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SG The battle of Britain goes on

Property Here - Tuesday, September 10, 2013

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EXCLUSIVE: No less than six London property projects exhibited their developments in Singapore last weekend – with two further projects from outside the capital trying to tempt local buyers and investors to splash their cash in what has been traditionally viewed as a safe haven destination for property investments.

PropertyGuru attended every London exhibition and recorded mixed levels of interest, although one thing that’s very clear is that Singaporeans' love for London is showing no signs of waning.

Abell and Cleland, with unit prices from £1.8 million (S$3.6 million), was making its third visit to Singapore. With all one-bedroom units now sold at the Westminster development, Simon Howard, Sales Director for Berkeley, cited the fewer number of attendees at their two-day event as being down to the increased competition.

He told PropertyGuru: “You really cannot get much more prime than this project.”

The developer recently opened an office in the city-state to take care of the growing number of buyers at its London properties.

Business was certainly brisker for Telford Homes and its Horizons 26-storey waterside development close to Canary Wharf.

Priced from £367,500 (S$737,700), DTZ’s Head of New Homes Mike Bikerton told PropertyGuru: “This is one of Telford Homes’ largest projects to date, and because the company is familiar to Singaporeans we’ve seen a fantastic response.”

The project, which launched in Kuala Lumpur last week, has already sold 80 of the 130 available units – many through pre-sales.

“What’s attracting Singapore buyers is the attractive price point and the opportunity for capital appreciation between now and when the development is completed in 2017,” added Bickerton.

Also experiencing a lot of pre-sale activity from Asia was Lexicon, which was debuting in Asia ahead of an event in Hong Kong next week.

Noreen O’Brien of agents IP Real Estate Investments, told PropertyGuru: “The interest this weekend has been fairly good and in line with our expectations considering the sheer amount of London projects competing for attention.”

City North, which arguably is the best connected of all the exhibiting projects – sitting astride Finsbury Park underground station and part of a wider regeneration project, was also seeing good levels of interest and sales.

This was another project to opt for Singapore as the place to hold its Asia launch, and Anthony Crovella, Sales and Marketing Director for developer United House, told PropertyGuru: “I’m very pleased with the results. This is a cracking scheme. Every now and again a scheme comes along that changes a place, and this is one of them. It really is transformational.”

Crovella added that sales started in Asia ahead of those in London.

Colliers was also active, marketing The Marylebone Apartment in W1 on behalf of developer Galliard Homes.

Richard Levine, Director of International Properties South East Asia for Colliers, told PropertyGuru: “We’ve seen interest in line with our expectations for this project,” adding that he expects to see more projects from outside Zone 1 and Zone 2 being exhibited in Singapore before the end of the year.”

Rounding off this week’s deluge of London developers was Renaissance, a Barratt Homes development in the heart of Lewisham’s regeneration area.

Sarah Nicholson, Associate Director for CBRE, told PropertyGuru: “Some 80 percent of this project has already been sold in the UK, but the developer wanted to offer it to some of its loyal customers in Southeast Asia.”

“What’s interesting is that we’ve actually seen a few first-time London buyers for this project, which is fairly uncommon. Prices started at £198,000 (S$394,142) for the Sienna Alto development in the SE13 of the British capital.”

 

Andrew Batt, International Group Editor of PropertyGuru Group, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email andrew@propertyguru.com.sg