Property Trading Frenzy Continues

After ten years of being the scheme of choice for property investors the now very familiar concept of ‘buy to let’ may have met its match. In a virtual marketplace teeming with computer generated images of how a new development is anticipated to look it is more a case of ‘buy to trade’, a growing phenomenon in Docklands with ‘off plan’ being the buzzword.

By Sandy Chatterjee, MD, Franklyn James Estate Agents
After ten years of being the scheme of choice for property investors the now very familiar concept of ‘buy to let’ may have met its match. In a virtual marketplace teeming with computer generated images of how a new development is anticipated to look it is more a case of ‘buy to trade’, a growing phenomenon in Docklands with ‘off plan’ being the buzzword.

This enterprise is proving extremely popular with traders, bankers and overseas investors alike. Rumour has it that in the much publicised dockside development Pan Peninsula over 50% of the properties sold by the developer Ballymore have been purchased by Irish property investors following advice from property experts in the area. Overseas and home grown investors are acutely aware of the upward potential of the Docklands market following a shift in the local demographic in the lead up to the Olympics and with large blue-chip firms such as J P Morgan said to be considering a move to the Canary Wharf estate in the near future.

Over the last twelve months hundreds of properties, mainly luxury apartments, have been sold on prior to completion by savvy investors. In off plan developments such as Lanterns Court, Icon and Pan Peninsula, which are all due to complete from 2009 onwards, many plots have already changed hands two or three times with the ongoing price increases in the sales market enabling quick but substantial profits to be made. By the time completion actually takes place on developments such as these the contracts may have been reassigned five or six times, each time for a higher price.

With City and Canary Wharf bonuses running to billions of pounds the smart money is being invested in the Millennium Quarter regeneration area in the southerly section of the Docklands forming part of the ‘halo district’ being under ten minutes walk to the Canary Wharf estate. To give some specific examples; in the very high specification Pan Peninsula development studio suites of around 300 square feet which were originally sold by the developer for around the £250,000 mark are now selling for up to £300,000 and one bedroom apartments of approximately 420 to 450 square feet in the Squire and Partners designed Lanterns Court development are now trading for well over £300,000.

Despite predictions of yet another interest rate rise it is unlikely that the threat of increasingly large mortgage repayments will have an adverse effect on the sale of off plan properties as a mortgage is not required until the property completes. So if your bonus is burning a hole in your bank account or you have savings and are looking for a local investment you could do much worse than reserving a plot or two in one of the new developments around Canary Wharf. More Canary Wharf property or Canary Wharf Apartments

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