Landlords’ reliance on Liverpool to deliver high yields shows no sign of abating

Landlords’ reliance on Liverpool to deliver high yields shows no sign of abating

United Kingdom
  • Liverpool voted the number one place to invest in buy-to-let (Totally Money 2017)
  • 70% of inquiries received about urban investments are for Liverpool (Aspen Woolf)
  • “In an uncertain climate, Reliance House offers reliable returns from a reliable market” (Aspen Woolf)

Known as the ‘New York of Europe’, the second city of the Empire, Liverpool has been relied upon by many different people, for many different reasons, over the centuries.

As a maritime employer in the 17th century, through to a place of refuge from the Great Famine in the 19th century, of critical strategic importance to Churchill in World War II and the birthplace of musical icons The Beatles, Liverpool has always delivered and today, this city is delivering for those looking to invest in bricks and mortar.

With its iconic landmarks, historic buildings, growing economy and rising population, it’s no wonder that Liverpool has become the highest ranked city in Great Britain in which to invest in buy-to-let property (Totally Money 2017).

The research by Totally Money went on to reveal that the Liverpool central L7 postcode generated an average buy-to-let yield of 16.23%, far higher than London’s top ranking postcode of E13 (Newham) where the average yield was calculated to be 5.15% and the average asking price £350,000.

“For some time now, Liverpool has been the number one buy-to-let destination of choice for our clients accounting for 70% of all enquiries. Investors have come to rely on the city’s fundamental imbalance in supply and demand, low entry prices and availability of stock in prime city centre locations to deliver high yielding returns.”

Oliver Ramsden, Director, Aspen Woolf


One such buy-to-let opportunity in Liverpool that Aspen Woolf’s clients are coming to rely on is aptly named, Reliance House.

Located next to one of Liverpool’s most symbolic buildings, The Liver Building (which itself, as the purpose-built home of the Royal Liver Assurance Group, aided those who had lost a wage-earning relative), Reliance House sees the sympathetic refurbishment of a neo-classical, former commercial building into charming one and two bedroom apartments

Available from just £119,950, Reliance House can be relied upon to offer investors a 7% NET rental income in year one as well as strong capital appreciation from the number one place to invest in Great Britain (according to Totally Money).


“In an uncertain climate, Reliance House offers reliable returns from a reliable market. With Liverpool being so favoured, it would be a smart choice for anybody looking to invest be they domestics buyers seeking assured income or those from overseas looking to take advantage of advantageous exchange rates.”

Oliver Ramsden, Director, Aspen Woolf


For more information, visit or contact Aspen Woolf on +44 203 176 0060.

Over €2,000,000 already won in 2017 against 6 Spanish banks by CostaLuz Lawyers

Over €2,000,000 already won in 2017 against 6 Spanish banks by CostaLuz Lawyers

Spain United Kingdom World

· 13 court cases already won to date in 2017

· British and Irish property buyers queuing up to reclaim lost deposits

· The highest payout in any one case was €958,000 plus interest

· Spanish judiciary working to restore faith in Spanish property market

2017 has been a busy year for the team at CostaLuz Lawyers. After successfully supporting Keith Rule in his quest for justice over the €54,000 deposit payment he made to a Spanish developer who never built the home Keith had paid towards, CostaLuz Lawyers has been inundated with requests for help.

Now working for CostaLuz Lawyers alongside legal eagle Maria de Castro, Keith and his colleagues have so far supported 13 British and Irish claimants to victory in 2017. The cases focus on reclaiming lost deposits from Spanish banks.

“The wording of Spanish law LEY 57/1968 and the ruling made in respect of my own case opened the doors for those in similar situations to come forward and try to recoup their lost investment. It’s not a quick process, but it is possible to beat the banks and reclaim funds that were handed over in good faith, even if the transaction dates back many years.”

Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers

So far, 6 banks have been ordered to make payments to CostaLuz Lawyers’ British and Irish clients this year: SGR, BBVA, Banco de Sabadell, Caixabank, Banco Popular and Caja Rural.

The amount awarded across all 13 cases totaled €2,155,072, plus an amount of interest that is still being calculated. The highest payout in any one case was €958,000 plus interest.

Those being represented hailed from all over the UK and Ireland, while their investment locations were spread out across Spain. The only thing they had in common was that they had paid out money for a dream home, only for their dream to turn into a nightmare.

The reasons for the clients’ legal wrangling were varied. In one case, at La Reserva de Marbella, the homes had been built illegally. Another related to the Malaya political and planning corruption saga at Marbella’s local council. Yet another was due to the developer’s descent into insolvency when Spain’s economy crumbled following the global financial crisis.

Whatever the reason, CostaLuz Lawyers has been fighting to gain back the money that British and Irish property buyers lost.

“These successful judgements are making a huge difference to people’s lives. The stress associated with going through the process of losing so much money can never be taken away, but at least a ruling that the bank is required to pay back the money (plus interest) finally draws a line under the matter.

“However, there’s more to it than simply getting people’s money back. The evolution of Spanish case law that we’re seeing is going a long way to restore faith in the Spanish property market. The Spanish judiciary is working hard to ensure that a system exists in which individuals’ rights are respected and that Spain is one of the safest countries in the world for the purchase of off plan property.”

Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers

For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, please call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit 

2017’s greatest swimming pool and spa design trends

2017’s greatest swimming pool and spa design trends

United Kingdom ,
  • Ultra-freeboard pools, halo lighting and clear panels all top choices (Aqua Platinum)
  • Customers becoming much more tech-savvy in their demands
  • No pool is now complete without associated wellness and vitality spa facilities


When your business is designing and building high end, bespoke swimming pools and spas, no two days (like no two pools) are ever the same. However, while each pool is custom-designed, the experts at Aqua Platinum have noticed a number of popular trends emerging over the past few months.

Here they share their insights into the hottest new styles for swimming pools in 2017.

“There are a number of features that we’re seeing requested more and more frequently when it comes to pools. Customers tend to build up a clear idea of what they are after, then turn to us to make it a reality. This year, ultra-freeboard pools, halo lighting and clear panels are some of the most popular choices.”

Aqua Platinum spokesperson

An ultra-freeboard pool is one where the water is just below the level of the surrounding floor. For the past few years, deck-level pools (where the water is at the same height as the floor) have been popular, but now the ultra-freeboard pool is attracting attention once again.

There are several reasons for this. For pools in apartment blocks, the ultra-freeboard design takes up less floor space and less space in the plant room (as there’s no need for a balance tank). That means that developers are left with more available floor space to use for the saleable parts of the building, which always goes down well.

When it comes to privately owned pools, it is the enhanced aesthetics of ultra-freeboard pools that is increasing their popularity. In particular, the ultra-freeboard design allows for the installation of halo lighting. This LED strip lighting is installed beneath the pool’s coping stone to provide wonderful ambient lighting. The lighting can change tone in order to suit different moods.

Another top trend at preset is large format tiles. Large format porcelain tiles can be made to look very similar to natural stone, at a relatively low cost. As such, their popularity has increased significantly of late, with owners using the large tiles to create a very natural-looking finish.

Clear acrylic and glass panels are also increasingly popular, according to the Aqua Platinum team. Many of those installing pools in their private residences are using these panels between (for example) the pool and the spa, or the pool and the leisure area. The panels separate the areas but create the impression of just one large space.

“Customers are also embracing high tech features at the moment and we’re receiving a lot of enquiries about moveable floors. These aren’t limited to indoor pools – we’re currently working on an outdoor pool with a moveable floor and Bellagio-style fountains, complete with lighting and music.”

Aqua Platinum spokesperson

Indoor personal spa facilities are the final top trend identified for 2017. Wellness and vitality is top of many customers’ agendas, with steam rooms, saunas, experience showers and Jacuzzis all popular choices. It seems that a pool alone is no longer quite enough for many customers – the exercise and lifestyle benefits of pool ownership need to be complemented by access to superb spa facilities, all of which can be accessed without leaving the house.

For more information call 0203 362 0442 or visit

Rub Shoulders with A-List Neighbours in this Super Suburb

Rub Shoulders with A-List Neighbours in this Super Suburb

United Kingdom ,

• Head to Hadley Wood, just 11 miles north of London, for A-list living
• Hadley Wood destination of choice for footballers, rugby players and recording artists
• Bellis Homes launches brand new luxury homes in Hadley Wood complete with cinema rooms, gyms, swimming pools and games rooms

For those looking for A-list living then it’s time to swap Kensington and Chelsea for the super suburb of Hadley Wood, just 11 miles north of central London.

With average house prices in Hadley Wood three times cheaper than those in Chelsea (£619,578 vs £1,980,453, Zoopla May 2017) yet situated within the coveted zone 6 boundary, with strong transport links, good schools and plenty of space courtesy of the green belt, it’s no wonder that this Greater London enclave has become so attractive.

The great and the good to call Hadley Wood home include footballers Darren Bent, Kieran Gibbs, Kanu and Robbie Keane, English rugby player Kyran Bracken, boxer Lennox Lewis, columnist and presenter Richard Littlejohn and a host of recording artists from former Spice Girl Emma Bunton to Lemar and Girl’s Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh. Even fellow former band mate Cheryl Cole owned a property here with her ex Ashley Cole.

The appeal of being ‘close but not too close’ to London has seen Hadley Wood’s popularity soar and indeed echoes research from Experian which reveals that major cities such as London are becoming increasingly segmented with commuting spreading beyond the confines of a single built-up area.

Indeed, the geography of Hadley Wood, with its mainline rail link to Moorgate in 35 minutes and Piccadilly Line from nearby Cockfosters, not to mention easy access to the M25 and A1(M), is one of its greatest assets.

One house builder star struck by the appeals of Hadley Wood is Bellis Homes.

“Hadley Wood offers something for everyone. The ideal environment to raise a family, with plenty of open space, good education options and a community feel as well easy transport links for those working in the City. This leafy, secluded London suburb combines luxury living with privacy and tranquillity.”

Henry Fordham, Director, Bellis Homes


Bellis Homes has just completed two large and luxurious 6 bedroom houses in one of the most sought after areas of Hadley Wood – Camlet Way. Together Mulliner House and Calleva House embrace exceptional deluxe features and are unquestionably property gems.

The Georgian style Mulliner House, available at £5.5 million, covers some 8,000 sqft over four floors and affords countless aspirational features including Control 4 to manage lighting, sound, door entry, heating and air conditioning. There is also a swimming pool with swim jet and steam room on the lower ground level as well as a private cinema room including Atmos surround sound, 4k projector and 3.5m anamorphic screen along with staff accommodation and a gymnasium.

Calleva House, similar in style and available at £4 million, covers 5,560 sqft across four floors. The property holds many similar standout features to Mulliner House but also boasts a unique games room with bar area on the lower ground floor, perfect for entertaining along with the cinema, gymnasium and steam room.

“Hadley Wood remains a buoyant market with almost 50% price growth seen over the past 5 years and nearly 3% over the past 12 months according to the latest Zoopla figures. We are seeing more and more buyers priced out of central London looking to this super suburb for luxurious homes complete with everything they need under one roof from gyms to swimming pools, cinema rooms to bar and entertainment areas.”

Henry Fordham, Director, Bellis Homes


For more information about Mulliner and Calleva House or to attend the Show Home Open Day on Saturday 10th June 2017 contact Bellis Homes on 01279 424 733 or visit


Top of the Props: Spain still number one for international buyers

Top of the Props: Spain still number one for international buyers

Spain United Kingdom World , ,
  • Spanish property enquiries no.1 on in April 2017
  • Bulgaria climbs 11 places to take fourth
  • Malta biggest climber to 11th from 24th


Spain is still number one for international buyers, reveals’s latest Top of the Props index. Spanish property accounted for 1 in 10 of all enquiries on the portal in April 2017, stealing back the top spot from the USA. This is the second time that the country has been the most popular destination on the site in 2017, after it ranked first in February, with 14.02 per cent of enquiries.

Spain’s return to the top of the chart is despite much speculation surrounding the impact of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union upon British buyer appetites. Historically, UK buyers have been the biggest spenders on Spanish property. The country’s appeal to a wide range of nationalities, though, remains undiminished: The Spanish Registrars’ latest annual report shows that foreign transactions now make up a record 13.25 per cent of transactions, despite a dip in demand for British investors. On, Spain also accounted for 31 of the 50 most searched-for locations on The in Q1 2017 – an all-time high for any country.

Demand is also booming for Bulgaria, which surged 11 places up the Top of the Props index to steal fourth place. The country accounted for 4.09 per cent of all enquiries in May 2017, marking its first place in’s Top 10 in seven months and its highest ranking in the Top of the Props index since February 2015.

May’s biggest climber, though, was Malta, which jumped 13 places in the chart to become the 11th most popular country on This is the island’s first time in the Top 20 since August 2016, accounting for 1.45 per cent of enquiries, and its highest ranking since July 2013.

Portugal held onto fourth place, with 3.37 per cent of enquiries, while interest in Cyprus continued to climb, as the country rose into fifth place. Cape Verde climbed seven places to seize sixth spot, just ahead of Italy and Indonesia. France and the UAE completed the Top 10.

“Even with the more expensive buying costs for Brits brought about by Brexit, Spanish property’s affordability is at its most appealing in 2017, as bottomed-out prices mean that capital growth is possible for investors,” comments Dan Johnson, CEO of “The same is true of Bulgaria, where prices are now rising steadily and the economy is similarly growing: both present overseas buyers with stable markets, potential for rental returns and rising values, and, of course, a life beside the seaside. Indeed, since the Brexit vote last year, we have seen a growing trend among some British buyers looking to Bulgaria for bargain opportunities that won’t break the budget. Whether Bulgaria and Malta can stay in the Top 15 during 2017 is yet to be seen, but with overseas interest in Cyprus staying steady for the second month in a row, Spain is not the only bright spot in Europe this Spring.”

Click here  to see the full top 40 property destinations for May 2017.


— ENDS –

Notes to Editors

About Lead Galaxy and

Founded in 1999, is the leading independent website for international property, with more than 1.4 million listings in over 100 countries around the world, marketed on behalf of agents, developers and private owners. is one of more than a dozen international property sites operated under the Lead Galaxy brand. Lead Galaxy provides online marketing solutions to thousands of property companies worldwide, focusing on portal listings, email marketing, qualified leads, paid search and social media advertising.

The business is headquartered at 24 Jack’s Place, Corbet Place, Shoreditch, London, E1 6NN.


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Moveable floors open up a new world in swimming pool design

Moveable floors open up a new world in swimming pool design

United Kingdom
  • Moveable floors are the hottest new indoor pool trend (Aqua Platinum)
  • Aqua Platinum installs one of the fastest moveable floors at historic Wimbledon home
  • Hidden pools add ultimate luxury for home owners who want the very best

Swimming pool design and build experts Aqua Platinum have flagged up this year’s hottest new trend – hidden pools.

Using the latest in hydraulic technology and mechanical engineering, the advantages of moveable floors that conceal full size swimming pools beneath them are rapidly highly desirable.

“Moveable floors are opening up a whole new range of possibilities when it comes to indoor swimming pools. A moveable floor provides dual use rooms from dinner parties to ballrooms, they have become the hottest indoor swimming pool trend.”

Aqua Platinum spokesperson

Indoor swimming pools are a fantastic feature which can add up to 7% to a home’s value, according to House Logic. It is estimated that there are around 210,000 privately owned outdoor pools in Britain, but many of those enjoy only limited use due to the British climate.

An indoor pool can be used all year round and at any time of day or night, making it ideal for those who want to stay in shape without trekking to the gym to use shared facilities during limited opening hours.

Pools are also wonderful for entertaining and a moveable floor presents a wide range of options. For a more sophisticated touch for an evening soiree, a depth of six inches and a variety of floating tea lights can look absolutely stunning. And when the party ends, the pool can be concealed beneath the floor once more and the room used for other purposes.

“The flexibility that a moveable floor offers is one of the key reasons why this is such a growing trend. Advances in technology have ensured that not only does the floor function flawlessly, but that the temperature and moisture levels in the room can be carefully controlled at all times. Modern moveable floors make use of a range of technologies to ensure they are the perfect addition to the home, requiring very little maintenance.”

Aqua Platinum spokesperson

Moveable floor technology means that indoor pools can be sympathetically fitted into any age and style of property. At Hadley House in High Barnet, London for example, the swimming pool fits beautifully within this grade II listed exterior yet contemporary-designed interior.

Meanwhile, a new Aqua Platinum pool with moveable floor at the Old Rectory in Wimbledon will be tastefully fitted to suit the existing property, which dates back centuries and was once owned by Henry VIII.

The raising and lowering mechanism of the moveable floor at the Old Rectory is one of the fastest in the world in under 10 minutes and will be tiled to match the surround, giving the appearance of one floor when it is raised.

For more information  call 01489 896 438 or visit

Student property remains a smart investment in this Brexit era

Student property remains a smart investment in this Brexit era

United Kingdom World
  • Over £2.1bn of UK student accommodation transacted post Brexit referendum compared to £1.9bn earlier in the year (Savills)
  • Almost half of UK university towns and cities have PBSA supply levels below 30% (JLL)
  • Plymouth only has 20% – 30% of PBSA supply relative to student numbers (JLL)
  • Beaumont Square, Plymouth presents a smart investment opportunity in the current market (Aspen Woolf)


The latest Student Housing report from Savills (Spotlight 2017) supports the sentiment shared by many domestic and indeed international investors, that investing in PBSA (purpose built student accommodation) is the way to go in the current UK market.

Despite a tricky economic year, over £2.1bn was transacted in the months following the Brexit referendum, compared to £1.9bn earlier in 2016 reports Savills.

Analysis from JLL revealed that across 79 university towns and cities, almost half have student accommodation supply levels below 30% emphasizing strong development opportunities for PBSA. This, in addition with greater restrictions on the alteration of use from single dwellings to HMOs under Article 4, is set to play a significant role in the growth of the PBSA sector.

Indeed, according to experts, the UK’s decision to leave the EU has not resulted in any negative effects to the PBSA sector as of yet, in fact it seems to have intensified the appetite of property investors now that sterling is worth up to 20% less than many other foreign currencies, overseas investments are at an all-time high as Savills reports.

One UK university city with a chronic undersupply is Plymouth; according to JLL the coastal city has only 20% – 30% of PBSA relative to student numbers making leading investment agency Aspen Woolf’s luxurious Beaumont Square development a no brainer for investors looking to enter this Brexit-proof market.

“Now is the time to invest in PBSA and Beaumont Square in Plymouth is the best place to start with. The combination of low levels of PBSA for the city’s population combined with the enforcement of Article 4 has made Plymouth stand out amongst the rest.

 “Having sold PBSA for a number of years now, we are finding that students are looking for more luxurious accommodation and are willing to pay higher costs for it, which in turn is shaping the standard of PBSA units on the market and making those of this high standard even more attractive to investors.”

Oliver Ramsden, Director, Aspen Woolf

Beaumont House offers 39 studio apartments from £78,500 with an 8% NET yield assured for three years. Currently under construction, the brand new, fully equipped student studios complete with high quality furnishing and stylish finishes will be ready for the 2017/18 academic year.

For more information, visit or contact Aspen Woolf on +44(0) 203 176 0060.

New home, new style!

New home, new style!

United Kingdom World
  • New home registrations hit highest level for 10 years (NHBC)
  • A new build home is like a blank canvas” (Alexander James Interior Design)
  • Celebrate #NewHomesWeek by learning how to style your new home to perfection (Alexander James Interior Design)


Newly published NHBC figures show that the number of new homes registered in the first three months of 2017 have shot up by 17% when compared with the Q1 2016 figures.

In total, more than 42,000 new homes were registered between January and March 2017, making it the best quarter for new home building in a decade.

The figures have been released in advance of #NewHomesWeek, which runs from 15th -21st May to celebrate the benefits of buying a newly built residence. There are myriad advantages to doing so and the interior design potential is one of the most exciting.


A new build home is like a blank canvas – there’s so much scope when it comes to letting your style ideas have free reign. While that’s an incredibly exciting opportunity, it can also be a little overwhelming. It’s important to think through colour schemes for the house as a whole, rather than just individual rooms otherwise you can end up feeling a little like you’re living inside a rainbow, which is hardly relaxing!


Stacey Sibley, Creative Director, Alexander James Interior Design

The professional interior design team at Alexander James strongly recommends starting with a mood board, with sections for each room. That way, the home’s overall style can be considered at the same time as that of individual rooms.

Mood boards are a great way to bring shape to your vision. Bring together everything that has caught your eye, including wallpaper samples, images of pieces of furniture, fabric swatches, artwork examples, striking cosmetic bottles and more. You can then compare and contrast all of these items, considering what works best and shaping your vision for your new build home accordingly.

When it comes to colours, choosing a palette of neutral shades and complementary hues, along with a few bolder accent colours, is a great start. These can be applied throughout the home and will help to create a sense of harmony, with one room flowing beautifully into the next.


“Suiting a room’s style to its use is also key. Bedrooms should create a sense of serenity and calm, while family rooms should have a welcoming, relaxed feel. The way you dress your home will impact on how you feel while within the property, so create spaces that make you and your family feel safe, happy and comfortable.”


Stacey Sibley, Creative Director, Alexander James Interior Design

Bringing nature indoors is a great way to do just that. The natural world can do wonders for our inner sense of peace, so large leaf prints, vases spilling over with flowers and the presence of natural elements in everything from lamps to tables is a great way to bring serenity into the home. It’s also perfectly attuned to this summer’s hottest interior design trends.

Incorporating natural elements is also a great way to dress your home for the nose, as well as the eyes. The scent of freshly cut flowers can bring a room to life. Scented candles and reed diffusers are also a wonderful way to create rooms that feel harmonious and welcoming. This was demonstrated wonderfully at Lockeswood in Eversley, a new build property dressed beautifully by Alexander James Interior Design.

The final tip from the Alexander James team is to involve younger family members in the process of interior design when it comes to new build homes.


“Young people have delightfully creative minds and building a mood board for their new bedroom can be a great way to boost their excitement about their new home. That doesn’t mean covering an entire room with Thomas the Tank Engine wallpaper, however! Bear in mind that children’s tastes change as they grow, so opt for a base colour scheme and then overlay it with items that suit the particular child’s preferences. It’s much easier to change curtains, artwork and accessories rather than having to re wallpaper or paint. Engaging the child in the process can also have an added benefit – if they feel a true sense of ownership for their room, they might just keep it tidy!”


Stacey Sibley, Creative Director, Alexander James Interior Design



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


5 reasons to buy a new home

5 reasons to buy a new home

United Kingdom

New homes used to enjoy a reputation as being the province of just married couples with immediate plans to raise a young family in a homely neighbourhood of like-minded individuals. While the community appeal of new homes remains strong, the profile of those buying them has shifted dramatically in recent years.


“Several factors have impacted on the target market for new homes over the past several years. From established money saving wisdom on the energy efficiency of new homes to a swathe of influential celebrities settling into brand new mansions, we’ve seen the market for new homes change substantially.”


Henry Fordham, Director, Bellis Homes


Marking this year’s #NewHomesWeek (15th – 21st May 2017), Henry Fordham, Director of new homes builder Bellis Homes shares his top 5 reasons to buy a new build:


  1. Energy efficiency


New build homes certainly boast some outstanding cost saving and environmental credentials. In 2016, the National Association of Homebuilders survey found that 90% of people considered Energy Star appliances to be either an essential or a desirable feature.

Double and triple glazed windows, windows with inert gases between the panes, loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, air filtration and contemporary ventilation systems all save homeowners money on their energy bills, while also reducing the carbon footprint of the home. Homes built 10 and even 5 years ago fall a long way short of the environmental standards and efficiency of new build homes in 2017.


  1. High tech living


Contemporary new builds (such as Calleva and Mulliner House in Hadley Wood, Greater London) have the potential to come with a dazzling array of high tech lifestyle features. It’s not just the central heating that you can control remotely from your phone these days, but also the bath taps, lights, stereo and coffee machine.


Smart home features like these have ushered in not only a new era of convenience for homeowners, but also one of enhanced safety. Garage doors, for example, can now come with infrared beams that halt their operation if something (or someone) is in the way. Meanwhile, smart toilets that sensors in order to know when to flush, have done away with the need for using germ-encrusted handles.


  1. Build warranty


Perhaps less exciting than a self-flushing toilet (although far more important in practical terms) is the fact that new homes come with a 10-year warranty as standard. That means the buyer can rest easy for an entire decade, knowing that they won’t have to deal with any expensive issues like repairing a leaky roof, replacing defective windows or fixing the central heating.


As new homes also mean new appliances, owners also won’t have to worry about the cost of a new boiler, washing machine, dishwasher and so forth, as each appliance will come with its own warranty lasting for several years. When considered across the entire spectrum of things that can go wrong within a home, this is an incredible amount of peace of mind to enjoy.


  1. Contemporary living


Another reason that new and newly converted homes have become so popular is their design. At The Chantry in Bishop’s Stortford, for example, the newly converted luxury apartments (two bed/two bath, priced from £400,000) feature spacious, open plan living areas and huge windows, to flood the homes with light. Rooms flow naturally into each other, in the ideal environment for modern living.


Open plan, shared living spaces of this nature are one of the key attractions of a new home, creating a welcoming feel that family and friends can enjoy. High ceilings are another great feature of new build homes, further enhancing the sense of space and elegance. Many new homes can also be customized to suit the individual owner’s preferences when it comes to contemporary living spaces, with personal tastes and usage requirements taken into account by the developer.


  1. The joy of brand new


The final part of the growing appeal of new homes is the joy of owning something that’s completely new.


“There’s something wonderfully exciting about opening the box of a brand new product for the first time. Owning a newly built home is just like that, but on a massive scale. It’s not just the look of the property that’s so exciting, but the feel and even the smell of it – there’s nothing quite like it.”


Henry Fordham, Director, Bellis Homes


It’s certainly a powerful argument for buying a new property. Living in a home that’s completely yours – no suspicious stains on the carpet, peeling wallpaper or chipped tiles – brings with it a certain charm that really is hard to beat.


Those looking to purchase their own slice of new home heaven can check out plans for Bellis Homes’ exciting new Marine Ices development in Camden. Prices start from £650,000.


For more information, please call +44 (0)1279 424 733, email or visit

10 year ‘David & Goliath’ crusade finally sees justice for off-plan Spanish property buyers

10 year ‘David & Goliath’ crusade finally sees justice for off-plan Spanish property buyers

Spain United Kingdom
  • Keith Rule’s victory over the Spanish banks gives hope to those who lost deposits
  • CostaLuz Lawyers representing hundreds of off-plan buyers who lost money
  • All those who lost deposits before 1 January 2016 are eligible to claim



When Keith Rule paid the €54,000 deposit for his dream property in Spain back in 2006, he had no idea that it would be the start of more than a decade of legal wrangling and, ultimately, a whole new career path.

Keith thought that he was taking the first step in buying a dream second home when he paid his deposit. However, things began to go wrong almost as soon as he had handed over the money. He wasn’t given a bank guarantee. Then the developer began falling behind with the build schedule.


In 2007, while chasing the bank for the much-needed guarantee, Keith came across Spanish law LEY 57/1968. Keith’s interpretation of the words ‘bajo su responsibilidad’ (‘under its responsibility) in that law was that the developer’s bank was obliged to issue or confirm the existence of the guarantee, as it had received the off-plan deposit.


With the developer falling further and further behind, Keith appointed Maria de Castro of CostaLuz Lawyers in 2008 and set up the Finca Parcs Action Group, along with 46 other claimants who were in the same position as him.


He continued gathering evidence into 2009, when the developer finally abandoned the construction project entirely. Keith held several meetings with the developer’s bank, travelling between London and Murcia in order to speak to those in a position to help. However, his guarantee was still not forthcoming.


In 2010, determined to recoup his investment, Keith set up a website for the Finca Parcs Action Group. He also launched the Bank Guarantees in Spain petition, setting up the Bank Guarantees in Spain website in the process.


A year later, he joined other affected buyers in staging protests against the Spanish Government when they visited London for a property road show. He also joined a delegation that met with Europe Minister David Lidington in London in order to further publicise his cause.


“I was determined that – somehow – the other buyers and I would be heard. The stress and frustration that result from so many years of battling an unwilling system were hard at times, but we knew that we had a right to receive our funds back. Giving up was simply not an option.”

Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers


Maria de Castro at CostaLuz Lawyers filed a lawsuit on behalf of Keith and the Finca Parcs Action Group against the Spanish developer and the bank.


In 2012, a First Instance Court ruling was made in favour of Keith and his fellow property buyers. However, the bank appealed.


The Provincial Appeal Court considered the case next, ruling once more in favour of Keith and the Finca Parcs Action Group in April 2013. The total pay-out was €1.5 million plus interest.

The success in court and the 7 years it had taken to achieve it had seen strong bonds form between not only the Finca Parcs Action Group but also between Keith and CostaLuz Lawyers. He joined the CostaLuz team and now works fulltime to assist others in their quest for off-plan deposit reclaims, running the UK office since 2013.


In 2014, CostaLuz lawyers filed lawsuits for hundreds of affected off-plan buyers against developers’ banks, relating to properties all over Spain.


In 2015, the law that had led to Keith’s success – LEY 57/1968 – was repealed and replaced by LEY 20/2015, which came into force on 1 January 2016. The new legislation means that only off-plan deposits made before 1 January 2016 are eligible for reclaim under the original LEY 57/1968 law.


2016 saw the Supreme Court confirm its doctrine on liabilities of banks receiving deposits, though a case won by CostaLuz Lawyers/De Castro against Caja Canarias (now Bankia) for an off-plan property in the Canary Islands. The case, which marked a decade since Keith Rule first began his crusade, has given fresh hope to those still awaiting the return of their own deposits.


Keith’s battle continues. Now he fights together with CostaLuz lawyers on behalf of others who were affected by investing in off-plan developments that were subsequently abandoned.

So far in 2017, 12 new cases have been won against off-plan developers’ banks in the First Instance Courts by Keith and CostaLuz Lawyers, for 34 individual buyers, with just over €2 million euros awarded, plus interest of approximately 800,000€ and costs. Around 450 clients’ cases are still in progress.

For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, please call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit