New 178 unit scheme proposed in South Kensington

Property group Queensgate Investments has revealed plans for the development of the Kensington Forum Hotel site, on Cromwell Road in South Kensington, London.

The new proposals include 178 new homes and a new 756-room hotel and retail and restaurant spaces and the demolition of the existing (and not much loved) 28-storey, Brutalist hotel. The current owners bought the hotel and the site in 2015 and have since been considering what to do with it as the present structure is outdated and costly to run.

Indications are that the new buildings would rise from seven to 18 to 28 stories with most of the built up volume concentrated along Cromwell road – away from the residential areas of Courtfield Gardens and Ashburn Gardens. A new garden square and other open spaces are also to feature in the development.

The developers are expected to apply for planning permission in Spring 2018.

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Stamp duty measures

Pressure is mounting on the Chancellor to make revisions to stamp duty land tax rates.
The measures introduced in recent years do not appear to have helped first time buyers as much as was intended, whilst on the other hand they dampened the demand for higher value properties as stamp duty costs increased substantially on properties above £1m.
The additional revenues in the form of VAT, income tax and corporation tax that high and ultra high net worth individuals generate alongside their property investments is also considerable. This is becoming increasingly more recognised by countries the world over. Two recent examples are France and Italy. France has just drastically reduced its wealth tax that was introduced in the 80s’, whilst earlier this year Italy launched a new tax friendly residency scheme aimed at HNWs’. Such investors should not be deterred from investing in property in the UK.
Adjusting council tax bands and designing schemes specifically aimed at assisting first time buyers (with the cooperation of banks and developers) could be more effective ways to achieve desired policy objectives.
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Updated : property market stats


Land Registry data

September 2017 Av.price  Monthly change  12 Month change
 England  £243,945 +0.6% +5.7%
 London  £483,568  -0.2%  +2.5%
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea  £1,203,181  -2.90%  -1.92%
 City of Westminster  £959,998  -2.52%  -0.78%
  • In London, an annual price increase of 2.5% takes the average property value to £483,568. House prices have fallen marginally by 0.2% over the previous month.
  • Transaction volumes in Kensington and Chelsea in July have remained at the same level as July 2016.
  • The average property price in Kensington and Chelsea is £1,203,181.
  • For the second month running, Camden was the London borough that recorded the highest annual price increase (+14.1%).
  • September data for England showed an annual price increase of 5.7% taking the average property value to £243,945.
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