Buying property to invest

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Wednesday 2 August 2017 9.10am
It's in the news today about the area around Grenfell Tower, apparently there's 1600 properties lying empty.
I'm working in Battersea at the moment, right by the helipad. It's wall to wall (or wharf to wharf) apartment blocks with the odd hotel. The first thing that struck me was the lack of shops, I like a walk during my dinner break and there's absolutely nothing (apparently there is a Co-op somewhere but I can't find it) from Wandsworth to Battersea bridges there's hardly any shops at all. The second thing that struck me was a lack of people, rush hour you see a few ambling along Thames Walk with a few cyclists taking advantage of the safe conditions along the river. Transport links are appalling as well.
Of course, if there's not many people, you don't need a Sainsbury's local every 100 yards.
The car park below the block I'm working in is full of the most fantastic cars, most of which are caked in dust and dirt and clearly haven't been used for a good while, it looks like they are all part of the investment.

Apart from the construction and maintenance workers including the odd security guard, I can't see how this benefits anyone other than the developers and investors, it certainly has little effect on the local economy.
Wednesday 2 August 2017 11.32am
Agreed. I feel sorry for real people that actually bought flats in the area with the promise from Estate Agencies of great transport, Northern Line extension promised for 2020, which I guess means 2022 at the earliest. Also shops, cinemas, bars, etc. I think they will all come eventually, but in the meantime you have spend 10/15 years in a ghost town.
Wednesday 2 August 2017 12.13pm
There was a guest on Channel 4 yesterday who said the entirety of Phase 1 in Elephant Park has been sold to overseas investors. Which is shocking, if true.
Wednesday 2 August 2017 12.57pm
Apparently, it is true. I also read somewhere (sorry, can't remember where) that electricity usage has been tracked in other London 'overseas investment areas' which gives a good indication of how many properties are regularly occupied. Be interesting to have this same information for The Elephant site.
Wednesday 2 August 2017 5.01pm
Consider me shocked, Suziq!
Wednesday 2 August 2017 5.45pm
Was told the majority of purchasers of elephant fart are Malayasians? Sorry if spelling is wrong.
Thursday 3 August 2017 11.17am
Sold to overseas investors doesn't necessarily mean empty though. Look at One The Elephant, many overseas investors bought the flats off-plan many years ago and then re-sold them before completion to Londoners. The overseas investors made a controversial huge profit (and even avoided Stamp Duty...), but the development is actually very lively now.
Friday 4 August 2017 1.24pm
Marco, so if I was overseas purchaser of property I could avoid stamp duty? Never knew that ?
Friday 4 August 2017 1.32pm
Jan the old one wrote:
Marco, so if I was overseas purchaser of property I could avoid stamp duty? Never knew that ?

There are loopholes (mostly involving buying more than 15 properties through a company, and treating the cost and income in very specific ways) but overseas buyers aren't automatically exempt from Stamp Duty or the 3% premium for second homes.
Monday 7 August 2017 1.13pm
MarcoC wrote:
Sold to overseas investors doesn't necessarily mean empty though. Look at One The Elephant, many overseas investors bought the flats off-plan many years ago and then re-sold them before completion to Londoners. The overseas investors made a controversial huge profit (and even avoided Stamp Duty...), but the development is actually very lively now.

You just need to "re-sell the contract" (contract assignment I think is called) just before completion date.

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