Interest in Battersea Power Station project spikes 300% on Brexit
Battersea Power Station (Pic: Bloomberg)

Enquiries and transactions in January were the busiest start to a year in at least 5 years for the developer

by FARA AISYAH / pic by BLOOMBERG

INTEREST in the £9 billion (RM49.64 billion) Battersea Power Station development in London surged, especially for the residential units, early this year, the same month the UK officially severed its links with the European Union (EU).

Enquiries and transactions in January were the busiest start to a year in at least five years for the developer, Battersea Power Station head of sales and lettings Mark Hutton said.

“Enquiries were up and transaction levels in January were 300% more than we would typically expect to see at this time of year as there was a lot of pent-up demand from buyers both domestically and internationally.

“Buyers who were sitting on the fence, watching and waiting for more certainty to come to the market, are now feeling a renewed sense of confidence,” he told The Malaysian Reserve.

Interested buyers, who have been speaking with the developer for the past one year, are ready to commit, Hutton said.

The sales recorded early this year were across both Phase 2: The Power Station, and Phase 3: Frank Gehry and Foster + Partners buildings.

Generally, sales for the Battersea Power Station tend to peak in the spring, between March and May, and autumn (September to November).

“Demand remains split between domestic buyers, who are now ready to make a move, and international buyers whose outlook on London is increasingly positive,” Hutton said.

Roughly, 50% of buyers for the Battersea Power Station are locals, while the remaining 50% are international purchasers from Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

The integrated development recorded £120 million in sales last year, a figure which is expected to be eclipsed this year based on the initial responses.

Battersea Power Station is owned by a consortium comprising SP Setia Bhd, Sime Darby Property Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).

The commercial assets within the Battersea Power Station building are now directly owned by Permodalan Nasional Bhd and the EPF following an acquisition in early 2019.

Brexit has seen three extensions since the UK-wide referendum in June 2016, where the majority voted for a divorce from the EU.

The uncertainties regarding the withdrawal took a toll on sales of the Battersea Power Station units. However, the Conservative Party’s victory in the UK snap election in December 2019 enabled the UK to finally ink the exit from the EU in January 2020.

UK house prices jumped 0.4% in January due to greater market certainty and optimism and are up 0.9% year-on-year (YoY), according to a recent report by the Home. co.uk Asking Price Index — the UK’s only independent forward market indicator.

“The clouds of political uncertainty that haunted the UK property market are clearing and, consequently, confidence is returning.

“Prices are up in almost all regions and the market is gaining momentum,” according to the report.

It added that while an uptick may be anticipated on a seasonal basis, the YoY figures show that market conditions are improving over and above expectations.