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Developers urged to think twice on larger units

Developers are being urged to look at demand before committing to larger units following research from Benham & Reeves Residential Lettings.

According to their statistics 49% of all flats let across its 15 London offices have been two-bedroom apartments.

One-bedroom units constitute 22% of all transactions, studios 11% and the remaining 18% are apartments and houses with three or more bedrooms.

The research comes after rumours emerged that the developers of Battersea Power Station are supposedly considering downsizing the size of many units as they are struggling to sell.

Marc von Grundherr, lettings director at Benham & Reeves Residential Lettings, said: “The problem is two-fold. Firstly, the top end of the market was booming so naturally developers started building luxury properties.

“No block of flats was complete without one, two or three multi-million pound penthouses, not to mention other high end developments in prime areas where the starting price was £1m. Now that these properties are finally hitting the market, demand has dried up.

“Secondly, this isn’t Hong Kong or Manhattan. British families tend not to live in large apartments but in houses. Flats are for individuals, couples and downsizers.

“Even when we get a family asking for a larger property, they’re often renting while they look for something to buy or while they’re renovating their principle property. Developers and especially planners need to recognise where the demand is. It’s for smaller units that let more easily and these units are also the ones in demand by owner occupiers.”

Benham & Reeves Residential Lettings follows on from research last year that revealed that there are far more luxury flats being built in London than have sold historically, leading many to predict a glut of large, high value properties that will struggle to sell.

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