Barratt Developments, the UK's largest residential developer, aims to attract Thai investors interested in overseas rental yield opportunities by introducing mid-priced London residential properties in emerging, attractive locations.
Stuart Leslie, international sales and marketing director at Barratt London, said there are numerous appealing investment locations in Greater London beyond the central area.
"In addition to the high-net-worth individuals who have been interested in investing in London property for some time, general investors are also seeking rental income abroad," he said. "For these investors, properties outside central London are attractive investments because of lower prices."
One of the most attractive projects is a regeneration project as it involves improvement of infrastructure, buildings and public amenities in the area accessible to education and employment. It is attracting demand from both homebuyers and tenants.
One of the largest regeneration projects is in Wembley, an area with a rich sporting heritage and renowned as the home of English football -- Wembley Stadium, one of the world's most iconic sporting venues.
According to Brent Council, the local government authority for the London Borough of Brent, the Wembley regeneration project has a total investment of £2.5 billion (110.4 billion baht). It aims to create 10,000 new jobs and provide 11,500 new homes by 2026.
Wembley has seen a significant increase in rents, with a growth of 49% over the past five years, higher than London's overall rise of 23% during the same period, according to property consultant JLL.
Projections suggest that property prices in Wembley will continue to rise, with an estimated growth of 57% over the next decade.
Jeremy Marcus, sales and marketing director of Barratt East London, said the company is developing Wembley Park Gardens, a joint venture with Transport for London, the agency responsible for most of the transport network in London.
Adjacent to Wembley Park station and in close proximity to Wembley Stadium, the project will consist of five towers totalling 454 units. Of this number, 302 units featuring one or two bedrooms are available for sale, while the remaining 152 units are designated for affordable housing.
The first phase of the project was launched a few months ago, consisting of around 100 units with prices starting from £390,000 per unit. Half of the units have already been sold.
"We will introduce this project to investors from Southeast Asia, particularly Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia as the location is well-known among football fans," said Mr Marcus.
It's also accessible to many educational institutions, such as Wembley High Technology College, Claremont High School, Ark Academy and Michaela Community School.
"Buyers from Hong Kong have purchased units for their children's education. Many bought it for rent and relocation," he said. "Singaporean buyers are the younger generation in their mid-30s, also looking at property for their children's education."
NEW LINE, NEW CHANCE
The other project is Hayes Village in Hayes, Middlesex, to the west of London.
The project is developed on a historical site which was previously home to a Nestlé factory.
Joe Antoniazzi, Barratt London's head of sales, said Hayes Village has preserved the art deco facade of the factory and restored it to maintain the building's historic aesthetic appeal.
"The project is located in the heart of a regeneration hotspot," he said. "It is poised to have substantial capital gains, with research suggesting that the increase in capital gains of the regeneration project is nearly double that of general projects in London."
In addition to architecture and regeneration, connectivity is another key feature of the project as it is located near Hayes & Harlington railway station, with a 20-minute commute to central London.
Hayes & Harlington station is one of 41 new stations along the Elizabeth Line, the UK's biggest infrastructure project over the past decade. Commenced in mid-2022, the new railway line stretches over 100 kilometres from west to east through central London.
"With access to Heathrow within a mere five minutes, the project specifically targets individuals employed at the airport," he said. "Some buyers acquired units in the project to rent out as the rental yield in this location is 5.5% per year."
Hayes Village has a total of 1,500 units priced from £359,000 for a one-bedroom flat to £540,000 for a three-bedroom unit.
The first 500 units were launched for sale in 2019 with 330 units sold so far.
Of this amount, 30% were overseas buyers, mainly from China, Hong Kong and Singapore, while some Thai buyers also sought an investment property, Mr Antoniazzi said.
COLLABORATION WITH IKEA
Barratt London also has a collaboration with home furnishing retailer Ikea UK, offering buyers of units across London a one-on-one remote planning session with one of Ikea's interior design specialists.
There is a choice of three Ikea furniture packs designed specifically for residential units. Prices range from £6,000-£12,000 which includes furniture, linen, window dressings, home accessories and kitchenware.
Charlotte Markham, business leader at Ikea London, said convenience is at the heart of this collaboration. Buyers won't need to assemble the furniture themselves as this service will be included in the overall price.
"This is the first and biggest collaboration in the UK," she said. "It will work for first time buyers, second steppers and those looking to invest in a rental property."
Barratt Developments has been selling overseas for over 35 years, starting in Hong Kong and China, its strongest and most established overseas markets.
Other markets include the Middle East, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Africa, South America and Thailand.
"We plan to hold a roadshow in Singapore, Malaysia and probably Thailand within the second half due to strong demand from investment buyers," said Mr Leslie.
Last year, Barratt Developments delivered 17,243 new homes to buyers across the UK.
It offers a diverse range of products, with unit prices ranging from £70,000 for properties located outside London, to over £1 million within the capital.