Barratt's Dalston Square Phase 2 is cracking on at a time when there remains uncertainty in the housing market and bank mortgages are hard to come by ( unless you are a buy-to let investor) .
In January last year Mark Clare, chief executive of Barratt, one of the UK’s biggest housebuilders, said: “There is definitely more buy-to-let availability now than there was. Lenders are telling us that rather than increasing loan availability to first-time buyers, they are preferring to lend to buy-to-let investors.”
Now Barratt claims that 90% of the private flats being built in Dalston Square Phase 2 have been sold off-plan. Have they been sold to owner-occupiers - or are overseas buy-to-let investors moving in? This recent promotional piece about Dalston Square in the Hong Kong Standard below gives us a clue - there was similar overseas promotion for Phase 1 as well.
Click on image to enlarge
Buy-to-let investment by cash rich overseas buyers keeps prices artificially high, squeezes out first time buyers and creates transient communities on short term tenancies with no long term commitment to the area. Is it not depressing that the £millions of public money which has subsidised this scheme, which has no affordable housing, is not benefitting local people or even Londoners.