As golf sector stabilisation begins in Spain, Taylor Wimpey España showcases homes for discerning golfers

As golf sector stabilisation begins in Spain, Taylor Wimpey España showcases homes for discerning golfers

  • Spanish Open inspires renewed interest in golf properties (Taylor Wimpey España)
  • Spanish golf market began stabilising in 2017 (KPMG)
  • Golf tourism important to real estate and other sectors (Taylor Wimpey España)


A new report by KPMG has hailed the start of the stabilization of the Spanish golf market with the Spain Country Snapshot report showing that golf in Spain is set for a revival.

Spain in the top five countries in Europe in terms of its total number of registered junior players (34,195), providing it with an excellent home-grown market for its 349 golf courses. The country also enjoys an active golf tourism sector, attracting golfers from affluent nations that include the UK, France and Germany.

Visitors from the UK are particularly keen to enjoy Spain’s pristine fairways, with a golf participation rate of 1.2% of total travellers (compared with participation rates of 0.6% and 0.8% for France and Germany respectively, and a Europe-wide participation rate of 0.92%.

Golfers, it seems, just can’t get enough of Spain’s unique blend of abundant sunshine and challenging golf courses.

“The golf industry has been well established in Spain for more than 125 years, with the first club here founded in 1891. It plays an important role in the country’s travel and tourism offering, as well as impacting on other sectors, such as housing.”

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España


Taylor Wimpey España is well placed to understand golf’s importance to the Spanish real estate sector. The company has an established track record of providing superbly specified golf properties in a range of popular destinations.

Andalusia has more golf courses than any other Spanish region, with the Costa del Sol being home to nearly 70 courses and clubs. Known as the ‘Costa del Golf,’ it is one of Europe’s largest golf resort clusters, featuring a range of internationally renowned facilities.

The spring and summer months are always a popular time for golfers to consider buying a second home in Spain and the just-concluded Spanish Open has helped to stir up interest in golf properties.

In The Westin La Quinta Golf Resort in Benahavis, on the Costa del Sol, Taylor Wimpey España’s Le Caprice development consists of 14 exclusive apartments, penthouses and duplexes that have been designed with discerning golfers in mind. The south-west facing development enjoys spectacular views over the golf course and the stunning Mediterranean coastline, with spacious, light-filled homes set in lush grounds. Private gardens and terraces, along with communal gardens and a shared pool make for the perfect properties for golf lovers. Prices start from €550,000.

A little further along the coast, at Estepona Golf, the brand new Green Golf development offers three-bedroom homes from €340,000. Panoramic views extend over the golf course to the sea, with large, south-facing terraces ensuring that golfers can make the most of the Spanish sun.

“The golfing industry in Spain is well placed to enjoy renewed attention, on both the mainland and popular island destinations such as the Balearics. The stabilisation of the industry identified by KPMG sets the scene for a strong few years for Spanish golf courses and resorts.”

 Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España


On the island of Mallorca, just a few Taylor Wimpey España properties remain available at Marina Golf. The key-ready homes, priced from €549,000, include private terraces and gardens and high end interiors, right next to some of the island’s top golf clubs – perfectly placed for golf tourism’s resurgence.

For more information please contact Taylor Wimpey España today on 08000 121 020 or visit If you reside outside of the UK you will need to call 00 34 971 706 972.

Spring has sprung in London, as buyers look for heavenly heatwave homes in Hampstead

Spring has sprung in London, as buyers look for heavenly heatwave homes in Hampstead

United Kingdom
  • Parkside living commands price premium, with prices almost double national average (eMoov)
  • Home buyers looking for proximity to green space and entertaining potential this spring (Bellis Homes)
  • Stunning Four5Two development makes most of premium Hampstead Heath location

Goodbye grey skies, hello sunshine! It’s that time of year when London springs to life with renewed energy once more, as residents smile in the spring sun as they go about their daily lives. For many, spring brings with it a new sense of purpose and this spring, Londoners are looking to pick up the perfect property for enjoying the warmth, according to family-run housebuilder Bellis Homes.

 “Despite properties being in use year-round, buyers definitely view them with a seasonal focus in mind. In the winter months, it’s all about grand fireplaces and cosy living spaces. As we move into spring, buyers are looking more closely at entertaining spaces, as they plan ahead for the summer months.”

Henry Fordham, Director, Bellis Homes


Homes near premium green spaces such as Hampstead Heath are therefore hot property at this time of year. Indeed, an eMoov study from 2017 found that properties near parks command a price premium of almost double the average home price (£393,000 versus £206,000 at the time the study was carried out).

Hampstead is alive with greenery at this time of year. As well enjoying 320 acres of ancient heathland, Hampstead Village is also home to a scheme to ‘green’ its high street, with Bill Oddie celebrating the centenary of the Heath and Hampstead Society by planting trees for shoppers to enjoy. Hampstead Heath itself is a stunning public space packed with ponds, playgrounds, a lido and a training track, as hilly woodlands that are perfect for exploring in the spring air. It’s one of the key attractions in the area.

Homes such as those at Bellis Homes’ new Four5Two development offer Hampstead residents the full benefits from living by the Heath. The scents of spring can be enjoyed from the spacious balconies, while all the fun of the park is on the doorstep. They are the ideal homes for those looking to throw open the windows and embrace spring life in earnest. With contemporary, luxurious interiors, the apartments at Four5Two provide an idyllic setting for those looking to entertain, as well as for daily family life.

“At Four5Two we’ve sought to provide Londoners with the perfect combination of city life and park-side living. The development is conveniently located for life in Hampstead, as well as for access to central London. It also offers all of the health benefits – both mental and physical – that come with access to such an abundance of green space. We’ve also provided a 24/7 concierge service to take care of details like booking taxis, theatre tickets and dry cleaning, so that residents can have more time to enjoy their homes and the local area.”

Henry Fordham, Director, Bellis Homes


Four5Two has been designed with residents’ every comfort in mind. Lifts run to all floors, while secure parking spaces and building security provide peace of mind, particularly when homeowners are travelling on holiday or business. The 13 apartments range in price from £1.1 million to £2.2 million. The luxurious properties are perfect for those seeking to make the most of spring by enjoying the outdoors life in London!


To purchase an apartment off plan or for all other enquiries please contact Bellis Homes on 01279 424 733 or via or their sole agents Glentree on 0208 731 9500.

The perfect Habitat for Generation Rent to Be

The perfect Habitat for Generation Rent to Be

United Kingdom
  • 46% of 25-34 years old now live in the private rented sector (English Housing Survey)
  • More than half of tenants are happy living in a rented house (KFH)
  • Partnership between Be and Habitat offers durable furniture to residents in Hayes (UB3) & East India (E14)

According to the English Housing Survey, 46% of 25-34 years old now live in private accommodation and not under duress as new research from estate agency Kinleigh Folkard and Hayward (KFH) reveales that 71% of tenants are happy living in a rented home.

For a generation which doesn’t always feel the need to own anything, renting does have its perks.

Furnishing a home is no small expense. Research by Santander has revealed that the average first-time buyer spends £3,872 on furnishing their property, while the average first-time buyer in London has to fork out an eye-watering £5,495.

Those moving into rented accommodation have the opportunity to avoid these costs by opting for homes that are already furnished. However, many landlords put low cost ahead of style and quality when it comes to furnishing the apartments they rent out, leaving tenants with poor quality, cheap furniture that they would never choose themselves.

Be Living’s new be:here Hayes development offers one, two and three-bedroom apartments and be:here East India offers studios, one and two-bedroom apartments, all furnished by Habitat UK.

“Part of the be:here ethos is to offer our residents superb homes that provide them with style and comfort, as well as an excellent location. Renting – particularly in London – has become synonymous with cheap, low quality furniture. We’re turning that on its head by working with Habitat to give renters wonderfully stylish, high quality apartments that really feel like home”

Hayley Wills, Area Manager, be:here Hayes


The partnership between Be and Habitat sees each development and each apartment type reviewed in order to determine the best possible furniture for the space. Longevity is the starting point as furniture should last for life and not for just a few months.

There’s definitely a sense that people are bored of low quality “white-flat-pack” fit outs of some furnished rental properties that turn out to be identical to their neighbours,” comments Hollie Clarke of Habitat Interior Services. ”We’re seeing an emerging market that instead want home furnishings with real personality – with interesting design details, clever construction, exciting use of colour – and will make a rental property more individual and, as a result, more enjoyable to live in. These new apartments achieve that with considered layouts and contemporary, well-built designs that renters can be proud of.”

Each apartment includes contemporary designs from Habitat’s latest collection including statement dining tables, hand-made upholstery and sleek modern storage solutions that offers plentiful space for inhabitants to grow into the accommodation.

The be:here Hayes development has a friendly on-site team, 30 ft private gardens, generous balcony space and a communal roof terrace. The multi award-winning stylish development, just 300 yards from Hayes & Harlington station, soon to be served by Crossrail, also offers pet friendly homes specially designed for renting. Apartments are priced from £1,195 pcm with no agency, admin or referencing fees.

For the latest availability and any questions, please contact the be:here team directly on 0203 845 4796 or visit

Why UK Buy-to-Let remains very much alive

Why UK Buy-to-Let remains very much alive

United Kingdom

Property investment specialist Surrenden Invest’s Business Development Director, John Parker shares his views on the UK buy-to-let market in 2018:


John, a year since the government’s tax and mortgage relief changes came into effect, what impact have they had on UK landlords who placed leverage on their property investments?

The tax changes are still relatively new so we’re still to see exactly what effect it will have on UK landlords and the buy-to-let market in the mid to long term. Key dynamics such as undersupply and rising rental returns across many part of the country remain very strong any added tax expense becomes less of a factor with a long-term strategy. We’re yet to see any fall out of real merit from the more traditional investor who may have one or two properties beside their own residential home and think the brunt of the changes will be felt more keenly by the portfolio investor who has 4 or more properties.

In practice, what exactly changed a year ago?

Well, firstly the tax changes; buy-to-let investors began losing the ability to offset mortgage interest from their profits before calculating their tax liability.  In 2017, landlords could offset only 75% of their mortgage interest against their profits, falling to 50% this year, 25% in 2019 and eventually to zero in 2020.

This was followed with a stamp duty surcharge of 3% which was introduced on any second property for domestic and overseas buyers. Buying a second home for £200,000 previously cost £1,500 in Stamp Duty, now this is £7,500.

Then, the ‘wear and tear allowance’ came to an end so we can’t offset as much against our tax bills

Finally investors owning four or more properties became classed as portfolio investors, meaning they needed to provide their mortgage lender with much more detailed information as lenders began to look at total income against borrowing across all properties to ensure affordability of loans. New stress tests on buy-to-let mortgages were also introduced where monthly income typically needed to cover 125% of mortgage repayments based on interest rates hitting 5.5%.

How does the UK buy-to-let landscape look to landlords today, are there still opportunities?

There is still a very healthy demand for buy-to-let properties and in many cases demand continues to increase due to a severe lack of supply and because of people’s changing requirements, for example, the ageing population in city centres.

The supply of rental properties fell by 8% from December 2017 to January 2018, while demand grew according to statistics from ARLA.

What about the impact of the stamp duty hike?

As has been widely reported, the changes to stamp duty have been more keenly felt in prime central London and the affluent suburbs. Buyers are now paying a standard 5% duty for anything above £250,000 (up to £925,000) which equates to an eye popping 8% when including any additional 3% surcharge for a second home or buy-to-let property.

On the flipside the stamp duty threshold has been increased to £300,000 for first time home owners, which has helped the low to mid-end of the London property market counter the harsh market conditions.

The stamp duty changes have not been felt outside of London as badly as typically property prices are lower and the 3% surcharge for a second property is an easier pill to swallow. Added to that significantly stronger rental demand and yields help compensate for any added closing costs. Indeed, in some ways the changes have had a positive effect in secondary cities such as Manchester & Birmingham as money continues to leave London in search of better value & lower costs

 Can landlords do anything to offset the higher stamp duty costs?

The stamp duty surcharge of 3% can often be used as a negotiating tool when dealing with developers and vendors, especially in the short term. However, taking a healthy long term view with your investment is the best way to position the added expense as everything is relative and over 5-10 years these added costs become somewhat obsolete when filtered into the rental & capital returns on the property

Any tips on how potential buy-to-let landlords can ensure they’re making a good investment?

If investors buy in the right areas where rental yields are on the increase year-on-year, this will help mitigate negative tax changes on buy-to-lets.  For example, recent research by UK Finance / Savills put Liverpool at the top of the UKs when it came to average rental yields (April 2018).

With a stagnant prime central London market coupled together with weakening yields across the capital and indeed south-east region as a whole, we at Surrenden Invest are seeing a huge influx of both private and institutional money into key UK secondary markets such as Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and interestingly this year, Newcastle to find value.

What should new investors consider when launching their portfolio?

 The key difference is that buy-to-let investors need to factor in higher deposits as the mortgage products are not as flexible, creative or highly geared as they once were. This should account for a better-balanced portfolio moving forward and ensuring greater resilience in the face of any potential downturn.


For more advice about property investment contact Surrenden Invest
London office: 0203 3726 499

Liverpool office: 0151 3477 459

Now you too can Escape to the Chateau!

Now you too can Escape to the Chateau!


This Sunday 18th March 2018 sees the hugely popular series, Escape to the Chateau, return to our screen.

Season 4 will air at 8pm on Channel 4 with stars Dick Strawbridge and Angel Adoree busier than ever preparing seven weddings and 14 food lovers’ weekends over the summer season.

It was 3 years ago that the couple swapped their two-bed flat in Southend for a chateau in the Loire, France and now more and more Brits, inspired by Dick and Angel’s adventures are doing the same.

“Châteaux are always some of the most popular properties with our clients. They 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.”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntree  


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. Here, the experts at FrenchEntrée share a variety of options so that you too can escape to the chateau this summer….


Elegant chateau in Vendée, Loire

EUR 880,000

Situated at the exit of a village with shops and services, this 19th century property is surrounded by its beautiful park and benefits from a high-quality environment. Covering a total of 500sqm of living space, the chateau comprises small and large sitting rooms, dining room, study, large library, kitchen, back kitchen, laundry, beautiful stairway with wooden banisters leading to six bedrooms, a boudoir, oratory and 4 bathrooms. There is also an attic, cellar, outbuilding with garage, stable and a former caretaker’ s lodge.

French chateau in the Loire-Atlantique, between Nantes and La Baule

EUR 1,175,000

This charming chateau is situated 21 miles from the seaside, close to a small city with shops and services. Easily accessible by train or motorway, it benefits from a quiet environment, in the middle of its landscaped park. The property dates to the 19th century and is in coated stone and topped with slate roofs. Of about 450sqm of living space, over 3 levels, the property comprises dining room, sitting room, billiards’ room, kitchen, laundry, boiler room, cellar and storerooms. On the first floor there are five bedrooms, bathroom and shower rooms and laundry. Of about 4.4 acres of parkland, the property benefits from a wooded park with a pond, orchard and walled vegetable garden.

Characterful 19th century chateau in Normandy

EUR 1,670,000

A lovely river runs across this beautiful property located in Normandy, on the edge of a small village, 15 miles from the city of Rouen. This 19th century château comprises small and large sitting rooms, small and large dining rooms, large kitchen, 17 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms and a cellar. This château, with atypical architecture, offers very bright rooms with beautiful oak parquet flooring. The outbuildings are composed of a secondary lodge, two garages and a large building with workshop and barns.

And for the more adventurous… a castle for renovation in the Limousin

EUR 267,750

Perfect for renovation, the castle has been built in the 15th and 17th centuries. It used to be owned by the local priest and is set in a very calm village and with the surrounding 5.86 hectares of land. Built on top of the vaulted cellars, it comprises of 300 m² of habitable area and has been well looked after by the current owner of the property, the entire roof has been renewed. Two rooms in the oldest part of the castle have been converted into a kitchen and a bedroom with shower and toilet. The entrance hall has been totally renovated, opening out onto a lovely stone stairway. The property also comprises a barn measures 170 m² and another of 154 m². Fifty lime trees have also been planted along the driveway.

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

New lottery funding set to boost interest in renovating French ruins

New lottery funding set to boost interest in renovating French ruins


• Grants for renovation work to increase, thanks to new ‘Heritage Lotto’
• Owners can apply directly to Fondation du Patrmoine to fund their repairs
• 65% of British buyers are open to doing work beyond simple redecorating (FrenchEntrée)

A new lottery is set to breathe new life into a French funding programme that supports owners to renovate historic French properties. Agreed only last month, the ‘Heritage Lotto’ will fund grants to those helping to preserve France’s architectural heritage.

Renovating a historic property takes passion, commitment and plenty of cash. For many, to do so is a dream that they can’t quite afford. Now, the boost in funding for the Fondation du Patrmoine, means that those seeking to renovate some of France’s most stunning properties can apply for financial help to do so.

“Renovating can be incredibly rewarding, but it’s also seriously hard work and the financial commitment can put some buyers off the idea. Now, the additional Heritage Lotto funding means that more support is available for those who dream of doing up a French ruin. It’s a dream come true for some buyers, while also supporting the preservation of France’s historic architecture – everyone wins.”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

Premium French property agents FrenchEntrée offer a range of superior properties, including those that need restoration work. The cost of such works ranges from €1,000 to €1,500 per square metre, depending on the severity of the dilapidation.

The reward for those undertaking the renovations is that doing so can work out to be far more cost effective than purchasing a comparable property in a good state of repair. They can end up with a stunning home that might otherwise have been unaffordable, as well as with the satisfaction of having brought back to life a property that might otherwise have slowly crumbled away to nothing, lost forever to the confines of history.

Interestingly, of FrenchEntrée’s clients, it is British buyers who are by far the keenest to undertake renovation works to a property with 65% open to doing work beyond simple redecorating such as putting in a new kitchen or bathroom. For those looking for additional accommodation with a property, such as a gîte, the majority (55%) are willing to do restoration or conversion work whilst 30% of Brits enquiring about châteaux not shy about taking on a ‘labour of love’.

Applying for funding from the Fondation du Patrmoine is surprisingly simple. Property owners apply directly to the foundation with details of the property and the work that needs to be carried out in order to restore it. The foundation then approves or rejects the request based on its eligibility criteria. Separate funding streams are available for listed and non-listed buildings.

“The new lottery funding is set to drive up interest in restoring France’s historic ruins, building a national campaign to preserve France’s grand architectural past. As a result, we’re expecting a significant rise in interest in French ruins and homes in need of restoration over the coming months, as buyers seek to take advantage of the available funding.”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

Properties in need of renovation on the market

35 km from Rouen and 145 km from Paris stands this ruined Normandy chateau. On the market for €270,000, the property dates back to the Middle Ages. Two towers and the vaulted cellars date back to the 15th century, while modernization work undertaken in 1786 has contributed to the current aspect. The sellers have begun renovating, ready for the new owners to really get to work. The property is set in around 15 acres of grounds, including a pond surrounded by willows and a charming fruit orchard.

Also in Normandy, this outstanding listed manor house is available for €470,046. The stunning building, which dates back to the 14th and 17th centuries, is set in peaceful countryside, 6 km from the nearest town. The unique building includes domed and pinnacled roofs with elegant finials, atop rounded towers. Water-filled moats still surround part of the manor. Outbuildings in the grounds include a three-bedroom dwelling house, an ancient bakery and a stone barn.

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

The name’s James. Alexander James.

The name’s James. Alexander James.

United Kingdom

When it comes to special agents, they don’t come more emphatically British than James Bond. After 24 films and seven actors, Bond continues to live on as one of the UK’s most instantly recognisable fictional characters.

Now, 007’s legacy continues to evolve – by serving as the inspiration behind an outstanding new penthouse in London dressed by Alexander James Interior Design.

Recognised as one of the World’s Top 100 Interior Designers by the Andrew Martin Design Awards 2016 and 2017, Alexander James Interior Design has dressed a range of iconic London residences in recent years, from The Chapel in Mill Hill to the former Pathé Films building in Soho. Now, The Townhouse at Westminster Bridge has become the latest London pad to enjoy the team’s attention.

Presented by award-winning property developer The Door, The Townhouse saw the conversion of an existing period building into four luxury apartments, including the addition of two floors in order to house the split-level, two-bedroom/two-bathroom terrace penthouse. It is this penthouse that has benefitted from the work of Alexander James Interior Design.

“The Townhouse has a beautiful Georgian façade, which was retained during the development work. The Door wanted an impressive interior that would really showcase the penthouse, so we opted for achingly contemporary furniture in order to create a living space that meets the demands of London life. The contrast with the Georgian exterior is delightful. Inside, we took inspiration from 1970s era James Bond in order to create a story throughout the property. The result is a truly magnificent London home.”

Stacey Sibley, Creative Director, Alexander James Interior Design

The glamour and panache associated with the 1970s Bond is apparent the moment you enter the luxurious penthouse. White and gold touches create an air of elegance, while retro-inspired furniture such as the Julian Chichester Deneuve Cabinet offer plenty of places to mix the perfect martini. Natural tones and crimson tinges complete the look, with the 1970s feel apparent in everything from the feature mirror in the living room to the metallic, padded easy chairs. Every element has been carefully chosen to complement the overall theme.

“The Townhouse is at once quirky and understated – we took a minimalistic approach and worked with our art consultant to provide a gallery feel. The result is an interior scheme that showcases the beauty of the apartment while provide a soulful warmth throughout. Achieving that look was all about balance. In the guest bedroom, for example, the exposed brick is softened by the use of stone-washed linen drapes and bronze poles. In the master bedroom, we’ve used layer upon layer of pinstripe textures, using the soft furnishings to create a really androgynous, tailored effect.”

Stacey Sibley, Creative Director, Alexander James Interior Design


The result is a superb, boutique feel to this SE1 home. The influence of the 70s is subtle yet pervasive, adding plentiful character to this contemporary residence. Vintage touches, such as the bedside units, pair beautifully with modern, designer feature lighting, creating a home that is perfect for trend-conscious modern Londoners who only settle for the very best. Much as Mr Bond himself was famed for doing.

The penthouse at The Townhouse is priced at £1,295,000 and available through Jackson-Stops.

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

Spring 2018 interior design tips to help sell your home faster

Spring 2018 interior design tips to help sell your home faster

United Kingdom

With the winter weather (hopefully) soon to give way to spring, it’s time for many home owners to focus their energies on selling up.

A clean, tidy and uncluttered home is key to making a good first impression, so a deep spring clean is an essential starting point. After that, all it takes is some subtle changes and your lived-in looking family home can be transformed into a contemporary, desirable residence that will have buyers queuing up.

Spring is an excellent time of the year to sell, with research from Zillow finding that homes can sell faster and for more money during the spring (most notably, at the start of May), when compared with figures for the rest of the year. As such, it’s also a competitive time for the housing market. Keeping up with the latest interior design trends is one way to give a home an edge over its rivals. It’s a quick and easy way for owners to maximise their profits.

Robert Walker, Managing Director, Alexander James Interior Design

A little investment in interior design can reap big rewards when it comes to the look and feel of a home. It has the potential to increase the speed of the sale and even the price agreed for the purchase.

2018 has already seen some strong trends emerge, with the renowned Maison&Objet show paving the way. The team from Alexander James Interior Design – recognised as one of the World’s Top 100 Interior Designers by the Andrew Martin Design Awards 2016 and 2017 – are already reflecting those trends in the homes that they design and dress.

“We’re seeing a definite, strong trend of monochrome this year, with matt black furniture beautifully offset by greens and yellows, which are everywhere this spring. From textiles and wall coverings to upholstery, lighting and accessories, there’s no excuse not to use a splash of colour!

“Plants and leaf patterns go hand in hand with this colour trend, so home owners looking to redecorate a room or two before selling can enjoy choosing from a fabulous range of nature-inspired wallpaper. For those who are dressing their home rather than redectorating, bold prints and textiles with leaf patterns will look terrific.”

Stacey Sibley, Creative Director, Alexander James Interior Design


Other notable 2018 interior design trends include the use of orange and coral, while there’s a distinct African tribal influence when it comes to accessories and the use of wicker/cane on indoor furniture.

Meanwhile, beetles have taken over from pineapples and llamas to emerge as 2018’s feature object of choice. From accessories to art, it’s all about the creepy crawlies this year!

The animal trend has also seen larger objects coming into fashion, from monkey ceiling lights and ostrich floor lamps to cuddly toy armchairs. The 2018 Maison&Objet show even featured a fabulous donkey desk!

“One of the great things about dressing a house for sale is that you can really have fun with the process. Create a mood board to try out different colours, textures and items that catch your eye, then bring your ideas to life within the home. Subtlety is key here – bold touches can be reserved for accessories and artwork so that they bring the underlying colour scheme to life and allow viewers to imagine themselves happily living there.”

Stacey Sibley, Creative Director, Alexander James Interior Design


One example of the effective use of interior design to sell a home this spring is at Millgate’s new KIngswood development in Ascot, Berkshire. The Alexander James team has created character and personality to create a superb family home environment.

Strong accents of yellow provide vibrancy and optimism, with monochrome used for balance. The contemporary scheme has brought the property to life, with yellow tulips in the living room adding to the impact by providing a fresh, spring-like appeal. The property is an outstanding example of how the right interior design can transform a house into a stunningly contemporary home.

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

Fusion Students’ Chinese New Year celebrations build cultural ties

Fusion Students’ Chinese New Year celebrations build cultural ties

United Kingdom
  • UK hosts more higher education students from China than any other country (UKCISA)
  • 6% of students are from EU; 14% are from elsewhere in world (UKCISA)
  • Chinese New Year events across the UK serve to build cultural bonds between students (Fusion Students)

International students now account for 20% of those studying in higher education the UK. For the 2015/16 academic year, 6% of students hailed from the European Union, while 14% came from further afield, according to the UK Council for International Student Affairs. At postgraduate level, the figure rises to 46% of students coming from outside the EU.

The only country to send significantly more students to the UK for the 2015/16 academic year was China. Learners from the People’s Republic numbered 91,215, making Chinese students by far the biggest group of international learners at UK universities.

In honour of this, leading student accommodation and lifestyle provider Fusion Students recently hosted Chinese New Year parties across all of its UK sites.

The largest of these – at Eclipse in Cardiff – had over 450 students on the guest list. Run in partnership with innovative managing agent Collegiate, Eclipse has heralded a new era for student living in Wales.

With its own nightclub, themed private dining room, private cinema, gym/fitness suite and 24-hour concierge, the prestigious student development has raised the bar for student living not just in Wales, but across the UK. With such a reputation to live up to, the spectacular Chinese New Year celebration was suitably extravagant!

“At Fusion Students we run a range of events to ensure that our international students feel at home in the UK and can mark important cultural events alongside their fellow residents. Chinese New Year is such an important celebration around the world that we were delighted to host parties at all of our properties.”

 Warren Rosenberg, CEO, Fusion Students


The Eclipse Chinese New Year 2018 celebration included a drinks reception, DJ, traditional beverages and hot food, fireworks, games and an after party at Tiger Tiger – all delivered completely free for residents.

Fusion’s event also featured a range of competitions, with luxury prizes including Beats wireless headphones, coffee machines, a foot massager and more. Students were invited to dress in red as part of the celebrations.

“We strive to offer an exceptionally inclusive student lifestyle experience and we were thrilled at the huge turnout for the Fusion Students Chinese New Year events. Residents enjoyed an extended evening of celebrating together and were delighted by the traditional fare and fireworks that are such an essential part of Chinese New Year celebrations. Sharing cultural customs is a powerful way to build bridges and understanding, which is certainly something that the world could use more of!”

 Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate


For more information about Fusion Students please call 0117 405 7852 or visit To book accommodation in university towns and cities across the UK and Europe, contact Collegiate on +44 1235 250 140 or visit

Taylor Wimpey España celebrates another successful year

Taylor Wimpey España celebrates another successful year

  • Taylor Wimpey España full year results show positive growth in 2017
  • Operating profit* margin up 28.5%
  • Solid foundations in place for future growth

Leading Spanish home builder Taylor Wimpey España is marking 60 years of Iberian success in 2018, and the just-published 2017 results reveal that the company certainly has much to celebrate.

Despite the uncertainties of wider macroeconomic factors, Taylor Wimpey España has continued to deliver beautifully designed homes in some of the most sought-after locations in mainland Spain and the Spanish islands.

2017 was another strong year for Taylor Wimpey España and we enter 2018 in good shape. Early trading patterns this year are already encouraging and we’re working from a solid foundation for growth over the course of 2018, as we celebrate 60 years of delivering superb quality homes in Spain.

Javier Ballester, Managing Director of Taylor Wimpey España

Over the year, Taylor Wimpey España competed 301 homes (349 including Joint Ventures, 326 in 2016 + 7,1%), while achieving an average selling price of €352k. The average price for new dwellings across Spain (according to Q3 2017 figures from the General Council of Spanish Notaries Public) is just €114,619, reflecting the premium value of the Taylor Wimpey España brand. The total order book as at 31 December 2017 stood at 329 homes (390 including JV’s 363 in 2016 + 6,3%) (compared to 293 homes as at 31 December 2016).

In terms of operating profit, Taylor Wimpey España achieved a significant improvement in 2017, increasing from an operating profit of £20.6 million in 2016 to £26.8 million in 2017, with an operating profit margin of 28.5%.

“The 2017 full year results speak to the strong position of Taylor Wimpey España, both at the present time and in terms of the potential for future growth. We are delighted with 2017’s performance. Our high quality locations have played a significant role in that performance and we will continue to further those successes over 2018 and the following years.”

Javier Ballester, Managing Director of Taylor Wimpey España


For more information please contact Taylor Wimpey España today on 08000 121 020 or visit If you reside outside of the UK you will need to call 00 34 971 706 972.

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