Sunday, 20 February 2011

Barratt Dalston Square Phase 2 - 90% sold

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.


  1. "The development itself - the largest public space built in the area for more than 100 years - has a planned entrance to the new London Overground station Dalston Junction, with services running between Dalston Junction and West Croydon via the City."

    What a whopper! I'll give a gold sovereign to the first reader who can identify which of the line's stations are in the City.

    I've heard they boast to investors about the Olympic sized pool being only a short walk away but fail to tell investors about the clash between gangs on bikes in London Fields, they boast about how much green space there is in Hackney but omit how barren Dalston is of somewhere to go with green space, fresh air and mature trees.

    "With an entrance to the new [overground train] station in the development itself, Dalston Square is perfectly positioned to benefit from the regeneration of the area, especially in the build-up to the 2012 Olympic Games," sales director Gary Patrick said. They boast how geographically close it is to the Olympic site but disregard the fact that there is no direct rail link from Dalston Junction station.

    They boast of an in-house gym to get fit but neglect to mention that, if you get sick, there are few local services such as GP surgeries and those that there are suffer from over-demand already.

    They've circumnavigated the fact that "this largest public space" is being created in a wind tunnel, expunged from the literature any mention of the high crime rate and, in a borough where many people work in the public sector, they've disregarded the massive levels of unemployment that we are about to face; regeneration will pass us by.

    I wonder if Hackney Council's Trading Standards department would take an interest in this sort of misrepresentation ... or not!

  2. This is extremely interesting, and thank you. Dalston came up while I have been researching current, affordable,and ecological(at least to code 3) properties with green roof or biodiverse roofs - either for sale or in the pipeline. There do not seem to be that many for 2011 (leaving aside social housing, which seems to be faring rather better in the green scheme of things).

    Perhaps this is partially due to actual and imminent government cuts, neverheless, there seems to be a rather alarming lull in living roof projects compared with the burst of enthusiasm in the first 10 years of this century. Please correct me if I am wrong - and point me in the right direction!

    Green or not, built or not - 'affordable' - seems to be a very relative term. It is quite immoral for housing associations and their chosen developers to fly in the face of local need.

  3. There was tremendous hoo-ha about eco-homes, and greenwash spin, when the Dalston Square scheme was approved. There were to be wind-turbines on the roof and a nesting environment for the black redstarts said to be displaced form the formerly disused railway site. Of course, none have appeareed. Then there are the bio-masses boilers powering a pooled heating shceme for all the flats. It was the ducting for a similar district heating scheme in the old high-rise Holly Street estate that enabled all the flats to becocme infested with cockroaches. Scientific studies now emerging suggest that the heat lost into the ground from pooled schemes entirely cancel out the energy savings - but then there was a big bio-mass industry lobbying for such schemes when Dalston Sqaure was approved.


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