Despite Brexit woes, Lodha Group upbeat on London projects
Realtor has already sold £130 million worth of properties in central London
LONDON, JUNE 14:
Real estate developer the Lodha Group hopes to continue to build its British business with projects across price points and sectors, as it remains optimistic about London’s prospects despite the uncertainties posed by Brexit.
The company last week launched sales of apartments at No.1 Grosvenor Square, the former Canadian embassy the group acquired in 2014 and which it is converting into 39 high-end apartments, and five duplexes.
Abhishek Lodha, Managing Director said the group believed London remained attracted as a long-term investment, and that while it would focus on its two current acquisitions in the short-term, it hoped to soon expand its portfolio to new price categories and beyond the residential sector.
“The internationalisation of London over the past 70 or 80 years has been a constant process…some things have moved forward but the long term trend is for it to become a more important and global city,” he said at a meeting at the show apartments for Grosvenor House and Lincoln Square in central London last week.
The company has already sold £130 million worth of properties out of an anticipated £500 million, at Lincoln Square, also in central London and due to be completed by the end of 2018. Lodha expects 75 per cent of properties to be completed by that date.
He added that sales were also boosted by the slump in the pound, which had boosted the market’s attractiveness to foreign buyers.
Grosvenor House is set to be completed at the end of 2019, and Lodha hopes to sell 75 per cent of its apartments by then too.
He said that concerns about businesses leaving London — including in the financial sector — in the wake of Brexit did not decrease the attractiveness of investments here, with families seeking accommodation for children studying in the capital, lawyers, and others in business.
He said that while Britain was a more mature market than India, there were great opportunities particularly for the company, which operated its business as an entirely local one.
“We are as British as Cadbury’s,” he said drawing a parallel with the confectioner now owned by US-based Mondelez International (formerly Kraft), but which is run as a British business.
“Ours is a local business thought and run locally and we are committed to delivering what is needed by the community and local population and we will continue to focus on where there are gaps in in the market.”