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Vastu-compliant London flats to meet Indian demand

Specific needs of Indian buyers often include space for prayer area, a servant’s quarter and a separate entrance for staff.

world Updated: Feb 20, 2018 23:00 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
A general view of the London Skyline on October 26, 2016.(Getty Images)

Indians are among top international buyers of property in London, and many are keen that their purchases comply with the principles of vastu-shastra, the ancient Indian system of architecture.

The “golden postcodes” of prime central London locations of major interest to Indians are Mayfair, Belgravia and Knightsbridge — many buyers have pre-existing links with the UK and interest is also driven by historic ties, cultural and family links, and as a destination for their children’s education.

Specific needs of Indian buyers often include space for prayer area, a servant’s quarter and a separate entrance for staff. There is also a preference for complexes that offer a porter/security so that the property can be locked up and looked after when they are not in the country.

Property developer One Point Six has converted a flat inside a 19th century house in the city’s Knightsbridge area into a three-bedroom, three-bathroom flat according to vastu principles, offering it at a price of £4.75 million. The developer used the services of vastu expert Geetanjali Bhalla for the conversion project.

Located on the third floor at 49-51 Pont Street, the 1,360 sq ft flat has been classified as 80% vastu compliant, which is well above the London average, Caroline Takla of One Point Six told Hindustan Times.

She said Indian clients, encouraged by norms which have been relaxed to allow them to buy property outside India, have often expressed frustration that London flats and houses are not vastu-compliant.

“Many of our Indian clients are keen on vastu-compliant property. We found that very few flats and houses are vastu compliant. So we developed the flat in Pont Street from the inside while keeping the external façade intact,” Takla said.

“Whilst this isn’t the first London home to incorporate the principles of vastu shastra it’s certainly a rarity to find one at this level in such a prime location and in a traditional building that hasn’t been built to incorporate vastu from the outset.”

According to data of new homes with estate agent Savills, the proportion of buyers from subcontinent did not change significantly between 2016 and 2017. The region accounts for about 6% of foreign buyers of new homes in London.

Indian buyers have also been attracted to the London market due to the falling value of the pound since the 2016 vote to leave the European Union.

First Published: Feb 20, 2018 21:46 IST