South of the River London property developments proving popular with Middle East buyers

Parents who swapped London for the Home Counties a generation ago in order to raise their children are heading back to the capital city, according to property consultants Cluttons.

With their children having left home for good and prices in some areas of London at a more affordable level than they have been for several years, Cluttons has seen an upturn in middle-age-to-retiree homebuyers looking to return to the buzz of a London lifestyle.
It said that the capital has changed considerably over the past five years, becoming more of a cultural centre with new improved public transport links. Many retired or pre-retirement age homeowners are moving back, giving up large homes with time consuming gardens to move to lower maintenance properties.
The South Bank has been especially popular for this market, with its ever changing river views and proximity to the growing number of cultural attractions, in addition to Borough market, renowned for its fresh produce and eateries, it says.
‘Traditionally, this stage of the cycle involves downsizing to release equity and relocating to a more rural or coastal setting. However, we have seen a growth among so called empty nesters, who are postponing their retirement dates and seizing the chance to return to London to rediscover a lifestyle they had at the beginning of their career,’ said James Hyman, partner for residential sales at Cluttons.
‘Many are looking to trade in their large detached homes with substantial gardens for apartments with good internal amenities and security such as porterage and based in locations easily accessible to the cultural attractions London has to offer,’ he explained.
Cluttons also said there is a new trend with Middle Eastern and other foreign buyers looking for residential property south of the River in London. Traditionally they look for property in prime Central and West London but new developments are catching their eye in and around London Bridge and Tower Bridge.
‘The new Shard development is helping to put the South Bank on the map for many overseas buyers but especially those from the Middle East who have now discovered the area’s potential. As development land in North and West London becomes scarce, an increasing number of commercial developments are being built south of the river. This has in turn drawn attention to previously lower profile areas like Shad Thames and the South Bank in general which now offer greater opportunities for price growth,’ said Hyman.
‘Considerably improved transport links and access to the City and West End as well as the kudos of cultural icons such as the Tate Modern, Globe Theatre and South Bank arts arena are now proving popular with these buyers,’ he added.