New London Architecture

HomeViews: residents say tall buildings are better

Monday 03 May 2021

DOWNLOAD THE NLA LONDON TALL BUILDINGS SURVEY 2021

Rory Cramer

CEO and Co-founder
HomeViews

London’s tall residential buildings have come under fire in recent years. The cladding scandal, stories around ‘poor doors’ and class divides, empty investment homes and concerns around amenities and overcrowding have all marked high rise developments as being unsustainable and undesirable. However, if you look at the data, the residents themselves are saying something very different
 
For the first time, HomeViews has revealed the resident perspective on what it is really like to live in London’s tall buildings, as part of the NLA Tall Building Survey 2021. HomeViews.com is a residential review platform with over 22,000 verified reviews from tenants and owners across the UK. For the report, we assessed a sample of over 8,000 verified resident reviews across 642 tall and non-tall new build developments in London.
 
The findings
 
The London sample data revealed that residents of tall buildings in London rated their homes higher than those in the city’s non-tall schemes. These higher ratings for tall buildings were found to be consistent across all review categories we collect on the HomeViews platform: Star Rating, Management, Value, Location, Facilities and Design.
 
This was little surprise to us, as many of the highest-rated new developments on HomeViews are tall buildings. However, to get an idea of the very best tall buildings, we also compiled a list of the 20 highest-rated tall residential buildings in the capital for the report.
 
This revealed that 10 George Street by operator Vertus was the best in the city, with a lofty overall Star Rating of 4.91. This hugely popular BTR scheme lifts its 51 storeys into the clustered surroundings of Canary Wharf, with residents regularly praising its outstanding management team, luxurious facilities and modern design.
 
So, why are tall buildings popular with residents?
 
Reviews for tall buildings on HomeViews revealed a widespread appreciation of well-thought-out design, praising tall buildings which maximised available space, views, and light. 26% of reviews included references to views and balconies. 
 
Many tall buildings were also able to offer state-of-the-art facilities comparable to luxury hotels, especially in Build to Rent developments. As with 10 George Street, many reviews also mentioned the quality of the building management, in particular in its ability to offer a strong community within the building. 
 
Areas for improvement 
 
Tall buildings were not without their problems, however. Resident reviews also revealed areas for improvement for the high-rise format.
 
HomeViews’ London data for the past three years revealed that 15% of residents have referenced heating or ventilation in their reviews. Some praise buildings for low energy bills due to insulation in winter, but many raise the issue of overheating in the summer. However, these mentions are evenly spread between tall and non-tall new build homes. 
 
Some residents also provided feedback about being disturbed by outside noise. This was not mentioned more frequently in tall vs. non-tall buildings, but wind was referenced in reviews for buildings ten storeys or over, or those with balconies.
 
Standing tall
 
Despite these, and other, drawbacks, our extensive dataset reveals that the experience of living in the capital’s tall buildings is a positive one. With careful design, strong community and effective management, tall buildings should remain an integral part of London’s housing offer.
 

DOWNLOAD THE NLA LONDON TALL BUILDINGS SURVEY 2021

Rory Cramer

CEO and Co-founder
HomeViews


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