LONDON Feb 19 Residential property in the
second phase of the Battersea power station project in London
will be offered for sale in the British capital before being
marketed to overseas buyers, the scheme's Malaysian-backed
The decision comes in response to increasing pressure on
builders to give Londoners priority for new homes in an effort
to combat a housing shortage exacerbated by the droves of
overseas buyers who have snapped up residential property in the
city over recent years.
The power station, famous for its imposing quartet of art
deco chimneys, stood derelict on the south bank of the River
Thames for about three decades until the 39-acre site was bought
in July 2012 by a Malaysian consortium.
As part of the project's second phase, 254 apartments will
be on offer in an exhibition that will be held only in London
from May 1. They will range from studio flats to five-bedroom
The practice of selling to overseas buyers before completion
has been favoured by housebuilders as a way to help to finance
developments and reduce the risk of being left with unsold
Late last year, however, 11 housebuilders signed a
commitment to sell homes in new developments in Britain before
or at the same time as trying to sell them outside the country.
"There has been a lot of comment recently about London's
housing problems," said Rob Tincknell, chief executive of
Battersea Power Station Development Company.
"We are proud to be launching these new homes in London
only, and this decision is part of a wider strategy to create a
product well-suited for owner occupiers and people who will
help us create a real and lasting community here in Battersea."
The developer started selling homes at the power station
site last year in a first phase of 835 flats, 55 percent of
which were sold abroad in countries such as Malaysia, Russia and
China. The site will contain 3,500 homes when it completes in 15
Foreign investors have bought about 70 percent of new-build
homes across central London, according to Savills,
helping to fuel a 10 percent rise in prices last year and
stoking resentment among locals trying to get a foot on the
The Malaysian consortium, which includes developer SP Setia
, Sime Darby and a subsidiary controlled by
the Employees Provident Fund pension fund, bought the power
station for 400 million pounds ($667 million), beating rival
bidders from as far afield as Brazil, China and Kazakhstan.