Canary Wharf's lofty office towers are set to be overshadowed by Europe's tallest residential building in the latest evidence of London's effervescent housing market.
Tom Ryan, an Irish property investor, intends to build a £1 billion, 74-storey skyscraper on the site he acquired for £100 million on Thursday in the business district to the east of the City of London. The tower will be 7 meters higher than Canary Wharf's tallest office building. The acquisition is the first in what sources say will be a series of UK property investments by Mr Ryan.
The scheme is the latest in a string of high-rise housing developments under construction across the capital, including the Heron in the City of London and One The Tower at St George's Wharf in Vauxhall.
The building fever has prompted Savills, one of the UK's leading estate agents, to warn that London faces an oversupply of high-value homes as developers rush to soak up the waves of foreign investment flowing into the capital's housing market. Four-fifth of purchasers of London's prime property are foreign and two-thirds of buyers are investors rather than owner-occupiers.
Mr Ryan still has some hurdles to overcome before he can start building. Though the site has planning permission for a 242-meter mixed-use scheme containing offices, a hotel and shops, he will have to ask Tower Hamlets Council to allow a housing development instead. Stuart Robinson, of property advisers CBRE, said it would be difficult for the council to turn down.