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New Built vs Period properties in Central London

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Oh, to be a home owner in London!  If you could choose only one, which one would you go for? Would it be a high rise apartment or a classical townhouse?  Lateral living or upstairs-downstairs mansion? A connected hub or a mews hideaway? A new built flat or an industrial conversion?


UK real estate remains one of the best and most stable assets with an added lifestyle bonus and reputational cool points. Now, whichever area of London casts its loving spell on you, the next choice to make is to decide between traditional, period properties and apartments in new built developments.


Built to the latest standards and with future needs in mind, new built apartments are serious contenders for top values in London real estate market. Interiors are often modelled to remind of luxury hotels- chic and swanky. In a similar vein, home ownership in new built development now routinely includes access to a concierge, private spa and gym at a minimum. Clean, modern apartments offer a promise of a shiny new start in one of the best cities in the world.


Despite new built’s many virtues, foreign purchasers are coming to question their past choices as apartments bought brand new at a premium only 3-4 years ago struggle to sell even for same amount in today’s oversupplied market. Not unlike period properties, similar factors influence whether the resale value of new built apartments keeps and grows over time. We suggest following these rules when choosing a new built flat:


  1. Buy the best apartment in the block your money can afford. If you can get river or city view, pay for it. If several apartments go up for sale in your block at once, yours will be the better one and will justify the higher price premium. We see apartments with good views and spacious lateral layouts to grow in value over time compared to apartments with inferior views in the same development.
  2. Pay attention to the building and management companies’ reputation in the marketplace. Visit their existing developments, study their plans for growth, note independent awards. Service and upkeep are paramount in multi-apartment blocks. You should also note the service charge: often new built developments with extensive facilities and those without would have a comparable service charge, making the add-on luxury great value for money too.
  3. Study development plans for the area. Get an idea of how many more units will be built around you over the next 5-10 years. Will the infrastructure catch up? Pay particular attention to neighbouring building plans that might change your view or perception of the area as a whole. These plans will rarely be mentioned in your sales brochure and might be coming to fruition 5 years after your purchase (when you decide to sell)


In all, new built remain a strong favourite in London property market for its quality, service and convenience. However, the classical English townhouses still command top prices in London. Universally desired for their elegance, history and often best locations, period properties can be great investment vehicles for value preservation and price growth.


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