Battersea Power Station development in London attracts HK$8b of sales

Development at iconic London site receives HK$8b of business, with city's reputation as safe haven attracting 'phenomenal' interest

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 May, 2013, 3:51am

London's Battersea Power Station site has attracted buyers who have reserved about 95 per cent of apartments and townhouses worth about £681 million (HK$8 billion) since January, the developer revealed.

Purchasers have signed sales contracts on 824 of the 866 homes in Circus West, the project's first phase, Battersea Power Station Development Company said.

SP Setia and Sime Darby led a Malaysian consortium which bought the site for £400 million last July after its previous owner was put into administration.

London's reputation as a safe haven is attracting increasing investment from overseas buyers, who make up half of the city's new-home purchasers, according to figures from the Chicago-based broker Jones Lang LaSalle.

Foreigners, six out of seven of whom plan to rent out the properties they buy in London, spent more than £3 billion on new homes there last year, 25 per cent more than in 2011, the broker added.

"We've seen phenomenal interest which has continued unabated over the last few months," Rob Tincknell, the developer's chief executive officer, said. The pace of sales makes Circus West "one of the fastest selling developments in London in recent years," he added.

The iconic power station, which was featured on the cover of Pink Floyd's 1977 album Animals, has frustrated a series of developers since it closed more than 29 years ago.

SP Setia and palm oil producer Sime Darby each own 40 per cent of the developer.

The Employees Provident Fund, which oversees US$176 billion for more than 13 million Malaysians, owns the rest.

The Battersea development is part of the Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea Opportunity Area south of the River Thames and across from the Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster boroughs.

It is London's largest redevelopment area and includes a new US embassy and an extension of the London underground.

Construction of Circus West will begin in July and will be completed by 2017, the developer said.

It will include one, two and three-bedroom apartments, townhouses and penthouses, and have a commercial component including offices, retail and hospitality

Reservation fees were around £2,500 for the apartments, which cost as much as £3.3 million for a 2,383 sq ft property including outdoor space, Jo Eccles, managing director of broker Sourcing Property, said.

Less than a mile from the Battersea station, Ballymore Group is developing Embassy Gardens, where a three-bedroom apartment is being marketed for £2 million, according to the developer's website.