Qatar, Delancey JV may sell up to fifth of homes in London Olympic Park to foreign investors
Qatari Diar, the state-backed developer that purchased 1,439 homes in London’s Olympic Park, may sell as much as a fifth of the properties to overseas investors, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.
The property arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and UK developer Delancey intend to sell approximately 300 of the homes abroad, according to the people, who declined to be named because they’re not permitted to speak publicly.
The remaining units will be rented out, they said.
Delancey and Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co this month agreed to pay £557m ($909m) for the homes in the athlete’s village and the right to build as many as 2,000 more units on the site in London’s East End district, according to an August 12 statement from the buyers.
“The majority of properties will be held for rental and the remainder will be released for sale on the open market,” said Jamie Robertson, a spokesman for closely held Delancey.
“It’s too early in the process to be any more specific but further information will be released at the appropriate time.”
Qatari Diar didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
London 2012 Olympic officials are finding ways to convert and sell facilities built for the 2012 Games after previous host cities such as Athens were left with unused or underutilized properties. The Olympic Village, which cost £1.1bn to build, will house 17,000 athletes and officials across 67 acres, the UK government said in May 2009.
The purchase of the athlete’s village includes the long-term management of the site, the buyers said in the August statement. The government will get a share of any profits from the development, they said, without being more specific.
Now that could cause a furore in the UK, with the current controversy surrounding the fact that there is a whole generation of British national bricks and mortar aspirants unable to get on the property ladder and buy their first home.
Foreigners will of course pay good money for property in London, but the fact that prices and size of deposits are being driven beyond the reach of the average Briton, may well cause the governing Coalition to challenge an overseas sales drive for Olympic Village properties. It will currently take a young British potential homeowner, 9 years to save the deposit even at current values.
There is now a shortage of financially accessible homes in UK for the enfranchised, national insurance paying, in work British voter. That represents a rising political 'hot potato' which the government ignores at its peril.
@RS, I have always been under the impression that the main reason for lack of affordable homes in the uk had to with the convoluted licensing process (zoning?) and the reluctance of existing owners to allow additional units that could dilute their existing investment.
If this is right, then i think it would be unfair to blame the qataris for this situation.