Community news and investigative journalism for Wapping E1W and Tower Hamlets London

Want to live in Tower Hamlets? Best you pop over to Hong Kong then.

By on November 3, 2017 in Housing

Apartments in the new Blackwall Reach E14 development on the Robin Hood Gardens site are being advertised as high yielding rental investments in Hong Kong.

A launch event held at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Hong Kong in October this year boasted of the ‘best value two bedroom apartments in East London’ for sale from £565,000.

Section of advert – full image at bottom of page.

The investments are being marketed by the Hong Kong office of CBRE International Residential for wealthy Chinese investors who need a safe place for their money.

In China land ownership is forbidden and laws can change overnight on the whim of the ruling Central Committee of the Communist Party.  As a result many Chinese investors exploit the financial benefits of buying property in areas of London such as Blackwall Reach E14.

There are currently more than 19,000 people on Tower Hamlets Council’s housing waiting list  and there has been a 27 per cent increase in rough sleepers across Tower Hamlets since 2013.

 

Rough sleepers wooden pallets in an underpass at Blackwall Reach.

The marketing material gushes of the new build being “More than just a new development, Blackwall Reach E14 is a new destination consisting of over 1500 brand new apartments located in the heart of one of Europe’s most dynamic regeneration schemes.”

Blackwall Reach construction (left), Robin Hood Gardens building (right).

Excited investors can download a research report or sales brochure (PDF) produced by CBRE International which illustrates the slightly different perspective that an investor has to Blackwall Reach than someone who sleeps outside every night. Below are a few key extracts:

“We have an exclusive database of high-calibre clients, actively looking for luxury apartments in central London” (extract from Blackwall Reach E14 sales brochure)

Are you a high-calibre client? No? Then clear off.

Details of returns on letting investments are claimed to be up to nearly £900 a week for a three bed property (extract from Blackwall Reach E14 sales brochure)

Many Tower Hamlets residents do not earn £900 a week.

“54,00 homes are required per annum in London. Only 24,800 were built in 2016” (extract from Blackwall Reach E14 sales brochure)

Thanks for reminding us about the housing problem – a nice touch.

 

New Blackwall Reach E14 going up….

 

… as old Robin Hood Gardens comes down to make way for it.

 

Investment properties such as Blackwall Reach E14 often exchange hands several times before they are even built.

 

What every homeless family dreams of – concierge service.

 

Shangri-La will become a reality at Blackwall Reach E14. Honest.

 

Screen grab of advert for Blackwall Reach London E14 property sales even in Hong Kong.

LW Comment

We did ask Tower Hamlets Council for the official position on Blackwall Reach and the adverts above but no response was forthcoming at the time we pushed the ‘publish’ button.

Update – Council response: 

“There is an agreement with the developers Swan defining how the properties are marketed. They were marketed first to Tower Hamlets residents for three months then made available more widely in London. Only after six months when some remain are the properties unsold are they marketed to overseas buyers.”

No a biggie really as we know the Council is as frustrated and annoyed with the massive housing issues that threaten the very fabric of London’s society as anyone but they are restricted by onerous regulations that effectively neuter any real power they need.

To understand the obscenity of luxury flats in Blackwall being flogged in Hong Kong while homeless Londoners live on the streets we urge you to read Anna Minton’s ‘Big Capital: Who is London for?, a slim volume that impressed us so much that we actually reviewed it (a first).  Waterstone’s in Canary Wharf usually have copies. 

To further understand the warped property market that afflicts Wapping as much as anywhere in the borough Moley would love to speak to one of the estate agents that work in in the numerous plush offices that are a feature of Wapping High Street. In total confidence of course.

The Wapping Mole would love to be able to confirm the rumour that the estate agents organise special trips from China for property investors who wish to purchase a slice of Tower Hamlets – or even several slices.

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