Be the king of your own castle in 2018 with these French châteaux

Be the king of your own castle in 2018 with these French châteaux

  • Huge range of châteaux in France can accommodate many budgets (FrenchEntrée)
  • South-west France can provide exceptional value for those looking for fairytale properties
  • Châteaux-based businesses available to those looking to profit from their dream home


As youngsters, many of us dream of living in a grand castle when we grow up. Most people’s ambitions change as they age, but for some, that fairytale never fades – and that’s where France’s plentiful châteaux come into play.

Of course, owning your own castle isn’t cheap, but the variety of styles, sizes and conditions on the market means that there are châteaux available to suit a surprising range of budgets.

“The region that a château is in can heavily influence the style. Pays de la Loire for example can be associated much more with ‘leisure’ châteaux, the historic playground of French aristocracy. Such châteaux were designed with elegance and aesthetics as the main concerns, whereas those in more contested areas, such as near to the Spanish border, were designed to be defendable.”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

When looking at cost, buyers are sometimes drawn to renovation projects as a more accessible way to realise their grand ambitions, but for those unfamiliar with large-scale renovation projects or converting truly old buildings, the eventual overall cost is important to consider. This can vary based on region, but the average figure per square metre for renovation work is €700 and €1,500 (the latter if it’s a total rebuild). If the property is merely in need of internal modernisation and refurbishment (for example kitchens, bathrooms and heating) then you can generally reduce this figure by almost 50%.

As such, it can be an attractive proposition to acquire a château that is already in great condition and, for the business-oriented, generating revenue. In Dordogne, this château can seem like a considerable investment, but its sizeable revenue can help offset the cost. With over 18 hectares of land and architecture dating back to both the 12th and 15th century, an imposing estate awaits those looking to take over the reins of a successful hotel.

Châteaux often make fantastic settings for luxury accommodation, restaurants and wedding venues, while ample grounds open the possibility of running equestrian schools, hunting and fishing activities and plenty more. Working orchards, olive groves and vineyards can also provide business angles for those keen to work the land as part of their fairytale dream.

The inclusion of outbuildings with châteaux tends to provide plenty of flexibility for owners. Some rent them out as holiday properties, while others use them as accommodation for a caretaker or groundsman. Premium French property agents FrenchEntrée point out that the cost of employing such staff needs to be factored in from the outset.

“Running costs and upkeep are a major undertaking when you buy a property of this size. Heating, maintenance and tax alone mean a five figure spend on upkeep every year, which buyers need to take into account. For larger châteaux, a full time, salaried caretaker or groundsman is often essential. Providing an on-site cottage as accommodation can help to mitigate some of the cost of this, but minimum wage still exists in France – and at a higher rate than in the UK!”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

Prices vary enormously based not only on the style and age of the château, but also its location. Buyers on a budget can focus their search around the South-west, while those with an eye for the pricier end of the market will delight in the châteaux available in Pays de la Loire and closer to Paris. Buyers looking to renovate a château typically come to FrenchEntrée with budgets ranging from €500,000 – €800,000 (excluding renovation), whilst those looking to buy already established have budgets of double that and upwards.

Either way, owning a château can’t be considered cheap. However, those with sufficient imagination, plenty of dedication and a head for business can find themselves living the dream for less than one might imagine.


Châteaux on the market:

For a truly impressive estate, this Loire château, 900 square metres in size, comes with not only its own moat but also 4 separate holiday cottages and 40 acres of land. Each cottage is larger than a typical 5-bedroom house, the largest of which is 270 square metres, almost a petit château in its own right. The château, rebuilt in 1863, has plenty of space to entertain, with 26 bedrooms and beautiful traditional features. On the market for €1,190,000.

As mentioned before, this three-star, 33-room hotel and restaurant offers an existing château-based business in the Dordogne. The château was built in the 12th and 15th centuries, before being converted into its current arrangement in the 1990s. Stunning views and a pool of course come as standard. The business generates a turnover of €900,000 for eight months of activity per year, which will go some way towards covering the purchase price of €6.386 million.

Continuing the trend of châteaux belonging to multiple centuries, this storied châteaux situated in the Loire Valley will no doubt appeal. With parts of the building dating back to the 15th, 17th and 19th centuries respectively, France’s architectural history is well-presented. 10 bedrooms, 4 hectares of riverside gardens and stables – not bad at all for just €890,000.

For further information, contact FrenchEntrée on +44 (0)1225 463752 or You can also visit

Seasonal Style Secrets: Alexander James Interior Design shares the secrets behind this season’s most stylish Christmas homes

Seasonal Style Secrets: Alexander James Interior Design shares the secrets behind this season’s most stylish Christmas homes

United Kingdom
  • UK families spend £2.3 billion on Christmas decorations (Go Compare)
  • Quirky, tropical touches will give this festive season a contemporary new vibe
  • Soft, reflective metallic hues and twinkling lights to bring the Christmas magic to life

UK households spend a staggering £2.3 billion each year on Christmas trees, decorations and trips to the pantomime, according to Go Compare. With so much being spent on Christmas décor, it’s no wonder that our festive displays seem to be getting more stylish each year.

Creating the perfect setting within the home is a wonderful way to bring alive the Christmas magic and get into the festive mood. As such, the expert team at Alexander James Interior Design have shared their top tips for making this Christmas the most stylish one yet.

 This Christmas, many are going against tradition for a tropical, contemporary look. No longer confined to the summer months, we’re seeing tropical touches being given a sophisticated twist for the winter season. The 2017 Christmas style definitely has a playful edge – it’s about capturing the joy of Christmas and having fun in new ways, while also delivering an elegant overall look.

Stacey Sibley, Creative Director, Alexander James Interior Design


Stylish tropical touches this Christmas include beautifully woven peacock feather and palm leaf wreaths and stunning centre pieces featuring metallic pineapples and cream and white tropical flowers. Harrods is featuring quirky, parrot-inspired Christmas tree decorations, Selfridges is all about the pineapples, while Liberty has opted for a fan-tailed peacock offering. It’s all about mixing vibrant colours tastefully with more traditional Christmas tones.

Metallics will also be big news this Christmas, with new twists added to the traditional bright silver and gold hues. Stylish, contemporary touches include warm, soft, reflective metallics in copper, brass and rose gold, to provide a sophisticated glow and add an element of understated luxury. Copper has been popular in interiors over the summer, thanks to its versatility. It can be teamed with a clock colour or with organic materials such as wood to create a variety of feels, from  Scandinavian luxury to mid-century cool. Now, that versatility is being carried through to the festive season, with metallic baubles providing the perfect contrast the earthy, organic tones of Christmas trees.

As ever, the perfect lighting is also key to creating a magical Christmas ambience. Far from being limited to the Christmas tree, this year lighting will feature throughout the home, from garlands to tumbling showers of LED lights to table centre pieces. If it’s not sparkling delicately, it should be! Anything from a pile of gifts to a simple tree branch can be brought to life with the right lighting. Understated twinkles spread throughout the home can create a truly stunning overall impact.

Candles, naturally, should form part of the Christmas décor, with stunning glass and metallic lanterns adding to the overall sophistication of this year’s style.

“The finishing festive décor touch this Christmas is the wreath. No longer restricted to the front door, we’ll be seeing wreaths adorn the home in a variety of ways. Contemporary elegance can come in the form of real branches interwoven with LED lights, or more modern wreaths made of twisted wire with tiny twinkles throughout. Once more, we’re seeing metallic come into play, bringing modern elegance to this Christmas tradition.”

Robert Walker, Managing Director, Alexander James Interior Design


With the home interior looking perfectly stylish, all that remains to be done is to give it the ideal festive scent. The White Company’s Winter Botanical Large Pillar Candle ffers a generous infusion of cinnamon sticks, orange slices and red berries, while Jo Malone has opted for fragranced Christmas tree decorations in both Pomegranate Noir and Pine and Eucalyptus. The White Company’s sweet almond blossom, frankincense, neroli and honeysuckle diffuser also captures the spirit of the season perfectly.

Decorating for Christmas is one of the most exciting parts of preparing for the festive season. With these styling tips in mind, every home can create a stunning, elegant Christmas ambience that brings the magic of the season alive.

For more information, visit Alexander James Interior Design at or call 020 7887 7604.  

Ho ho homes near Christmas markets

Ho ho homes near Christmas markets

France United Kingdom
  • UK Christmas markets generate more than £250 million in visitor spending for the towns that host them (Nabma)
  • Christmas markets add to a city’s attractions and property market (Properties of the World)
  • Homes near Christmas markets attract keen interest at this time of year (Surrenden Invest)


As December arrives in all its festive glory, Christmas markets pop up all over the UK. Offering seasonal tastes and gifts to shoppers in the run up to the big day, these markets provide a delightful experience that contrasts to the usual high street madness that is Christmas shopping in the UK.

Research by the Nabma ROI team has shown that Christmas markets bring significant benefits to the towns that host them – generating more than £250 million in visitor spending at the markets, as well as positively impacting spending in other stores within the town. They can also have a positive impact on the local property market.

 “There are many factors that make a town or city a desirable place to live and this includes the range of amenities. Once a location establishes itself as offering an enticing Christmas market each year, that becomes part of the overall attraction to the area – and the more attractive an area, the more success those investing in its property market can enjoy.”

Jean Liggett, CEO, Properties of the World


In light of the arrival of Christmas markets on the UK scene once more, we’ve included a round-up of the top properties near each market. We’ve even thrown in a couple of examples across the Channel, for property buyers looking for a French take on the festive season.


London offers a range of Christmas markets, from Winter Wonderland to the stalls of the South Bank. This year, Hampstead Village will host its first Christmas fair, transforming the entire high street into a magical Christmas experience.

Those looking to pick up property as well as presents should check out Four 5 Two from Bellis Homes: 13 superb, balconied apartments with park views in a prominent Hampstead location. Prices from £xxxx.


Already a mecca for shoppers, Birmingham ups its game each December with the largest German market located outside of Germany or Austria. Mulled wine, craft beers and Christmas crafts are the order of the day, as visitors soak up the festive atmosphere.

Property investors can enjoy the well-located B5 Southside development from Surrenden Invest: contemporary rental apartments just five minutes’ walk from New Street Station. Prices from £155,000.


With an extensive market in front of the town hall that attracts millions of visitors each year, and a large ice rink for seasonal frolics, Manchester certainly can’t be accused of not getting into the Christmas spirit.

When it comes to homes near Manchester’s Christmas markets, it has to be Danforth Apartments from Properties of the World, just minutes from the city centre: 113 stylish homes within the village-like environment of Fortis Quay. Prices from £124,995.


Liverpool’s Christmas market always brings festive magic to the heart of the city, as twinkling fairly lights light shoppers’ path around its winter huts. Food, jewellery, arts, crafts and clothes from four continents mean that shoppers looking for alternative Christmas gifts have plenty of inspiration.

Perfectly positioned for access to the city’s Christmas market is The North House from Surrenden Invest: high-end apartments designed with professional urban tenants firmly in mind. Prices from £120,000.


The recently renovated and re-opened Piece Hall in Halifax will this year host a spectacular Christmas extravaganza, including a carefully hand-picked festive market packed with local Yorkshire retailers and gourmet food providers.

Property investors need look no further than the nearby Martins Mill from Property Frontiers: a selection of one and two bedroom apartments in a stunning, six-storey converted mill. Prices from £64,950.


Paris, like London, offers a wealth of festive fun for Christmas shoppers. The crafts, gifts and hot spiced wine on offer around the Sacré-Coeur at Montmatre are one of the highlights of the season.

Those looking for a place to rest their head after a long day’s shopping will be delighted by this studio apartment from FrenchEntrée, just moments from the Sacré-Coeur. Priced at €165,000.

The Alps

Of course, for some, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a good helping of snow. The Christmas market at Courchevel offers a snowy winter wonderland for shoppers looking for beautiful decorations and seasonal delicacies.

Property buyers looking to pick up a home in Courchevel will enjoy these luxurious ski apartments available through 14 two-bedroom apartments with communal pool, just 10 minutes’ walk from the nearest shops and slopes. Prices from £660,591.


With many Christmas markets already in full swing, it’s time to wrap up warm and enjoy the best of the festive shopping season, whether you’re looking for presents or properties!

Homes by Christmas markets always attract keen interest at this time of year, whether they’re investment properties or those for sale to owner-occupiers. Christmas markets give these properties a little something that other homes don’t have and many buyers are keen to take that into account when making their purchase.”

Jonathan Stephens, CEO, Surrenden Invest


For more information, please contact:

Bellis Homes: 01279 424 733 or

Surrenden Invest: 0203 3726 499 or

Properties of the World: +44 (0) 20 7624 5555 or

Property Frontiers: +44 1865 202 700 or

FrenchEntrée: +44 (0)1225 463752 or +44 20 8150 9502 or


Why just stock up on wine for Christmas, when you could own an entire vineyard?

Why just stock up on wine for Christmas, when you could own an entire vineyard?

  • British buyers continue to lead hunt for vineyards (FrenchEntrée)
  • Bordeaux region is most popular region in France to buy a vineyard
  • Vineyards are available for every budget, from €360,000 to €50,000,000

New figures from premium French property agents FrenchEntrée have revealed that UK buyers just can’t get enough when it comes to French vineyards.

Over the past six months British buyers have topped the table of those looking to snap up vineyards, accounting for 44% of all enquiries through FrenchEntrée. They were followed by enquiries from the US (18%), China (8%) and Russia (4%). (While FrenchEntrée specialises in Anglophone buyers, these latter two nationalities both play key roles in the overall vineyard market.)

“Demand for vineyards has never dropped – quite the opposite. We’ve seen demand rise consistently over many years and there are several reasons for this. Tax-wise, France offers a number of advantages, particularly when you take into account inheritance tax. As many of those who purchase a vineyard are retirees looking for a better lifestyle, this can play an important role in their purchasing decisions.”

Annick Dauchy, Property Business Development Manager, FrenchEntrée


According to FrenchEntrée, vineyards are also popular with corporate buyers looking to add to their portfolio. A few million euros is apparently a small price to pay for the prestige of owning a vineyard in the South of France.

Of course, you don’t need millions to pick up a vineyard. The properties attracting enquiries through FrenchEntrée between May and October 2017 ranged in value from €360,000 to €50 million.

Bordeaux is the most popular area for those seeking their own slice of traditional French countryside, with 35% of enquirers looking to buy vineyards there. The region offers the highest supply of vineyards and can thus cater to a wider range of budgets and tastes than other areas.

Provence follows, with 25% of enquiries, then Nouvelle Aquitaine (20% – excluding Bordeaux) and Languedoc Roussillon (16%). While the absence of Burgundy from the figures may be surprising, this is due to the difficulties that buyers face obtaining vineyards in this region. Land and properties tend to be handed down through the generations, leaving the area all but closed to foreign buyers.

“Much of the time, the decision on which area to buy in is led by budget. You can still pick up a vineyard in the Bordeaux or Languedoc area for less than €2 million. The quantity of vineyards available in France means that buyers have plenty of choice – there’s a property to suit each buyer’s individual circumstances.”

 Annick Dauchy, Property Business Development Manager, FrenchEntrée


The majority of new vineyard owners tend to know little about caring for vines or making wine. Their experience usually starts at the point the cork comes out of the bottle. However, with many sellers happy to stay on and coach the new owners, this is rarely a problem. Employee teams tend to stay on as well, giving the newly installed owners instant access to knowledgeable workers who can assist them in their endeavour.

When it comes to buying, vineyards tend to be a cash market. 81% of prospective buyers coming to FrenchEntrée in the past six months planned to fund their purchase with cash. The fact that it’s almost impossible to get a mortgage for a vineyard is the main factor behind this. Banks are hesitant to lend on vineyards as they view them as a business investment. As such, buyers with no experience or proven track record of running vineyards soon find themselves out on a limb. Of course, it is possible to treat a vineyard as an investment, but the money is usually made by buying, running the estate well for several years as part of a strategic marketing plan, and then selling it on for a profit.


Vineyards on the market:

Those with plenty to spend might enjoy this €13 million 19th century vineyard with chateau in Montpellier, in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. The three-storey chateau comes with 165 hectares, vaulted reception rooms, its own swimming pool and a Roman chapel from the 9th/10th century.

For those with a more modest budget, €400,000 is sufficient to pick up a characterful, seven-bedroom home with surrounding vineyard and two on-site cottages, which together provide a further three bedrooms. With just three hectares of vines, this is a perfect ‘starter’ vineyard for those looking to get a taste of the lifestyle and understand what’s involved (most vineyards have at least 15 hectares of vines).

Buyers somewhere between those two price brackets have plenty of options. For €3.4 million, they can enjoy a magnificent 18th century vineyard with chateau set in the heart of the Rhône valley.

For further information, contact FrenchEntrée on +44 (0)1225 463752 or You can also visit


Old Trafford attracting not just footballers from around the world, but also investors

Old Trafford attracting not just footballers from around the world, but also investors

United Kingdom
  • Manchester flagged as top UK city for investment prospects (pwc)
  • M16 postcode out-performing rest of city with 4.46% growth in 12 months (Zoopla)
  • New Kinetic development providing investors with way into Old Trafford (Surrenden Invest)

Manchester United FC is known for being one of the best football teams in the world. The club’s status and plentiful funding means that it has the pick of players, coaches and managers from across the globe. Football fans appreciate they heritage of Old Trafford as a venue, but now it seems that a new kind of international interest is being stirred up in this hotbed of sporting activity.

“Old Trafford has an unbreakable connection with football, but there’s actually a lot more to the area than sport alone. Those living there enjoy easy access to Manchester city centre, Media City, White City Retail Park and the University Quarter. The mixture of local amenities and proximity to key areas of the city is causing investors to take a much closer look at Old Trafford.”

Jonathan Stephens, Managing Director, Surrenden Invest

The interest from investors is supported by data from a range of sources. pwc has just highlighted Manchester as the UK’s top city investment prospect in its Emerging Trends in Real Estate Europe 2018 report, while figures from Zoopla pinpoint the M16 postcode area as enjoying property price rises above the overall level for the city – 4.46% for M16 compared to 4.22% for Manchester as a whole over the past year.

Against this exciting investment backdrop, property investment specialists Surrenden Invest have just announced the launch of the superb new Kinetic development.

With 48 apartments designed for modern, professional tenants, the building offers both investors and residents the chance to be a part of one of Manchester’s most exciting locations. The apartments have been shaped to the needs of contemporary urban residents, from their elegant, Italian-designed kitchens, to their sleek, stylish interiors.

Not only have the apartments been designed to suit professional tenants, but they have also been created with university students in mind. Just moments from Kinetic, Lancaster University is opening a brand new campus for 6,500 students from September 2019. Students with a taster for refined living will no doubt be delighted by Kinetic, while Kinetic residents will benefit from use of the new campus leisure centre.

“Old Trafford is still up and coming in terms of its investment credentials, so Kinetic offers a particularly exciting opportunity for investors who like to be at the forefront of an area’s growth (and reap the financial rewards that doing so entails). The creation of the new university campus, as well as the existing attractions of the Old Trafford location, mean that this development has been conceived not just with an eye on the present but also with future considerations taken into account.”

Jonathan Stephens, Managing Director, Surrenden Invest


For further details and property investment opportunities, visit, email or call 0203 3726 499.

Perfect party pads – Homes to entertain in style this festive season

Perfect party pads – Homes to entertain in style this festive season

United Kingdom
  • Big kitchens, spacious lounges, cinema rooms & pools all key to festive entertaining (Bellis Homes)
  • Sparkling wine sales peaked at 600 bottles per minute on ‘Fizz Friday’ (Sainsbury’s)
  • Walk-in fridge at Mulliner House is the ultimate party pad amenity (Bellis Homes)

It’s that time of year again – Christmas adverts are all over TV and social media, Christmas trees have sprung up in supermarkets across the UK and shoppers everywhere are preparing for the festive season in earnest. With the arrival of December, the party season will get into full swing as families up and down the country get into the festive mood.

When it comes to festive entertaining, having the perfect party pad in which to host friends and family is essential to surviving the season without getting flustered.

When it comes to ideal homes for Christmas entertaining, it’s all about big kitchens, stylish lounges and added extras. Of course, an enormous fridge is also essential. Prosecco and champagne sales over the holiday season are such big business that Sainsbury’s named 23 December 2016 ‘Fizz Friday.’ It followed the supermarket reporting a spend of £5,000 per minute on sparkling wine by shoppers on 23 December the previous year – the equivalent of 600 bottles of fizz for every minute that stores were open!

When it comes to the ideal fridge to store all that fizz for Christmas, few properties can compare to Mulliner House in Hadley Wood, North London, which is available from Bellis Homes. The ultra-luxurious, six-bedroom home comes with plenty of quirky features, including a walk-in fridge that’s perfect for preparing the ultimate Christmas party. Not only that, but the property also includes its own swimming pool, cinema room, lift and staff quarters. Let the festive partying commence!

“We wanted to create a really lavish property at Mulliner House – one that was packed with entertainment options and on-trend features. Walk-in fridges are one of the most sought-after amenities in luxury properties right now and are perfect for this time of year.”

Henry Fordham, Director, Bellis Homes


Calleva House, Mulliner’s sister property, is another detached, six-bedroom home. The property comes complete with an enormous lounge, kitchen and cinema room for entertaining. There’s also a superb steam room for unwinding in style after the festivities are over.

Meanwhile, few party pads offer as much scope for entertaining multiple generations as Eleven Trees in Mill Hill.

The stylish, contemporary home features a cinema room and games room complete with pool table for entertaining younger family members, while the grownups can enjoy milling around with their glasses of fizz in the spacious, open plan kitchen/dining/living room. A formal lounge offers an alternative space for guests to relax in and a chance for them to take a breather from the main party areas, should they so desire.

“With homes of this stature, providing flexible spaces is key. Families need to be able to enjoy their home in a range of ways. That means the property needs to be suited to everything from quiet family evenings in to extravagant entertaining. It’s about creating a whole-life experience, not just a space aimed at one kind of use.”

Henry Fordham, Director, Bellis Homes


This ethos has certainly been reflected at Eleven Trees. The property is on the market for £4.5 million. Meanwhile, Mulliner House and Calleva House are priced at £5.5 million and £3.75 million respectively.

For more information, contact Bellis Homes on 01279 424 733 or visit

“Spanish housing market has remained strong throughout 2017” reports Taylor Wimpey España

“Spanish housing market has remained strong throughout 2017” reports Taylor Wimpey España


Taylor Wimpey Espana has announced that the company has seen continued growth in the Spanish housing market with a total order book, as of 5 November 2017, standing at 388 homes.

This represents a 13% increase on the equivalent period in 2016 (342 homes) with Spain’s leading housebuilder expecting the business to report another year of growth in operating profit* in 2017 (FY 2016: £20.6 million operating profit*).

As part of their commitment to delivering quality developments as the trusted name in Spain, Taylor Wimpey España has also revealed that five developments have sold out already this year with a combined total of 208 units.

Enquiries to the housebuilder for Spanish holiday homes during the summer season were also up by 13% – the biggest growth seen in the last six years – with such positive results emphasising the continued recovery and appeal of the Spanish market in 2017.

 “We are extremely proud of the results that Taylor Wimpey España has generated to date in 2017. The Spanish housing market has remained strong throughout 2017 and we believe that it will continue to thrive further next year.”

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director, Taylor Wimpey España

Additional figures from Taylor Wimpey España also confirm that British buyers are definitively back in Spain, accounting for half of the last four month’s sales. From July to October 2017, the number of Taylor Wimpey España homes purchased by British buyers increased by 118%.

The Costa Blanca remains the most popular region for buyers especially with the launch of the latest development, Panorama Mar, which has attracted buyers from 20 different nationalities.

Indeed, with the market strong, Taylor Wimpey España is ready to provide a range of new homes across the Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol and Mallorca with many developments launching.

One such new development is in the popular destination of Cala d’Or on the Balearic Isle of Mallorca. Offering 2 bedroom apartments surrounded by spacious gardens and a communal swimming pool from just €214,000 + VAT, the contemporary homes at Acquamarina have everything to marvel potential buyers in search of the perfect second residence.

For more information please contact Taylor Wimpey España today on 08000 121 020 or visit for more information. If you reside outside of the UK you will need to call 00 34 971 706 244.


*Operating profit is defined as profit on ordinary activities before net finance costs, exceptional items and tax, after share of results of joint ventures.

All hail Halifax – A materially different property market

All hail Halifax – A materially different property market

United Kingdom
  • 250,000 visitors descend on Halifax in response to Piece Hall opening in August 2017
  • Average Halifax property value is £70k below national average (Zoopla)
  • New Martins Mill provides investors with a piece of Halifax’s textile history (Property Frontiers)

Best known for its history as a wool and textile centre, the West Yorkshire town of Halifax is undergoing an exciting revival – and its former cloth mills are firmly at the heart of its new life.

It all began with an inspirational vision for Piece Hall, a Grade I listed cloth hall for handloom weavers consisting of 315 rooms set around a central courtyard. After a three year, £19 million restoration project, Piece Hall opened to the public on 1 August 2017 as a centre for trade, heritage and culture. Since it reopened, more than 250,000 people have visited Piece Hall – and many have discovered Halifax as a result, from property investors to business owners.

“This is a period of transformation for our town. We have wonderful buildings, a highly skilled workforce and, being close to the M62, great road links. In fact, everything new businesses need.”

Barry Collins, cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, Calderdale Council


The flurry of interest in Halifax and its heritage is already having a noticeable impact, with local estate agents highlighting an uptick in interest in the town’s property market as a result of the increased visitor numbers.

Piece Hall has served to pique the interest of many buyers. Halifax’s excellent value for money has then furthered that level of attention. The average property price in the town is just £154,217, according to Zoopla, following an increase in prices of 14.6% over the past five years. By way of comparison, the UK House Price Index for August lists the UK’s average property price as £225,956.

Halifax has a real up-and-coming vibe to it right now, with Piece Hall having kick-started an elevated level of interest in the town. Buyers and renters are particularly interested in being a part of the town’s cultural heritage, and the textile industry is the epicentre of that.”

Ray Withers, CEO, Property Frontiers


The most recent textile-related offering in Halifax is the superbly redeveloped, six-storey Martins Mill. The building, which harks back to the 1800s, offers 60 unique one and two-bedroom apartments, the majority of which enjoy spectacular views of Shibden Valley’s rolling hills.

Exclusively available through Property Frontiers, the apartments will allow investors to capitalise on Halifax’s current notoriety and tap into the town’s huge potential for turning its history into its future.

“Martins Mill is perfectly positioned for those interested in the Halifax market and looking to profit from property in the town. The development blends a stunning external façade with delightfully contemporary interiors that have been designed with professional renters and their families in mind. It’s an excellent investment opportunity for those with their finger on the property market’s pulse.”

Ray Withers, CEO, Property Frontiers


For more information, contact Property Frontiers by visiting or calling +44 1865 202 700.

Let’s get regional – investors hone in on powerful potential of UK’s top 10 provincial cities

Let’s get regional – investors hone in on powerful potential of UK’s top 10 provincial cities

United Kingdom
  • New Property Frontiers report flags up the top 10 UK regional cities
  • New metrics create a compelling case for regional city investment
  • Doncaster, Halifax and Bradford all currently exciting investors

A new report from property investment experts Property Frontiers has highlighted investor interest in regional cities – those urban areas that don’t make the list of the top ten biggest cities in the UK, but which make up the country’s top 100 towns and cities by population.

“Far from being promising underdogs, regional cities frequently outperform much bigger and better-known cities on a wide range of metrics that signal dynamic economies, changing fortunes, and promising housing markets.”

Ray Withers, CEO, Property Frontiers

Property Frontiers has noticed a growing trend in interest from investors looking at city metrics in depth, from population growth rate to number of business start-ups. These factors are increasingly influencing investors decisions about both where to buy and how much to spend.

Based on its own analysis, Property Frontiers has highlighted the UK’s 10 regional city star performers, each of which is leading the country in one or more metrics.

These are presented in the 2017 Regional Cities Market Insight report.

Three of the cities highlighted in the report are Doncaster, Halifax and Bradford.

Doncaster is home to high tech employers including Amazon, BAE Systems, IBM, and McLaren. Halifax has been enjoying a notable surge in interest in its property market since the newly renovate Piece Hall opened, drawing in 250,000 visitors since August. Bradford, meanwhile, is home to more FTSE 100 companies than any other Northern city.

“Each of these cities displays unique characteristics that are serving to draw investors away from larger urban areas and out into the regions. Regional prices are often lower than those in larger cities, creating the potential for higher rental yields. This factor is adding further weight to the attractions of regional investment.”

Ray Withers, CEO, Property Frontiers

Danum House in Doncaster is a prime example of the kind of regional city investment that is capturing investors’ attention. The Grade II listed department store is home to 78 spacious apartments, ranging from one to three bedrooms. One-bedroom homes there cost from as little as £83,000, with yields of 8.5% per annum assured for five years. With mortgage finance available, investors can be a part of the city’s future for as little as £25,000.

“The concept of a ‘regional city’ is a very broad one. Not every such location will perform well in terms of an investment location, so it’s essential to do some homework and identify those regional cities that offer the most compelling cases for investment. Just being a regional urban area doesn’t automatically qualify a location as a successful investment opportunity – that’s why we’ve produced the 2017 Regional Cities Market Insight report! It’s a way of highlighting those cities – like Doncaster – where property is presenting some really exciting opportunities.”

Ray Withers, CEO, Property Frontiers

For more information, contact Property Frontiers by visiting or calling +44 1865 202 700.

Show home dressing leads to sell out success at Feckenham Gardens

Show home dressing leads to sell out success at Feckenham Gardens

United Kingdom
  • Alexander James Interior Design brings contemporary rural chic to Worcestershire vilage
  • Developer Lockley Homes has now sold show home and all other homes off-plan
  • Stunning interior design marked turning point in sales success

A new collaboration between Alexander James Interior Design and Lockley Homes has resulted in a hugely successful show home at Feckenham Gardens in Worcestershire. The show house has highlighted the importance of interior design in selling property.

 “It’s so important for potential buyers to be able to feel themselves living in a property. Bare walls and empty rooms require too far a stretch of the imagination in many cases. That’s why interior design is so invaluable when it comes to selling property – buyers feel at home the moment they walk in the door, then want to turn that feeling into reality.

Robert Walker, Managing Director, Alexander James Interior Design

This was precisely the case with Feckenham Gardens, a development of six luxury homes in the sought-after Worcestershire village of Feckenham. The show home had received a small number of viewings, but no offers. As such, Lockley Homes decided to work with the team at Alexander James Interior Design, which has been recognised as one of the World’s Top 100 Interior Designers by the Andrew Martin Design Awards 2016 and 2017.

The Alexander James team were delighted to work with Lockley Homes to create a relaxed, rural home, blending traditional country style with a contemporary twist. The talented design team took inspiration from the property’s driftwood garden sculpture and incorporated it into the interior scheme. In the living room, this was reflected in the driftwood coffee table base, while a mix of reclaimed wood and an olive green colour palette brought the outside into the kitchen.

A muted, soft pink tone ran throughout the scheme to create a warm, neutral base. Meanwhile, the master bedroom drew inspiration from luxury country hotels, with a tall, deep buttoned headboard, embroidered cushions and handcrafted bedsides.

“With such an enviable village location at Feckenham Gardens, which comprised a mix of six unique bungalows and houses, it was only natural to commission one of the leading interior design houses in the UK. Alexander James Interiors produced a truly exclusive showhome in one of our luxurious bungalows. The ‘AJI effect’ was evident instantly, as Lockley Homes agreed a sale on the showhome within 24 hours of going live on the market. We are very excited to collaborate with AJI on our upcoming scheme.”

Karl Lockley, Director, Lockley Homes

Following the dressing of the show home, interest in Feckenham Gardens picked up significantly. The dressed property sold with 24 hours and all other properties have now been reserved off-plan.

For more information, visit Alexander James Interior Design at or call 020 7887 7604.