The U.K.’s biggest investors want to put billions of pounds into British infrastructure, creating jobs and growth in an economy that is still smaller than it was in 2009. The government is preventing them, they say.
Construction companies in the U.K. are offering to partially finance clients’ projects for the first time in a bid to kick-start development as banks restrict lending, according to a survey of more than 70 contractors by real-estate adviser Davis Langdon LLP.
Angel Fernandez used to travel to the Netherlands to buy equipment for Spanish homebuilders when they were powering Europe’s third-biggest construction market. Now he watches as buyers come to take diggers, excavators and trucks to countries where they won’t just gather dust.
It’s Friday night at Claridge’s Hotel in central London and harried-looking bartenders are rushing to serve customers piled three-deep at the bar. Property investors are lining up too, not for the 16-pound ($25) mojitos and 27-pound glasses of Laurent Perrier Brut Rose champagne, but for the luxury hotels that can command such prices during an economic slowdown.
London property developers are sacrificing height and glitz for better returns as the craze for building iconic skyscrapers comes to an end, said Ken Shuttleworth , the architect of the landmark Gherkin building.
Great Portland Estates Plc didn’t have to build a thing to boost the value of its development site in London’s Mayfair district. The 1.3-acre plot appreciated by 10 percent in the second quarter, almost twice the return that income-producing office buildings there will generate this year.