Investors – should you consider Hounslow?

21 September 2020 | Investment

It’s strategically located for easy access to London Heathrow Terminals, is close to a number of the stations on the incoming Elizabeth Line and sits nearby to Twickenham Stadium and a wide range of impressive green space, but until now Hounslow has gone under the radar as an investment or development hotspot.

That could be starting to change, though. Boutique developer Harbright recently secured £10 million funding from lender Paragon Bank for the redevelopment of a former office building into homes in the large suburban West London town.

The funding will support the conversion of Whitelocke House in the heart of Hounslow town centre into a high-specification development comprising 26 one-bedroom and six studio apartments, under permitted development rights. The 0.43 acre site was acquired by Harbright in 2019 and has a total GDV (gross development value) of £24 million. 

It’s situated next to the borough’s new Civic Centre and close to Hounslow Central Underground and Overground stations, as well its retail centre, which is currently undergoing a multi-million pound overhaul. Prices at the new development will start from £260,000. 

Hounslow is one of the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s Housing Zones, designated as a place for accelerated housing development with high potential for growth.

The Mayor has plans for the development of 30 Housing Zones in partnership with London boroughs and their development partners as part of his Housing Strategy, with £400 million to lend to developers, housing associations and public/private partnerships for homebuilding.

In Hounslow, there are plans for 3,900 more homes to be built by 2024, largely because of its strategic location (close to Heathrow in one direction and Kew in the other) and excellent transport links. 

“The team at Paragon were professional, knowledgeable and very understanding of the difficult circumstances we were all working through under Covid-19,” Jacques Bingham, director of Harbright, said:

“They were quick to grasp that, despite these conditions, Whitelocke House will be a high-quality build, at an attractive price point for both first-time buyers and investors. Hounslow is a desirable, up-and-coming location and close to excellent transport links.” 

Adrian Reeves, relationship director at Paragon, added: “It’s great to support an existing client to provide homes at this price level in Hounslow. This deal further strengthens our relationship with the client as we continue to support them throughout this challenging time in the market.” 

The redevelopment of Whitelocke House is part of Harbright’s drive towards expanding beyond prime central London. Bingham added: “We believe there is huge potential in zone 4 and beyond the outer London area, close to excellent transport links. Our approach is to apply the design principles, high specification and detail of our prime central London projects to create high-quality new homes in areas where there is growth value for both owner-occupiers and investors.” 

Elsewhere, ADDLiving, a specialist residential lettings and management company, has been appointed to market and manage Europa/Addington Capital’s newly-developed 124-apartment residential scheme at One Lampton Road in Hounslow.

The new private rented sector scheme will be launched in October when the team hopes to agree pre-lets, with practical completion expected in November.

Back in February 2018, Addington and Europa Capital acquired One Lampton Road, when the building was a 121,812 sq ft mixed-use property consisting of office and retail space, but with permitted development rights for conversion to 124 residential units.

It is found in the heart of the town and within 200m of Hounslow Central Underground station.

ADDLiving’s existing residential contract include managing 293 units in Velocity Village in Sheffield, 152 units in Headingley Park in Leeds, and 380 units in the Merlin and Brymore portfolios in South London. It will be in charge of both marketing and managing the One Lampton Road scheme.

As well as the apartments, One Lampton Road will play host to a number of ‘attractive on-site amenities’, including: a residents’ lounge, co-working space, communal garden and a Terrace garden. These will be run and managed by ADDLiving’s on-site property management team.

“One of our main focuses is encouraging community building and at One Lampton Road this will be achieved by the design of the building, amenities on offer and bringing residents together by running events for them on site,” Erdal Kacar, operations director of ADDLiving, said. “One Lampton Road will be a place to live rather than just a place to sleep.”

He added: “We have had considerable success with occupancy on the other schemes we manage – at both Headingley Park and Velocity Village, our occupancy rates are over 97% and we would expect to achieve similarly high levels at One Lampton Road, once we launch.”

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–> This post has originally been featured in Property Investor Today.