Tag Archives: property



May 27 / Marketing, Property

How much of London property is owned by offshore companies?

It will come as no surprise that a lot of property in London is owned by persons and companies not from the UK. As the world’s leading financial city, it is a global entity, and will bring global investment as a result. But have you ever wondered how much of London property is owned by offshore companies, specifically?

Well, now we have the answer. As a result of the heightened interest in offshore companies, and frustration by the UK public of the tax haven benefits they receive, more news is coming out, this time focused on property in London.

Foreign-registered property inforgraphicIn a report by The Guardian, it is revealed that 40,000 properties are now owned by offshore companies. This is a 9% increase, in the last year, and shows no stopping due to the recent negative press. The heart of London, Westminster, is coming out on top, with 10% of property in the area owned by companies set up in tax havens.

This might get you wondering about the rest of the UK. While London is the beating heart of global opportunity, the whole of the UK is a property opportunity for investors. Take a look at this full breakdown of offshore owned property across the UK (infographic by The Guardian).

These are some big figures, and likely to shock a great deal of the general public. It showcases the real need for investors to consider PR not just following investments and for ongoing reputation management, but when choosing which investments to make.

If you need help with PR, reputation or crisis management, get in touch – our PR experts can help.

May 17 / Property

5 stunning man-made islands

Land always retains its value. That’s because space is limited. But there are property developers who aren’t restrained by these limitations, and think outside the box – by creating land itself. Artificial islands are the result, and they look stunning.

Here we take a look at 5 of the most beautiful man-made islands in the world. In reverse order, we travel the globe looking at new, artificial wonders that prove architecture isn’t just about buildings, but the land they sit upon too.

5. Peberholm

# Peberholm

Peberholm is a small artificial island in the Danish part of the Øresund strait, created as part of the Øresund Bridge connecting Denmark with Sweden.

Interestingly, scientists predicted that nature would colonize the island and flourish on its own, without any human interaction whatsoever. As of June 2007, scientists from the Biological Society of Lund had registered 454 species of plants on the island.

4. Amwaj Islands

# Amwaj Islands

The Amwaj Islands are a group of man-made islands located in the Persian Gulf to the northeast of Bahrain.

The Islands contain residential, commercial,  hotel and retail buildings, as well as a marina. Other facilities include a school, university, hospital, fuel station, theme parks and a dining and café precinct.

3. The Pearl-Qatar

# Pearl Qatar

The Pearl-Qatar in Doha, Qatar, is an artificial island spanning nearly four million square metres. Once fully completed, The Pearl will create over 32 kilometres of new coastline, for use as a residential estate with an expected 18,831 dwellings and 45,000 residents by 2018.

2. Palm Island

# Palm Island

The Palm Islands are artificial islands constructed from sand dredged from the bottom of the Persian Gulf. For the precise shape of the island, sand is sprayed from dredging ships, guided by GPS, onto the required area.

Unfortunately, construction had a significant impact on the surrounding environment, resulting in changes to area wildlife, coastal erosion, alongshore sediment transport and wave patterns.

1. The World Islands

# World Islands

The World Islands are a set of artificial islands in the rough shape of a world map, located adjacent to Palm Islands.

Construction began in 2003, only to halt due to the 2008 financial crisis. Though 60 percent of the islands had been sold off to private contractors back in 2008, development on most of these islands has failed to continue.

So if you’re looking for a manmade opportunity, this may be the one for you!

May 16 / Design, Property

A look at Dubai’s newest project: the world’s tallest tower

Dubai is, once again, developing the world’s tallest tower. Of course, the Burj Khalifa, also based in Dubai, currently holds this title at 829.8 m (2,722 ft) tall. But the country is nothing but ambitious.

The latest project, Jeddah Tower, will be the first structure ever to reach the one-kilometre-high mark. In fact, it was initially planned to be 1.6 kilometres (1 mile) high, but the geology of the area proved unsuitable.

Jeddah Tower

The building is being created by Saudi Arabian Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, the wealthiest man in the Middle East, and nephew of the late King Abdullah. This is handy, since the project is expected to cost $1.23 billion.

While Dubai continues to build real estate of truly epic proportions, it is interesting to note that, from a value perspective, marketers say prices for the new apartments start at over seven-times less per square foot than in prime central London.

And with this comes the question of investment. The credit agency Standard & Poor’s recently said it expects UAE real estate prices to continue sliding in 2016, highlighting lower oil, a stronger dollar and geopolitical tensions as reasons behind this prediction.

But there is of course no denying, the world’s tallest building, and first to reach a full kilometer, will always hold desire at spectacular proportions.

Leeds Kirkgate Market
May 9 / Property

Look up

Over time, things, buildings, and locations become part of the fabric. If you have lived somewhere all your life, or for a long time, it is easy to take things for granted.

I recently realised this when walking around Leeds, West Yorkshire. I focus on the shops, where I am going, trying not to get run over, what I’d like to eat etc. But, the other day, I looked up.

Leeds Kirkgate Market is renowned for a great bargain, excellent fish and small Japanese plants. But it turns out it is a stunning piece of architecture too. I have always been so focussed on what is inside, I have never paid proper attention to the very building the market sits in.

Just look at it. So at odds with the plain, boring, more modern buildings that surround it. Created in the 1800s, it is a truly magnificent building. I could stand there and take pictures of it all day, frankly. Now when I walk by, I tilt my heads upwards and take in the splendor. The building stands as a reminder of the rich history Leeds has to offer. It was the place where a little-known business called Marks & Spencer was founded, with a stall in 1884. It survived German bombs in 1941 and a raging fire in 1975.

In a way, it tells a story. A bland apartment building, does not. We should treasure and make the most of old building like this, not demolish and start again. Neither should they be turned into strange and largely pointless exhibits, but something actually useful that will be enjoyed by all.

Which leads me to the old BBC Television Centre, now converted into 5,000 new flats. Yes, it is nowhere near as old as Leeds Kirkgate Market, nor in my humble opinion, does it strike the same visual cord. But the design is no less dramatic or iconic. I’m very happy to see such a cool design still being renovated and put to good use.

So I urge you, to ‘look up’ the next time you visit any large town. Because whilst eating and shopping is great, there are many old treasures hidden in plain site. You never know, one of them may become your next property development.

Grand Designs
April 27 / Design, Property

How to appear on Grand Designs

Grand Designs has offered great viewing for property enthusiasts for over a decade now (in fact, we’re only 3 years from the 20th anniversary of the show). Each home that has been featured has been truly unique and often awe-inspiring. But have you ever wondered how you can have your home featured on the show?

If you are developing a new property, one that you yourself will end up living in – perhaps the dream build you have always wanted to create, or the world’s most sustainable building – then you can easily appear on the show. The process is rather simple.

Grand Designs is produced by Boundless Productions for Channel 4. So the first step is to stop emailing or tweeting at Channel 4 and instead bother Boundless Productions. Their email and phone number for enquiries about appearing are below. But first, read this checklist:

  1. Your project is a new residential build or significant (and they mean significant!) residential conversion.
  2. The project is truly unique or has interesting elements of design, materials used, construction techniques, location or the people involved (that’s your own story).
  3. Planning permission is in place – despite what you may have seen on the show in the past where featured couples haven’t exactly had this beforehand, you must.
  4. You are planning to live in the property yourself – sorry developers, maybe next time. However, previous shows have featured those building multiple properties but living in one of the homes.
  5. You agree to be filmed. Well… what else did you expect?

So, do you have a project coming up that is worthy of being featured on Grand Designs? The publicity is huge, and being featured can drastically increase the property value, so we thoroughly recommend it.

If so, just contact the production company by email: granddesigns@boundlessproductions.tv or by phone: 01494 733538.

Good luck – and let us know how you get on!

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