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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Malaysian-owned luxury homes project in London gets panned by locals

The Malaysian-owned Battersea Power Station project in London has become the ire of locals. – London property pic, February 26, 2015.The Malaysian-owned Battersea Power Station project in London has become the ire of locals. – London property pic, February 26, 2015.
The Malaysian-owned Battersea Power Station project in London is constructing million-pound homes, but they are beyond the reach of locals as developers target rich foreigners, reported the British daily The Guardian.
The 42-acre Battersea power station was brought for 400 million pounds in 2011 by a Malaysian consortium, the Battersea Power Station Development Company.
Developers SP Setia Sdn Bhd and Sime Darby Bhd each hold a 40% stake in the company, and the Employees Provident Fund the rest.
The Guardian in a February 14 report said the first phase of 865 flats launched were mostly sold to buyers from Asia, which earned the company heavy criticism.
As a result, the second phase of the launch, with 254 homes, were marketed only in London, according to the paper, but for the third phase of more than 500 apartments, marketing campaigns were held in Tokyo, Beijing and Kuala Lumpur. There were also "celebrity-studded launch parties" in New York and Los Angeles.
"State-imposed curbs on second-home purchases in Beijing and Shanghai may have further fueled Asian interest in London," the English daily said.
However, Battersea Power Station Development Company chief executive Rob Tincknell stressed that of the 1,300 homes sold to date, two-thirds were bought by UK purchasers.
Locals are not happy, however, and believe the project only serves the interests of rich investors. There were also concerns over the lack of affordable housing in the area.
The paper quoted Angela Parkinson, a local resident and member of the Battersea Power Station Community Group (BPSCG), which campaigned against the project.
“These flat are just deposit boxes for buyers taking advantage of the rising value of property in London,” she was quoted as saying.
The Guardian stated that of the 3,444 new homes planned at the power station, 16% or 560 will be deemed affordable.
But, it said, "that includes intermediate rent properties, which are pitched at 80% of market rates and require a family income of at least 38,000 pounds a year".
Overall, there are concerns of that central London will soon see a glut of expensive new homes.
The Battersea Power Station project, is part of the transformation taking place in the entire Battersea area, which together with the neighbouring Nine Elms area, will see more than 20,000 luxury apartments housed in high rise buildings constructed.
It reported that consultants Property Vision, which used statistics from researchers Lonres and Dataloft, estimate than more than  54,000 homes are planned or currently under construction in London, most of them in prime areas and with a price tag of more than one million pounds.
In contrast, only 3,900 homes worth one million pounds and upwards were sold in central London last year.
The English daily also reported that Labour members of the London Assembly had criticised the move to sell the Battersea apartments to rich foreigners, saying that they were “a million miles from affordable to ordinary Londoners”.
However, London mayor Boris Johnson has defended the project, saying "600 hundred affordable homes are better than no affordable homes”. He said the developers of Battersea are also paying 200 million pounds towards the cost of extending the London Underground to serve the development.

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