development is a new addition to Reading's waterfront, just over half a mile from the train station. This historic industrial site on the River Kennet is being transformed into a residential-led neighborhood with 765 new homes across three buildings and over 13,000 square feet of commercial and retail space, all set within 6.9 acres of landscaped grounds.
With an emphasis on conservation, designers PRP Architects drew on the site's Victorian heritage – formerly the Huntley & Palmers biscuit factory – to blend past and present, inside and out. Traditional brickwork and industrial textures inside the apartments contrast with the modern open-plan layouts, energy-rated appliances and SkyQ, USB and fiber broadband connectivity in most rooms.
Apartments at Huntley Wharf range from Manhattans to three-bedroom apartments and duplexes of more than 1,000 square feet, with a choice of four color schemes and a private balcony or terrace in most homes. Residents have private access to services such as a concierge, fully-equipped gym and co-working space, as well as public amenities including a riverside walk, food and drink venues and the Riverside Square, which will host a year-round program of entertainment and social events.