Q. I have what I believe to be a really good solid investment property located within one of the prestigious developments in canary wharf which I have had for over fifteen years now. However I am starting to feel a little apprehensive as I see the number of new build properties going up around me and wondering if the demand for an older development is still going to be strong enough both from a sales and a rentals perspective. Ideally I would love to hang on to it for at least another five to ten years but I am considering whether it’s time to sell up and cash in before its loses its value, would be good to get an experts opinion?
A. I hear you and yes your overview of the market here in canary wharf is absolutely right, we are over run with shiny new developments that are going to be of a very high specification indeed. Ultimately these new developments come with a hefty price tag to match, given they usually build in the price it is likely to be worth on completion which can sometimes be two or three years later from the off plan reservation point. An older property has more to offer the average buyer than you may first think. Firstly they are generally more spacious given developers now tend to squeeze in more units resulting in smaller footplates. Secondly many of the older developments are located on some of the best sites in the area given land is so sparse now and further many are gated and completely private. Most also benefit from a private parking space too, whereas the majority of the newer builds tend to be open developments that have their 30% share of social housing that the government demands they give back to the community located on site too. Buyers will have a choice of something older on a good solid development that’s spacious, doesn’t have another apartment right in front of its view with a parking space versus something shiny and new with high specification often with another building right in front of it and no parking not even street parking if the development is a ‘car free development’. This planning policy was introduced in Tower Hamlets in the late 1990s to help reduce traffic congestion and better manage the limited supply of on-street parking spaces. So relax, there will always be equal demand for both types of properties.