Leading prime Central and North West London estate agent Aston Chase observe that by refurbishing entrance foyers in some of London’s more dated apartment buildings owners can see the value of their flats increase in the remodelled buildings by up to 10% to 15%.
Aston Chase say that leaseholders should look at this opportunity since planned Government reforms for lessees will transform the unmodernised apartment market over the next few years.
Aston Chase calculate that luxury new apartment buildings command a 20% to 30% price premium over and above older blocks, with newly built apartments in North West London selling for approximately £2,500 per sq ft, compared to a blended £1,500 to £1,700 per sq ft for apartments in dated buildings.
Aston Chase highlight that the costs of refurbishing apartment building entrance foyers, passenger lifts and common parts averages out at approximately £400 per sq ft with projects typically costing from £250,000 upwards, the costs of which are shared between the leaseholders in the building.
Aston Chase say that leaseholders in unmodernised apartment buildings should look at refurbishing the foyers and common parts of their buildings because the established apartment market is set for major reforms which will enhance the appeal of the sector.
Aston Chase highlight that the UK Government has promised major reform of leasehold laws, with the new rules set to arrive within the next two years. The Government is looking at ground rents for new leases to be reduced to zero, leaseholders being given the right to extend their lease by a maximum of 990 years at zero ground rent, up from 90 years. The Government is also looking at abolishing “marriage value” charges when leaseholders buy a freehold and legislating so that development rights are placed in the hands of leaseholders.
Aston Chase stress that the reforms are up to two years away however they are set to transform the market for unmodernised apartment blocks making buyers more open-minded about buying properties on shorter leases and encouraging buyers and leaseholders to take control of refurbishing their buildings.
Mark Pollack, co-Founding Director of Aston Chase says: “Refurbishing entrance foyers and common parts is one of the most overlooked ways of increasing the value of apartments in older blocks. The apartment market is set for major leaseholder reforms which will help to raise interest in unmodernised blocks with both buyers and investors. The entrance foyer and common parts can provide a powerful first impression and when tastefully refurbished to a high standard helping to form the image of a luxury building with visitors and residents. Refurbishment costs average £400 per sqft, and once done the value of flats in a remodelled building can uplift by 10% to 15%, so a makeover has a direct impact on both the desirability and value of the apartments within a building.”
Aston Chase say that prime London developers of new luxury apartment buildings such as Londonewcastle with Queen’s Park Place, Stanhope with Television Centre, Regal London with One St John’s Wood, CIT with Regent’s Crescent and 50 St Edmund’s Terrace, have led the way in designing impressive apartment buildings with hotel-like entrance foyers with high ceilings, feature lighting, concierge desks and lounge areas. Aston Chase stress that the arrival and common parts create a powerful first impression and instantly convey the image of a luxury address.
Aston Chase say that many older unmodernised apartment buildings benefit from being located on generous plots and have large entrance foyers so even if they are out-dated they have great scope for improvement.
Aston Chase say that leaseholders in unmodernised blocks should consider using signature interior designers to devise makeovers of the arrival and common parts which can add huge cachet to the refurbished buildings. Designers who have proven expertise in this field include Millier, Taylor Howes, 1508 London, DK Interiors and Shalini Misra.
Aston Chase highlight that examples of refurbished and transformed apartment building foyers and common parts include King’s College Court on Primrose Hill Road, Queen’s Court at Queens Terrace, Prince Regent Court on Avenue Road, Dorset House on Gloucester Place, London House on Avenue Road and Century Court on Grove End Road.