By Denise Roland
Investors have rushed in to reserve luxury homes planned for the revamped Battersea Power Station, with 600 of the 800 properties already claimed after just five days on the market.
The buyers are the first to advance on the redevelopment of south-west London’s iconic behemoth where the price tag per square foot exceeds £1,000.
Investors paid reservation fees of around £2,500 for each of the properties, which ranged from one-bedroom flats to townhouses, with river-facing penthouses commanding the highest asking price of more than £6m.
Overseas buyers will be courted in coming weeks during various international sales exhibitions, following the market launch in London last Thursday.
The wave of enthusiasm from buyers puts Battersea Power Station Development Company chief executive Rob Tincknell comfortably on his way to meeting an ambitious target to sell all 800 properties by the time construction starts in September 2013.
Strong investor interest in the historic site is believed to signal a move outside the traditional prime London housing market as supplies in prestigious neighbourhoods like Kensington and Chelsea dwindle.
“Battersea isn’t prime central London and prices are already in excess of £1,000 per square foot,” Camilla Dell, founder of broker Black Brick Property Solutions LLP, told Bloomberg.
“So investors are betting on prices reaching similar levels to prime, which is a gamble.”
The redevelopment, by a trio of Malaysian giants – SP Setia, Sime Darby and the Employee’s Provident Fund – comes after nearly three decades of dereliction for Battersea Power Station, considered a prime example of 1930s Art Deco architecture.
Construction work on the site will involve the removal and individual rebuilding of the four iconic white chimneys of the Grade-II building, to avoid their possible collapse due to corrosion.
Preparatory work on the site began in 2012, with the first properties are expected to be completed by 2016.