Prices to take power surge
LONDON'S Battersea Power Station developer plans to sell luxury apartments for as much as £30m (€36m) each, anticipating buyers will pay a premium to own prominent pieces of the historic building.
Battersea Project Holding Company will start selling 250 apartments at £2,500 a square foot in April, Liew Kee Sin, the developer's chairman, said in Kuala Lumpur.
The estimated price of a penthouse in the derelict power station, to be built in the second phase of construction, is £25m to £30m, the company said.
"This is the only apartment in the UK, and perhaps Europe, that's being built on top of a power station," Mr Liew told reporters.
"There are people who want to own a piece of the history."
The Battersea developer's Malaysian roots may help it reach Asian buyers who have been snapping up London new homes following property curbs in their home country. Luxury-home developers are planning to build more than 20,000 properties in London over the next decade, according to consulting firm EC Harris.
The Battersea development has about 6,000 registered customers and there's no risk of oversupply of luxury apartments in the area, Liew said. The project's first phase was sold in excess of £1,000 per square foot and the third phase is expected to come to market in September next year at £1,800 per square foot, he said.
The first and third phases are new buildings surrounding the power station, which has been a feature in popular culture such as the cover of Pink Floyd's 1977 album 'Animals'.
The Battersea plant, built in the 1930s with four 350-foot- high smokestacks, is Europe's largest brick building.
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's the UK capital's largest redevelopment area and includes a new US embassy and an extension of the London Underground.
Two-thirds of new London homes sold before completion are being purchased by south-east Asian buyers, Tom Eshelby, residential director at London-based Land Securities Group Plc, the UK's largest real estate investment trust, said in an interview this month.
Measures taken by Singapore and Hong Kong to cool their housing markets have prompted buyers to seek investments abroad, according to Eshelby.
Malaysian developers SP Setia and Sime Darby led a group that bought the Battersea site for £400m last year after its previous owner -- the Treasury Holdings vehicle Real Estate Opportunities was put into administration. (Bloomberg)