From Shoreditch to Croydon, London’s skyline is changing fast
London has many great attributes, the people, the food, the culture… Then again it has many not so great ones like, the weather and the limited choice of good late-night food places key among them.
The capital’s frankly colossal size also tops its list of bad trait. Per square foot, Greater London is more than two times the size of Metropolitan New York, which is in turn about three times the size of Paris.
Instead of growing up like many of its peers, it has spread out like a giant egg that is only stopped from urban sprawl domination by the UK’s biggest car park (aka the M25) and the green belt.
For decades, if not the best part of a century, we have shied away from building up, deeming it distasteful, too American and well, outright rude – it is very discourteous to block a neighbour’s view after all.
But times are changing and so is London’s skyline. From one of the lowest cities in Europe, we are quickly growing into one of the highest. So much so that we now boast Europe’s tallest building, the Shard, which many of us have gone from rather hating to showing off with a shiny sense of pride. We’ve now been busy making the commercial trend residential with high-rise buildings springing up all over the capital, from Nine Elms, to Shoreditch and even Croydon.
The perks of building up are obvious. Stunning views, easy access to transportation, cheaper construction bills and therefore the option for better value per square foot, not to mention the often in-house group facilities that many tower blocks boast as standard, are all helping to shore up demand. So if you are thinking about moving a few storeys up the property ladder here are some hot high-rises to keep an eye on.
Goodman’s Fields, Aldgate
Marketed as the “oasis” in the heart of the city when completed in 2015, Goodman’s Fields will boast two acres of green spaces and wait for it, wait for it – parking! Yes parking, smack dab in corner of central London.
Interestingly, the development is inspired by Tuscan villas and says it will try to blend central city high-rise living with nature for a more down-to-earth feel for those wannabe high-residers that don’t want to part ways with the comforts or terrestrial habitation.
Asking price starts from: £850,000
Asking price starts from: £850,000
If you can’t wait that long, or are not willing to pay that much, then the Altitude could well be the place to look. A sizeable amount of flats have been kitted with terraces or at least balconies, and yes, the views over the City are pretty spectacular. The whole area has been given a bit of a spruce up off late with a fair few attractions close to hand including, the Truman Brewery, London Metropolitan University and the Whitechapel Art Gallery.
Asking price starts from: £690,000 for a two bedroom (the smaller units have sadly all sold out!)
The Avenue at St Andrews, Bromley-By-Bow
The Olympics put Bow property on the map, but the development buzz here shows no sign of abating. Just 10 minutes from the City – with the views of the Square Mile, Olympic Village and Canary Wharf to boot – the tower block is the last in a big St Andrews Barratt Homes development.
The Avenue, launched on 1 August, is being marketed as the place to be for young professionals, and has the rather unique feature of boasting an onsite crèch, in addition to all the more standard facilities.
Asking prices start from: £213,000
Saffron Tower, Croydon
Croydon, once a proverbial backwater, is fast rising up to challenge many more established property hot spots. The optimism surrounding Croydon is perfectly expressed by one its flagship developments, the Saffron Tower which at 142-meters is one of the tallest residential buildings in town.
Securing a place here will put you right on the doorstep of the area’s new tech city, its own Westfield – not that you will ever have to leave the confines of your apartment block which has an awe-inspiring roof terrace, a gym, a residents’ lounge and art gallery space to keep you entertained.
Asking prices start from: £162,000
The Tower at GWQ, Ealing
If you thought that West London, with its notoriously pesky building regulations was impervious to the high-rise phenomenon, think again. Ealing’s GWQ 12 acre estate and its prized tower are just the latest in a string of contemporary high-rise builds coming to hit the area, which is expected to be one of the biggest winners once Crossrail opens in 2019.
Units will go on sale in 2014 and should be popular among high fliers as GWQ is less than a 20 minute drive from Heathrow.
Asking prices start from: £321,000
Osiers Tower, Wandsworth
Right on the edge of the booming Nine Elms development, Osiers in Wandsworth is definitely one to watch and could allow you to benefit from much of the nearby expansion without having to cough up the ever-rising Nine Elm and Battersea prices.
The last tower in development is now in its final phase and offers up a last opportunity to secure a space in this chunk of South West London’s blossoming property landscape.
Prices starting from: £492,000 for a two bedroom apartment. (Again all the smaller units have already sold!)
Bit of a controversial one here – seeing as not everyone is exactly thrilled about the exterior – but the Shoreditch location still makes this an interesting proposition. Developers Telford Homes insist that demand has been impressively high. Tastes aside all but the most expensive properties here have already been snapped up, likely thanks to features like Avant-Garde’s “Free Spirit Garden” which is kitted with a living wall and a communal roof terrace, plus a Sainsbury’s Local on the premises.
Asking price: £2,950,000 for a three-bedroom penthouse, as all smaller units have already sold.
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