London on the rise

Thirty years ago high rise living was associated with council blocks and undesirable properties, whereas now, developers market this as the ultimate way of living.

A recent report has highlighted just how much London is expanding upwards. Planning permission has been approved, or is pending approval, for a whopping 236 new high-rise buildings in London, 189 of which are due to be residential blocks of up to 75 storeys high.  With London’s population expected to rise by one million in the next ten years, and the need for new housing growing by the minute, planners are realising that the only way is up.

Although many of these flats are marketed as luxury homes, developers are obliged to include a proportion of affordable homes within any development above 9 units, so there is still a way in for those who can’t afford it. Many developers are also introducing the option of using government schemes intended to help first-time buyers on the ladder.  What’s also important to note is that when granted planning, the developer must make a Section 106 payment to the council, which is designed to compensate the local community. This can be a significant amount, such as the payment for The Shard, which was in the region of £37 million.

For those who can afford to splurge, high rise living certainly has its perks; extras such as concierge services, swimming pools and spas, weekly flower deliveries, in-house room service and so on. These perks don’t come cheap though; a selling agent joked that even if he was given a flat in One Hyde Park for free, he still wouldn’t be able to afford it, as the annual service charge was nearly £250,000!

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