Live with your head in the clouds

Booming demand for residential property causes developers to reach for the sky

LONDON has lifted its head firmly into the clouds in recent years as more gargantuan skyscrapers have sprouted up around the city.

The Shard, the Heron Tower, the Walkie Talkie and their contemporaries have pierced the skyline and made a similar hole in the minds of native Londoners.

For many years, London was resolute in its antiquity, alongside other low rise cities such as Paris and Madrid.

But towering upstarts mean its landscape is beginning to ape taller global cities such as New York, Dubai, Hong Kong and Monaco.

David Adams, managing director of John Taylor London, says: “In low rise cities such as London or Paris, living high has had less appeal, with houses or the first floor of a period building with high ceilings considered the premium properties.

“This is why few high rise properties in London or Paris have been sold to local residents who are used to living in period buildings.

“The concept of premium is evolving in London and buildings like One Hyde Park, the best residential tower in London, have demonstrated the appeal of luxury towers to premium buyers.”

London’s rocketing population and status as an international city has certainly attracted higher density developments, according to Gary Patrick, regional sales director of Barratt Homes, but he also sees domestic buyers getting in on some of the high rise action.

He says: “This has become more acceptable to domestic buyers determined to own a home in London as they understand that London is a leading global city, not just the capital of the UK.

“To satisfy demand for residential accommodation we are building to international standards, which means more high rise homes.”

One of the tallest new developments in London is being built down south in Croydon.

Standing at an impressive 142-metres high, the 43-storey scheme in Saffron Square is set to be the borough’s tallest tower.

The mixed-use property, developed by Berkeley Homes, offers 414 luxury suites including one, two, and three bedroom apartments and penthouses.

New residents to the south London commuter town can expect a fitness suite, a communal lounge, an art gallery, and an exclusive sky lounge to take in panoramic views across the city.

Prices start at £225,000 for a suite at The Tower and the first apartments are due to be finished in 2016.

Two new skyscrapers are also set to form the skyline on the fringes of the financial district in ancient Aldgate.

Altitude, a 27-storey residential tower in Alie Street, is a joint venture undertaken by Barratt London and L&Q.

The creative businesses nearby in Brick Lane, Truman Brewery, and the Whitechapel Art Gallery are drawing droves of young professionals into the area.

The development of one, two, and three bedroom apartments and penthouses is located just a few minutes’ walk from the City, Aldgate East and Aldgate stations, and Tower Gateway which has excellent links to Canary Wharf via the DLR.

A two-bedroom apartment at Altitude starts at £690,000.

Similarly over in Leman Street, Goodman’s Fields will provide around 920 studio, one, two, and three bedroom apartments with the added pleasures of balconies and winter gardens.

Inspired by the towers of San Gimignano in Tuscany, the 21-storey development comprises Silk House and Satin House – a nod to the area’s historical ties to the textiles industry– and they boast a penthouse each, a health club, a heated indoor swimming pool and spa, a private cinema, a gym, a business lounge, and a landscaped boulevard.

Goodman’s Fields, developed by Berkeley Homes, will arrive in 2015 with prices starting from £2.15m for a three bedroom apartment.

Rising to 26-storeys close to the heart of Canary Wharf is Horizons which offers no less than six luxury penthouses with private terraces to enjoy the view over the Docklands.

The Telford Homes residential development in Yabsley Street holds 131 apartments with one, two, or three bedrooms, a gym, bicycle storage, and the larger homes come with the option of buying underground parking spaces.

Horizons makes its mark on the London skyline in winter 2016 and prices start from £357,000 for a one-bedroom apartment.