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New White City Homes Being Snapped Up

UK buyers have eagerly purchased most of the first 180 homes scheduled for construction inside the White City former headquarters of the BBC.

The curving 1950s building is a familiar sight to generations of the country’s TV audiences. The units were so popular that over the past two months, more have been put up for sale than originally planned. 270 more homes will be placed on the market in April 2016.

One-bedroom flats start at £650,000, but they will not be ready to for habitation until the end of 2017.

Close of half of the 950 homes planned for the Television Centre will be inside the building, which is shaped like a question mark when viewed from above. Five penthouses at the top of the building are now on the market, with asking pricing of up to £7m. They are adjacent to a Soho House rooftop bar and pool, overlooking a cafe-bordered piazza at the front of the building.

38 townhouses, two office towers, and two affordable housing blocks are also being planned. At a later stage, the 142 affordable homes will be put up for sale at one-quarter of the market value.

Leading London developer Stanhope, Mitsui Fudosan from Japan and Alberta Investment Management Corporation (Canada) are the new owners of the entire 14-acre BBC property. They took steps to market the apartments to UK buyers first, before sending details overseas to Hong Kong and Singapore.

There are growing concerns that overseas investors are buying too much prime property in London. This ‘buy to leave’ trend has left parts of west London eerily quiet at night.

The Television Centre facelift is part of a wider construction scheme at White City. An estimated 5,000 new homes, along with shops and offices, are being built. 24,000 additional homes are in the works for Old Oak Common, which is north of White City.

Westfield is constructing a John Lewis outlet at its White City shopping centre, next to 1,500 new homes. Imperial College is building a White City campus and developer St James is building hundreds of homes.

Structural Defects Insurance

Those seeking an affordable home, however, will be disappointed, as only a small percentage of the new properties will technically be affordable. Campaigners insist that the White City building frenzy will have little impact on the national housing crisis: the housing charity Shelter warns that the number of young homeowners will be halved by 2020.

Stanhope and Mitsui Fudosan have also acquired White City’s large Media Village complex and intend to turn it into a large office park. The BBC has leased a fifth of Television Centre, including three of the original eight studios for its commercial branch, BBC Worldwide.

Nearby, Imperial College is constructing a 25-acre technology and research campus. Westfield has started a £1bn expansion that is expected to turn its shopping centre into Europe’s largest mall.

Next summer, the St James division of Berkeley Group will start building over 1400 homes on the former site of a Marks & Spencer warehouse. Affordable homes will make up a fifth of the total, and the developer intends to fund another 163 social rented homes.

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