London’s decade of tower building revealed

Tower fundamentals:

* The typical uplift in price per square foot in a residential tower in London is 1.5% per floor, excluding penthouse apartments. Once penthouses are included, the average increase rises to 2.2%;
* The incremental increase in the cost of building ‘up’ is greatest in the 25-40 storey band;
* There are currently 25 schemes under construction in London which include one or more residential or mixed-use towers;
* A further 78 such schemes have planning permission;
* Funding remains a key issue, with high levels of pre-sales demanded in many cases;
* Despite widespread political acceptance of the benefits of tall towers, planning permission can be difficult to obtain.

A unique map of all recently completed schemes, as well as schemes including residential and mixed-use towers that are under construction or in planning or pre-planning stages across London, shows that towers are now a key feature of the city’s planning pipeline.

The report also highlights the factors that drive demand for tower schemes in London, before looking to the future, outlining how new sustainability rules could change the look of towers. Finally, it shows how the Shard, the highest residential tower in Europe, compares when measured against some of the tallest buildings in the world.

Stephan Miles-Brown, Head of Knight Frank Residential Development, said: "This is London’s decade of towers: with residential land values up 20.3% in the last 12 months and a population boom, a need for the most effective use of space is evident.

"However, only 30% of the schemes including towers with planning permission are underway – partially a symptom of the challenging funding climate.

"The well-designed, centrally-located towers we will see succeed in the next few years will have a definite cachet – the clear premium for living at the top is a key driver in the development of a tower.”

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