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China's R&F Properties Snaps Up Luxury London Resi Development

Vauxhall Square

Chinese property developer R&F Properties agreed to buy Vauxhall Square for £157.7M from CLS Holdings — the largest residential market transaction so far in 2017. R&F Properties will invest about £1B to the scheme that includes two 50-storey residential towers, two large office buildings, hotel, retail, leisure and new public realm. R&F Properties will also assume CLS’s obligations for the relocation of the hostel at 62 Bondway, resulting in a net consideration of approximately £145M.

Uncertainty stemming from Brexit and increased stamp duty has slowed London’s luxury residential market to a crawl, with buyers consisting mostly of Russian oligarchs and Middle Eastern royalty snapping up discounted units. But developers seem undeterred; the Spire London and Nine Elms both have reported swift pre-letting activity.

JLL director James Thomas said the interest generated by its international marketing campaign for Vauxhall Square shows the continued confidence in Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea as key growth areas, where both UK and overseas parties are competing to invest capital.

Vauxhall Square is R&F’s second London purchase in as many months; in March the company bought Nestlé Tower for about £60M.

JLL Residential acted as advising agent for CLS. CBRE acted for R&F Properties.