Old BBC headquarters converted into flats

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The old BBC headquarters, Television Centre at Wood Lane, White City, W12 7RJ, is being converted into an array of flats and amenities. The property was acquired by development group Stanhope back in 2012 for £200 million on a 999 year lease. This was part of the BBC’s cost-reduction programme which saw an array of services relocated to Manchester although there will still be a small number of active studios as part of the new Television Centre development.

The development will be marketed in Dubai at a forthcoming property show and there are high hopes that the recent reduction in the value of sterling could prompt growing demand from overseas investors. So, what has happened to the old BBC headquarters and what do you get for your money?

Overall plan

The long-term plan for the property includes the creation of 800 homes, cafes, restaurants as well as an independent cinema. Offer space for up to 5000 workers will also be integrated into the development and a private members club. It is unclear at this moment in time how much the full revamp will cost but phase 1, the introduction of 432 homes, is set to be completed by 2018.

For those rubbing their hands, hopeful of grabbing one of these much sought-after properties, the forthcoming Dubai property show is the place to go. How much would you pay for a one bedroom apartment in the development? Well, prices range from £700,000 for a one-bedroom apartment to £8 million for a penthouse. This property development is certainly not targeted at first-time buyers!

Foreign buyers

As we touched on above, the recent fall in the value of sterling could have a material impact on demand from foreign investors. This is starting to become a trend in the UK property market while we await the full effects of Brexit to emerge. Earlier this week Theresa May, the UK PM, confirmed that she is pushing ahead with plans to activate Article 50 which would start the process by which the UK would leave the European Union.

It is interesting to see that while the UK currency has been dramatically devalued on the exchanges, there has to all intents and purposes been little change in the UK economy as a direct result of Brexit. You will see headlines suggesting falling demand for property, economic problems, etc but it is difficult to associate all of these issues with Brexit. So, many overseas investors could see the recent fall in the value of the pound as an opportune moment to increase their exposure to the UK property market.

Property investment continues

While this investment by Stanhope has been in the pipeline for many years it is interesting to see growing interest in the UK property market in light of the Brexit vote. Some of the dramatic media headlines give the impression that the UK economy will disintegrate and disappear once the UK leaves the European Union which is just plain misleading.

There will be challenges, there will be issues and there will be arguments with European counterparts but ultimately it is in the best interests of the UK and the European Union to maintain a good working relationship going forward. Indeed many believe that in the longer term the UK will benefit from arranging its own trade deals with partners around the world. Time will tell…..

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