City fringes attract more London buyers

The city fringes of London are slowly become a new hotspot for Singapore investors looking at the United Kingdom, according to one real estate firm.

For more than 30 years Prime Central London properties have been in great demand by overseas buyers, given its reputation as a safe haven and plethora of prestigious educational institutions.

In recent years, however, the area known as the ‘City Fringe’ has transformed into an established part of the London office and residential market, with Shoreditch, Clerkenwell and Aldgate identified as core locations, according to real estate firm JLL.

‘Tech City’, a digital and tech cluster increasingly recognised as central to London’s economy, has undergone significant redevelopment in recent years, with investment from companies such as Cisco, Facebook, Google, Intel, McKinsey & Co, Amazon, resulting in demand, rents and value rising strongly, comparable to the City core.

Hackney – which contains Shoreditch – has seen the strongest residential price rises of any London Borough over the past three years, with prices now 48.7 percent above the same point in 2011.

According to JLL Research, residential prices in these locations are expected to grow by 17.4 percent over the next three years and over 29.4 percent in the next five years.

Driven by increased demand, high spec office and residential schemes are being developed across the area, including The Atlas Building in Shoreditch that is due to launch from May 1 to May 3. May. It will be the tallest in Tech City.

The Atlas Building will be a mixed-use development consisting of a 40-storey residential tower and a 10-storey office building, as well as a new public piazza and retail space. Designed by award-winning MAKE Architects, the 152-metre high building located close to Old Street roundabout will be the tallest in the Tech City cluster.

Due for completion at the end of 2018, the residential tower is a collection of 302- apartments, including studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and penthouses. The building will contain a range of lifestyle amenities for residents, including a gym, spa and ground floor swimming pool, cinema room, 24-hour concierge and security and private residents lounge.

Tom Appleton, Founder and Chairman of Rocket Investments, said: “We are excited to be launching The Atlas Building, as it is a bold development that responds to the spirit of innovation and growth in Tech City.

“Having worked on a number of significant projects in the Old Street area, Rocket Investments has seen the transformation from City Fringe to a core London market at first hand.”

JLL Singapore has observed more Singaporean investors purchasing properties in London’s City Fringes over the past few years, according to Doris Tan, Head of International Residential Property Services, JLL Singapore.

She said: “Investors from Singapore favour high-rise towers as they are familiar with those back home. They also see these as good investment properties, especially given that building costs and labour costs are soaring.

“JLL had sold several units in properties located in the city fringes, such as Principal Tower, Avant Garde and Canaletto, and they have all appreciated in value over the last two to three years.”

Andrew Batt, International Group Editor of PropertyGuru Group, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email