Research by the Financial Times shows that large numbers of flats at exclusive new London developments - led by Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station - are being flipped as investors become increasingly concerned about the prime central London market.
The FT says the highest number of unbuilt apartment apartment resales listed on Rightmove on one day - chosen at random early this month - was at Battersea Power Station, which has its own agency selling new and resale units. Some 4,000 homes are under construction at that site.
Nine Elms, where 20,000 units are under construction, also registered highly on the newspaper’s analysis of Rightmove listings, along with Embassy Gardens and One St George. All of these schemes are primarily high-end units, attractive to international investors.
The newspaper does not give specific figures regarding the scale of flipping. But it quotes two prominent buying agents explaining why it may be happening.
Henry Pryor says many buyers of such units “are effectively taking a financial position rather than buying a property” and with their investment relying more on capital appreciation than rental yield.
“If you can find some other patsy then my advice would be absolutely to [sell]. As long as the music keeps on playing everyone is happy - but at some point the music stops” he says.
Charlie Ellingworth of Property Vision has dubbed the Nine Elms scheme “Singapore-on-Thames” and is critical of the merits of that development - one of the largest in London.
“It’s a dog-basket of developers whacking stuff up, all jam-packed against each other. I wouldn’t want to live there and not many people we talk to want to buy down there” he says.
Despite signs of a modest bounce in some parts of the volume sales market across England in recent weeks, Prime Central London prices have dipped according to indices.