2014 to be 'extremely strong' for Docklands property market
2013 has been a big year for Alan Selby. It saw the doyen of the Docklands property market scooped a special recognition prize at The Wharf's property awards.
Then months later he sold his company, Alan Selby & Partners, to international firm CBRE Group, after 40 years of business.
But rather than calling it a day, Alan is looking forward to even greater challenges.
"CBRE ws looking to expand it's business particularly in the residential area so came to me," said Alan. "I felt as they didn't have representation in Docklands this was a match made in heaven.
"This isn't the deal for me to leave - it was the deal for me to get started. Alan Selby and Partners no longer exists but as CBRE we've gone global."
It means the company is now part of CBRE's empire containing 37,000 employees, a sharp change from the 20 strong team based at Westferry Road
But Alan's team have a vast amount of knowledge in the area having worked on a huge number of major developments over the last few decades.
The company is now involved in ambitions plans for Wood Wharf on the outskirts of Canary Wharf and the huge scheme at Greenwich Peninsula (below).
"The market is extremely strong in Docklands at the moment, as it is in London, and I can't see that changing in 2014," said Alan. "It's been extremely busy as there's been a lack of stock but that lack of stock is because we've been so busy.
"There's been lots of interest from overseas because they understand what living right in the city is like from where they live in their own country."
Alan added prices in the East End are still very competitive. But an even bigger incentive that that to buy in east London is transport infrastructure, which continues to have an impact on keeping the market buoyant opening up west London to east.
"You can't compare the current climate - the regeneration of Royal Docks and North Greenwich - to the original arrival of Canary Wharf because the key difference is now we've got the infrastructure and that's the drive for all the areas," said Alan.
"And when Crossrail comes prices will continue to rise.
"These are exciting times for all those areas because when the market goes forward it's the best form of regeneration. It puts confidence back into people who have the wherewithal to undertake major development."
Upcoming proposals on the Isle of Dogs, Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks continue to excite but for Alan the key site is Wood Wharf.
"Everyone in Docklands worships Canary Wharf because Canary Wharf Group is without question the developer of the highest level," he said.
"The latest designs from (architect) Herzog & De Meuron (above) are fantastic. It's a very impressive scheme."