Battersea Power Station expects demand to persist despite Covid-19

Buyers who were on the fence are now feeling a renewed sense of confidence, says Hutton

by FARA AISYAH/ pic credit:

THE pent-up demand for properties suppressed by the Covid-19 lockdown is likely to push aggressive sales for London’s most high-profile project, the Battersea Power Station, which is backed by Malaysian property developers.

The UK housing market, that went into deep freeze during the lockdown, is gradually showing signs of recovery with a surge in people making inquiries.

Battersea Power Station Development Co head of residential sales and lettings Mark Hutton said the developer expects the convenient development — where everything is available in one place — to be a popular choice for homebuyers as they work more flexibly.

“Testament to this, we have seen positive sales traction in the first half of 2020 (1H20) and continue to see decent levels of activities and sales from both domestic and international purchasers.

“We expect demand to continue throughout the pandemic and post-Covid-19 for well-located high quality residential property with access to a wealth of amenities,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

TMR previously reported that inquiries for Battersea Power Station development were surging early this year, especially for the residential units, 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, 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.”

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).

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

The integrated development recorded £120 million (RM654.45 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 local consortium comprising SP Setia Bhd, Sime Darby Property Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund.

Knight Frank UK previously said in a note that sales across the country will total around 734,000 for 2020, a 38% decline from the level seen in 2019, with slightly smaller falls seen in Greater London and in the prime central London market.

“While we expect a revival in activity to continue, with volumes next year expected to be 18% above the level seen in 2019, this expansion will not fully offset the drop in 2020.

“Of the nearly 526,000 sales we expect to be ‘lost’ this year, fewer than half will be carried into 2021,” the consultancy noted.