KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians who have locked in their investments in central London’s prime residential properties recently can expect strong gains on the back of a recovery in the pound sterling over the next few years, said Savills director of international sales James Talbot.
“I think the pound will recover faster than the dollar, which means that if the ringgit goes up to 5.80 against the pound, that’s a good 15% rise (from the current rate),” he added, and an investment of £1 million (RM4.9 million) for example would result in a gain of £150,000.
“In terms of price growth, our predictions are fairly flat at 1% capital gains next year, 9% in 2012 and 4.75% in 2013 and 2014... so aggregated, it’s about 5.5% to 6% over the next four years,” he told The Edge Financial Daily.
Prime residences in central London such as the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and the City of Westminster have shown price growth of 0.5% and 1.5% respectively in October compared with a 0.8% decline around England and Wales, according to the latest Land Registry results released on Nov 26.
“I think what Malaysians are looking for is good quality prime London stock to hit their shores,” said associate director Ned Baring. Malaysians looking at investing in prime London properties typically look for properties as second homes or for their children. A Savills’ housing forecast published in early November stated that larger family homes that attract wealthy owner-occupiers will outperform small flats.
Adding to the allure of investing in London properties is its position as a global financial capital, given the ease in which business can be conducted with other parts of the world, said Baring.
Talbot and Baring were in town to promote a host of luxurious central London properties to high net worth individuals. “Fingers crossed, we hope to achieve £30 million to £40 million of business from this trip,” said Baring.
Chief among these upscale properties is the ultra-luxurious One Hyde Park London which comprises 86 units of apartments, including four penthouses, within four diamond-shaped pavilions. The development also includes three exclusive street-level retail units and a four-level basement.
It has views of the Serpentine Lake from behind bullet-proof windows, guards trained by the Special Air Services (SAS), a panic room and round-the-clock service from the Mandarin Oriental hotel nearby.
One Hyde Park also features a gymnasium, a 22-metre ozone-free swimming pool, a media room and a games room with the latest gaming consoles such as the Nintendo Wii, said Baring.
Built on the former site of the 1950s Bowater House in Knightsbridge, the project was mooted by cutting-edge architecture and interior designer outfit Candy & Candy. Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners was the designer while UK construction company Laing o’ Rourke served as advisers.
Average prices ranged from £4,000 to £6,000 psf. In August, it was reported that a six-bedroom, two-storey apartment in the development was sold for a record-breaking £140 million, making it one of the most expensive homes in the world. The project is nearing completion and is 65% sold including all the penthouses.
The project is being developed by Project Grande Guernsey Ltd, a joint-venture consortium between Guernsey-based development company CPC Group and Waterknights, the latter owned by Qatari Prime Minister Sheik Hamad bin Jasssim bin Jabr Al-Thani.
This article appeared on the Property page in The Edge Financial Daily, December 3, 2010.