Sunday, July 12, 2009

London's a good bet but pick wisely

Berkeley Homes (Urban Living) is launching the final phase of Ultima, its central London riverside project, at an exhibition at the Marriott Hotel this weekend.

The apartments at Chelsea Bridge Wharf, which is within walking distance of Sloane Square, King's Road and Knightsbridge, are being priced from �345,000 (S$817,000) each.
And consultancy Savills here is selling the posh Chevalier House, located opposite Harrods, at prices starting at �1.15 million for a one-bedder.

Property consultants said falling values coupled with the plunge in sterling against the Singapore dollar have made London homes more affordable.

'If you're looking for bargains, you are better off looking in London than in Singapore,' said IP Global founder and managing director Tim Murphy.

But buyers should act fast to capitalise on exchange rate savings as the window of opportunity may be starting to narrow, thanks to a gradual improvement in the British economy, said the managing director of Berkeley Homes, Mr Paul Vallone.

At the same time, buyers must pick wisely, said Mr Ed Lewis, Savills' head of London new homes.
'There have been huge price corrections in the London market which can give the impression that everything is a bargain,' he said.

'This is not always the case... Just because a property is cheap now does not mean it will be expensive in 25 years' time.

'In recent months we have seen investors from South-east Asia paying a lot of money for property in unfashionable areas in greater London and its suburbs. Prices there are cheap - but they still will be several years from now - so this is not money well spent.'

Source: Sunday Times, 12 July 2009

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