Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Speculators Spearhead the Purchases

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Speculators Spearhead the Purchases

Article excerpt

Byline: By Ed Seymour

Newcastle is still attracting a lot of attention on a national level. While unsuccessful, The Capital of Culture 2008 bid of both Newcastle and Gateshead created its own impetus with new landmark projects such as the Sage Gateshead music centre and Newcastle Hilton continuing to draw further investment and growth into the city centre.

The vibrant nightlife and social scene that Newcastle is famed for continues to grow too, with new restaurants, bars and cultural venues opening all the time and catering for the growing city centre residential market.

Prices continue on their gentle upward spiral, the city seems to be full of scaffolding shrouding yet another residential scheme.

Rumours of proposals for schemes abound and commercial property firms are sifting through their assets looking for anything with residential merit.

Developers are looking to more innovative schemes such as Staiths South Bank, which has seen the transformation of the former Gateshead Garden Festival site and Pandongate House, the former bonded warehouse which has also been transformed into luxury apartments to fulfil demand from the discerning Newcastle buyer.

Most people would be happy with these factors as a sign of a healthy regional economy and huge regeneration.

However, there is a growing body of people who suggest that there is too much development happening and that the market at the moment is being led by investors looking to capitalise on the steady increases.

The truth in most new build schemes is that investors or speculators are spearheading the purchases. Whether this is good for the region or not is perhaps open to debate.

While I fully appreciate and understand the view of many that prices are being forced up by factors outside the regional market and that there is the threat of ghost areas - huge schemes devoid of occupants all owned by investors waiting to sell when the market increases - I do not predict such a drastic outcome. …

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