Most individuals searching for a prime or super-prime new build apartment in Central London will be expecting built-in premiums on offer, such as top of the range fittings, appliances and amenities such as swimming pools, gyms, and cinema or entertainment rooms all on site. And, of course you should expect the legal pack to include new build insurance and defect cover.
So what is it that differentiates one prime development from the other? We have set out below some of the new and desirable concepts and features we are seeing across the market.
- High ceilings One recent development in prime Central London has duplex apartments with ceilings that exceed six meters. Given that most new builds ceilings sit at around 2.7 meters, these apartments are particularly attractive if downsizing from townhouses. The development offers a range of unique apartments each with a different layout and if a certain apartment doesn’t quite fit requirements, then it is possible to discuss with the developer on completing your own fit outs. As working from home continues, we understand some developers are even happy to amend plans to include a bespoke “WFH” space in each apartment.
- Restoring iconic buildings Advanced building techniques and technologies are being utilised to keep listed buildings and features intact during the development of iconic buildings. For example, original brick and steel work dating back to the 1930's cleverly fused with state-of-the-art appliances and inspired interiors. Spaces which may have had a completely different use historically, such as turbine halls and domes, are now featured into prime residential real estate.
- Retail and leisure Developments with a retail offering are also becoming more popular. We have heard that one development will include retail experiences with sporting features included in some of the pre-let space, including virtual reality gaming, crazy golf and high intensity biking. Parks, terraces and community centres are also beginning to be factored in at some of the bigger new build developments. One development even boasts its own light festival and summer street party.
- Family friendly Activities for children such as games rooms are also being considered. This is a great way for families to interact with each other at the pool table, table-tennis table and ball park for the younger family members. Paddle ball courts are also now on offer in some residences.
- Flexibility, storage and returns And finally, for those who lead a highly mobile lifestyle, and interesting concept is that in certain developments you can include your apartment in the adjoining hotel inventory and share the profits. Concierge and hotel staff will store your personal belongings and prepare your apartment for its next guest, whilst seamlessly placing your belongings just where you left them ready for when you arrive back. It's an interesting concept of getting a return on the space you may not be occupying all year round.
As our team visit (and admire) more of these prime and super-prime developments, it is clear that providing buyers with a holistic experience is focusing developers’ minds on how they can make their offerings stand out in a competitive market. We anticipate more innovations and creative thinking from developers to keep Central London residential real estate at the cutting edge. At the same time we recognise that the challenge for developers is how they can continue to create incredible offerings while keeping lease premiums and service charges at a competitive level.