Top of the Props: Portugal popularity hits nine-month high

Top of the Props: Portugal popularity hits nine-month high

Portugal United Kingdom World ,
  • Portugal makes top three for first time since October 2016 
  • Italy makes top four for the third time in 2017 
  • Tunisia and Turkey both enter top 15 

The popularity of Portuguese property has reached a nine-month high, reveals new research from

The international portal’s latest Top of the Props index shows that Portugal reentered the top three destinations in July 2017. This is the first time that Portugal has been in’s top three since October 2016. Portuguese real estate accounted for 1.87 per cent of all enquiries on the portal in July, with enquiries rising 2 per cent month-on-month in real terms.

Portugal was beaten only by second place Spain and first place USA, which both held on to their spots for the second month in a row. US property accounted for 6.93 per cent of enquiries, while Spain accounted for 6.12 per cent.

France also enjoyed a surge in interest, rising from fifth place to steal fourth. This is the second month so far in 2017 that France has been the fourth most popular country on, and the third month in a row that it has been in the Top of the Props Top 5. In real terms, enquiries for French property rose 16 per cent in the three months to July compared to the previous three-month period.

France and Portugal’s rise pushed Italy down into fifth place, with 1.72 per cent of all enquiries on the site. However, this is the fourth time Italy has been in the Top of the Props’ Top 5 in 2017, as the country’s popularity continues to increase.

Italy is not the only nation enjoying a rebound. Greece continues to see interest grow, climbing from 10th place into ninth in July. Greek property accounted for 0.69 per cent of all enquiries on the portal, marking the third time in 2017 to date the nation has been in the Top of the Props’ Top 10. In real terms, enquiries for Greek real estate more than doubled in the three months to July compared to the previous three-month period.

Tunisia has also risen into the Top 15, up 24 places from the previous month, with 0.41 per cent of all enquiries. Turkey saw signs of a return to favour as well, jumping five places from 12th into seventh, with 1.61 per cent of enquiries. Director Dan Johnson comments: “With summer in full swing, the traditional holiday home favourites rule the roost, with Spain, France and Italy all among our Top 5 destinations. However, July sees buyers begin to return to old favourites too, as the tourism industry continues to help boost market recoveries, not just in Europe but further afield. Official data shows that Turkish visitor arrivals are on the up this year, as relations between Turkey and Russia improve, which highlights the country’s returning appeal to international holidaymakers and investors. We also saw notable growth in enquiries for Tunisian real estate in July, which follows improving tourist figures for the country this spring. Buyers are going back to Cyprus too: despite the country slipping down the Top of the Props charts, enquiries remain 22 per cent higher in the three months to July than they were in the three months to January 2017. The island’s tourism sector had a record year in 2016, with arrivals expected to rise another 5 per cent this year.”

“Portugal has been one of the stars of 2017 to date,” adds Johnson, “repeatedly appearing in’s top three destinations. The housing market’s recovery continues to build

momentum, with prices and transactions both improving steadily and consistently. With Golden Visas on offer in Portugal, Cyprus, Greece and Turkey, citizenship schemes rank alongside tourism as an important driver of international interest.”

Click here to see the full top 40 property destinations for July 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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All eyes on Cumbria, as Lake District’s new UNESCO World Heritage status inspires rush of investment

All eyes on Cumbria, as Lake District’s new UNESCO World Heritage status inspires rush of investment

United Kingdom World

· Properties near UNESCO sites enjoy 27% higher value than the average UK home (Zoopla) 

· UK staycations up 24% this summer (Sojern) 

· Hotels outside London projected to reach record occupancy levels in 2017 (PwC) 

· Spa hotels now account for 40% of £1.5 billion UK spa industry (Spa Creators) 

The Lake District in Cumbria has become the latest area of the UK to be awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. The honour is conferred on those sites that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization deems to be important to humanity due to their cultural, historical and/or scientific significance.

The Lake District is one of the most beautiful UK regions, with stunning rolling mountains and the iconic lakes for which the area is named providing an outstanding natural environment. It has long been popular with walkers, hikers and those seeking peace, away from the trappings of modern life.

Now, Cumbria is also drawing in investors, from property buyers to those picking up hotel rooms.

“A UNESCO World Heritage award often brings with it an increase in property prices and interest from investors. Zoopla figures show that properties near UNESCO sites command a price premium averaging 27% when compared to the average UK home. As such, a lot of investors are appraising Cumbria right now.”

Ray Withers, CEO, Property Frontiers 

It’s not just buy-to-let property investments that investors are keen to examine in Cumbria. With an area of such incredible beauty, investments with lifestyle benefits are highly prized. The Eden Country Spa Hotel is a great example of this trend.

Well placed for access to Hadrian’s Wall and the Cumbrian countryside, the Eden Country Spa Hotel offers investors two weeks’ personal usage per year. The site is currently being developed into a micro-destination in its own right. As well as top-of-the-range spa facilities, the hotel will offer adventure trails, woodland walks and an equestrian centre, as well as a superb, five-star dining experience, magnificent orangery and laidback cocktail lounge.

“What we see at the Eden Country Spa Hotel is just what investors in areas like Cumbria are seeking – an attractive package of lifestyle benefits on top of solid numbers. In this case, that means returns of 10% NET per annum for up to 10 years, with a low entry point of £45,000. It’s the whole package.”

Ray Withers, CEO, Property Frontiers 

With the UK in the midst of a staycation boom (travel company Sojern has reported a 23.8% rise in those planning domestic breaks this summer), spa hotels are an attractive option for investors looking to capitalise on current trends. According to Spa Creators, UK consumers make 6 million visits to spas every year, while Diagonal Reports estimates that the UK spa market is now worth more than £1.5 billion.

Hotel spas account for 40% of that market and projections certainly look promising for 2017. PwC forecasts that hotel occupancy levels outside London will reach record highs, with growth in revenue per available room (RevPAR) of 2.3% during 2017.

“Hospitality is a key sector for growth, employment and overseas earnings in the UK. It is our 6th largest contributor to export earnings and 4th largest employer – accounting for 4.49 million people or 10% of the workforce and over 180,000 businesses.” 

Andrew Sentance, Senior Economic Advisor, PwC 

All of this is good news for hotels like Cumbria’s Eden Country Spa Hotel. With the UK’s hospitality and spa industries booming, and the Lake District’s new UNESCO World Heritage status attracting considerable attention from tourists and investors alike, the future is looking very rosy indeed.

For more information on investment opportunities around the world, contact Property Frontiers by visiting or calling +44 1865 202 700.

UK’s ageing population inspires boom in retirement homes with swimming pools and spas

UK’s ageing population inspires boom in retirement homes with swimming pools and spas

United Kingdom

· 18% of UK population now aged 65 or older (ONS) 

· Regular exercise can reduce likelihood of Alzheimer’s by up to 50% (Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation) 

· Swimming is the ideal low-impact activity for retirees looking to keep in shape (Aqua Platinum) 

The benefits of exercise during retirement have been well documented. Keeping active as you age can help to stave off a wide range of illnesses, both physical and mental. The Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation, for example, states that regular physical exercise can reduce an individual’s chance of getting Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 50%.

Regular exercise also helps to prevent heart disease, maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels and boost mood and energy levels. However, not all forms of exercise are suitable as you get older, with high-impact activities putting unnecessary amounts of strain on muscles and joints. That’s why so many retirees embrace swimming.

“Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for those who don’t want to put too much strain on their joints. The low-impact nature of the activity means that it’s suitable for those in their golden years and the multiple health benefits are well known.” 

Dominic Searle, Aqua Platinum 

Luxury swimming pool design and build company Aqua Platinum has recently been working to help retirees boost their exercise levels, with the installation of a high end swimming pool and wellness complex at Royal Arthur Park in Wiltshire.

In addition to the sizeable indoor swimming pool, featuring two infinity edges, Aqua Platinum designed and built an integral spa, standalone spa, sauna and steam room. The complex is for the exclusive use of residents of the 350-apartment Wadswick Green retirement village, which was designed with health and wellness at its very core.

“The transition from work to retirement is a huge change. With more time on their hands, people have the opportunity to look afresh at their commitment to their fitness levels. It’s never too late to start a new exercise regime and swimming is a wonderfully gentle way to build strength, stamina and muscle tone. We were delighted to be able to provide such superb facilities for residents of Wadswick Green retirement village, enabling them to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing as part of their daily lives.” 

Dominic Searle, Aqua Platinum 

Luxurious retirement villages have boomed in recent years, with developers aiming to satisfy the demands of baby-boomers looking to spend their golden years in style. According to Knight Frank, those aged over 60 in England have access to some £1,200bn in unmortgaged housing wealth. Retirement developments provide them with the means to part with some of that cash in exchange for a range of premium facilities honed specifically to suit the health and social requirements of older people.

The Overview of the UK population: July 2017 from the Office for National Statistics confirmed that the UK’s population is getting older. Some 18% of the population is now aged 65 and older, while 2.4% is aged 85 and above. There are now 285 people aged 65 or older for every 1,000 aged 16 to 64. With an ageing population, developments such as Wadswick Green are set to increase in number over the years ahead, along with demand for swimming pool and spa facilities that retirees can use to keep themselves in tiptop condition.

For more information, call 0203 362 0442 or visit

Londoner’s scream for ice-cream as new Marine Ices apartments launch in Camden

Londoner’s scream for ice-cream as new Marine Ices apartments launch in Camden

United Kingdom World ,
  • 9% increase in Camden house prices forecast by 2021 (Barclays)
  • Living near a supermarket boosts a property’s value by an average of £21,512 (Lloyds Bank)
  • Marine Ices Apartments located in Camden’s iconic former ice-cream parlour, opposite the Roundhouse (Bellis Homes) 

Camden Town has always been considered an interesting hybrid area of London. Not only does it boast one of the best markets in the capital but it is home to a diverse community from affluent young professionals, students, artists and celebrities, dead and alive, from Charles Dickens to Gwyneth Paltrow.

Whilst some may be cautious about the prime central London market, the experts at Barclays wealth and investments paint a more positive outlook forecasting that the capital’s house prices are set to rise by an average of 11.88% by 2021, almost double the national average (6.1%).

Average house prices in Camden are forecast to rise by a whopping 33.9% by 2021, second only to Richmond-Upon-Thames, reports Barclays. Indeed, the latest Zoopla data reports a 43.07% growth in house prices in Camden over the past 5 years and 3.33% over the last 6 months alone.

Boasting a highly prized NW1 postcode, you might be surprised however to know that reasonably priced, well sized property gems can still be found.

Luxury homebuilder Bellis Homes is launching this summer’s hottest development in Camden Town – Marine Ices Apartments.

Conveniently located, on Haverstock Hill, opposite Chalk farm station and within sight of the hugely popular Roundhouse complete with rooftop beach in the summer months, Marine Ices Apartments enjoy a rich heritage.

The building was once home to an ice cream parlour, founded by gelato pioneer, Gaetano Mansi in 1931 who wanted to bring the exquisite taste of real Italian gelato to discerning Londoners. His reputation for the finest gelato spread and so did his parlours with the same ice creams now enjoyed in many places including his new parlour a few steps from the new Marine Ices Apartments.

Camden is one of the most sought after places to live in London and with that in mind we set out to create a selection of vibrant new homes as vibrant and exciting as the area itself. We really loved the story behind the Marine Ices building and its connection to Camden as well as the location of the site, it’s perfectly situated between a number of landmarks, travel links and local amenities.”

Henry Fordham, Director, Bellis Homes


Only a short walk from the fashionable Camden Market and Camden Lock, Marine Ices Apartments are currently under construction and when completed in 2018 will offer 19 apartments ranging between 566 sqft and 1221 sqft with fabulous amenity spaces. The apartments vary from one to three bedrooms with vibrant finishes, CCTV, large balconies and composite oak paneled front doors with security features.

Residents of Marine Ices Apartments will also be able to enjoy the convenience of retail stores and / or supermarket on the ground floor – perfect for those everyday essentials as well a future capital growth.

Indeed, proximity to supermarkets can positively affect house prices; known as ‘The Waitrose Effect’, research by Lloyds Bank suggests that homes within a near reach of any local supermarket are worth on average £21,512 more than others in the same area.

We know these apartments will be in great demand due to their prime location and high specification and we have already had interest in the units off-plan. London is and will remain one of the top global cities in which to live and we are proud to be able to deliver new homes of this standard to the capital.”

Henry Fordham, Director, Bellis Homes


Marine Ices Apartments are available from £650,00 to £1.5 million, for more information, contact Bellis Homes on 01279 424 733 or visit

Swim training systems are latest fitness craze for residential swimming pool installations

Swim training systems are latest fitness craze for residential swimming pool installations

United Kingdom

· Aqua Platinum reports significant rise in demand for counter current systems 

· Powerful swim training systems allow for enhanced health benefits, even in small pools 

· Celebrities and athletes inspiring many to embrace this form of exercise 

The residential swimming pool industry experiences trends in response to technological advances and celebrity endorsements, just like any other sector. Right now, home owners are seeking out powerful swim training systems in order to gain maximum exercise benefits from their home pool and spa complexes.

Luxury swimming pool design and build company Aqua Platinum has highlighted the huge growth in this sector.

“There’s been a huge increase in demand for counter current swimming technology in the past few months, as more and more people come to recognise the health benefits of these systems. Counter current systems are ideal for swimmers who want to build up their core strength and endurance.” 

Dominic Searle, Aqua Platinum 

Swimming training systems work by creating a powerful current within the pool. They can be installed in pools of almost any size and are ideal for small pools where swimming lengths isn’t realistic.

By swimming against the current, individuals can benefit from an enhanced workout that is incredibly low-impact on the joints. Counter current swimming also serves to speed up the metabolism and even elongate the muscles.

This last benefit was one that actress Natalie Portman was particularly looking to achieve when she swam a mile every day while preparing to film Black Swan. Many other celebrities swear by swimming when it comes to top ways to keep their A-list bodies in shape.

Julia Roberts opts for laps in her Malibu pool, while Nicole Kidman reports that swimming is her favourite exercise and fits in 30 minutes almost every day. Jennifer Aniston makes sure to swim three times each week, while Matthew McConaughey and David Duchovny are also big fans of keeping fit in the water.

“It’s not just celebrities who can achieving amazing muscle tone and overall fitness levels as a result of swimming. Counter current systems mean that anyone can instantly improve the health benefits of their swimming pool, turning what is already a great form of exercise into something even more effective and enjoyable.” 

Dominic Searle, Aqua Platinum

Most of those with high end pools tend to opt for swim training systems like the JetStream TriVa, which looks beautifully sleek and stylish. The system suits a wide range of swimming abilities and levels, from beginners right up to professional level training. The variable current speeds are also great for those looking to build strength while recovering from injury.

At Newlands Manor in Dorset, the counter current training system is suitable for athletic level swim training. It is complemented by a steam room, bespoke spa and wet bar to provide the perfect balance of health benefits and relaxation. The Aqua Platinum team reports that the company currently has several more projects under construction that include swim training systems, as the trend continues to gain momentum.

For more information, call 0203 362 0442 or visit 

Premiership Pads

Premiership Pads

United Kingdom
  • 2017-18 Premier League kicks off on 11th August
  • Premiership footballers look to secure properties near home clubs ahead of the season’s start
  • North London’s leafy suburbs score highly with Spurs and Arsenal superstars


With the 2017-18 Premier League kicking off its 26th season on Friday 11th August, homes near to clubs and training grounds are receiving high levels of interest from players, coaches and managers alike.

Footballers in Britain are renowned for having lavish taste when it comes down to bricks and mortar and with many enjoying astronomical wages, budgets aren’t often too much of a concern.

In London alone there are more than 200 footballers in the Premier League, which may not sound a lot compared to the 8.7 million also calling the capital home but their presence does carry influence on some locations.

One such area is North London with the corridor running north from Highgate through Hampstead to Enfield, Barnet and Hadley Wood attracting a good number of footballers.

Of course footballers like to live close to their home clubs training grounds (it is a well-known fact that Jose Mourinho made all his players live within three miles of their Chelsea training ground) and with Arsenal’s home ground, the Emirates Stadium in Highbury, their training ground further north in Watford and Tottenham Hotspur calling Wembley Stadium home this season and their training ground up at Enfield, premiership pads in North London are in high demand.

The Hadley Wood market is extremely active, here at Statons we receive no end of enquiries and buying activity is at an all-time high in the area. House prices  have now stabalised and a great deal of buyers in the area are after new homes for ease and lack of hassle. Because of this, new home builders such as Bellis Homes are popular in the region. The location is key when it comes to Hadley Wood, with it being only 18 minutes from the city and having many of the top schools in the country surrounding the area which continually add value. The types of people you will typically find in the capacity include the likes of business professionals, celebrities, footballers and sportsmen. With the premiership season coming up it is more likely for footballers to rent first rather than buy in Hadley Wood.”

Lawrence Henry, Spokesperson for Statons, Hadley Wood


With beautiful parks, quiet residential and private roads not to mention large, lavish homes, North London’s suburbs offer a welcome retreat for footballers and celebrities alike with the likes of Harry Styles, Kate Moss, Jude Law and Thierry Henry, Arsene Wenger, Robert Pires and Nacer Chadli choosing to call this part of London home.

Many players for both Arsenal and Spurs live in and around Hadley Wood where Bellis Homes has launched two stunning new homes as well as in Hampstead where the family-run housebuilder has launched a brand new collection of apartments, not quite four, three, three but Four5Two.

It’s no secret that North London is attractive to high profile individuals. It’s an escape from the hustle and bustle (and paparazzi lenses) of central London with sportsmen and women, in particular footballers, buying here for space and seclusion. Over the last few months we have welcomed interest from a number of high profile players in both our developments at Hadley Wood as well as Hampstead – but of course buyer discretion is key!”

Henry Fordham Director, Bellis Homes


Premiership pads: On the market

Four5Two apartments are located just 1 mile from Hampstead tube station and half a mile from the Heath itself, these new apartments will offer deluxe living with rear balconies boasting park views. The apartments are available to purchase now from £1.1m-£2.2m.

The Hadley Wood development consists of two luxurious, large houses built with the highest level of quality and finishes. Both houses consist of 4 storeys including basement construction; the larger house includes a lift, swimming pool, Cinema and walk in fridge Mulliner House is available from £5,500,000 and Calleva House is available from £3,750,000.


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



Surrenden Invest gets in the fast lane by sponsoring racing driver Nick Yelloly

Surrenden Invest gets in the fast lane by sponsoring racing driver Nick Yelloly

United Kingdom World ,

Jonathan Stephens MD of leading property investment agency, Surrenden Invest has announced sponsorship of racing driver Nick Yelloly.

A keen motorsports fan and amateur driver himself, it was an easy decision for Jonathan to make and he is relishing in the fact that he can now attend and support Nick on a regular basis.


After starting Surrenden Invest at a young age, I understand the struggles of going out there alone and fighting for your position amongst other contenders, that is why I am keen to support others doing the same in whatever field they choose. Nick is a great guy with heaps of potential and I am thrilled to be part of his journey”.


Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest


Born in Stafford, Nick Yelloly started his racing career by competing in karts at the age of 15. He made his debut in 2005, working his way from Junior TKM Intermediate to ICA and finally the Super 1 International KF1 Championships in 2008 where he finished eighth.

Currently lying second in the 2017 Porsche Carrera Cup after grabbing a win and second place in the last race at Norisring in Germany, Nick is speeding to great successes.

To date Nick’s personal career highlights include:

  • Test and simulator driver for Force India F1 since 2014
  • Race Winner in Formula Renault 2.0L, GP3, Formula Renault 3.5 & Porsche Carrera Cup Germany
  • Currently lying 2nd in the Carrera Cup Germany Championship in after winning then finishing second in the last race at Norisring in Germany

Last weekend Jonathan attended the F1 demonstration at the Silverstone Classic. Nick drove the Williams Racing FW14b World Championship winning car of Nigel Mansell where he displayed the car to the public at full speed, celebrating 25 years since the car’s historic win at the British Grand Prix.


It is amazing to have the solid support of Surrenden Invest behind me, I am looking forward to what the future has to hold for myself and the Surrenden team.”


Nick Yelloly, Racing Driver


 For further details, visit or call 0203 3726 4999.

Launch of new IMPRSS interior design service certainly impresses the PRS

Launch of new IMPRSS interior design service certainly impresses the PRS

United Kingdom World , ,
  • Alexander James Interiors launches dedicated PRS interior design service
  • Proportion of young people renting privately has nearly doubled in past decade
  • IMPRSS works with builders, landlords & developers to meet the needs of Generation Rent

 Renowned interior design company Alexander James Interiors has announced the launch of its brand new IMPRSS service.

IMPRSS is a dedicated service that caters to the design needs of the UK’s rapidly expanding private rented sector (PRS) and build to rent market

The 2015/16 English Housing Survey revealed that 20% of all households now rent privately, meaning that the PRS has doubled in size since the 10% of the population that it accounted for throughout the 1980s and 1900s. Renting is particularly prevalent among younger people, with 46% of 25 to 34 year olds renting privately (up from 24% just ten years ago).

It was the needs of these young renters in particular that first gave rise to the idea of IMPRSS.


We created IMPRSS to service the needs of Generation Rent. The service designs beautiful, aspirational homes for those who rent privately. We work with housebuilders, developers and corporate landlords to help them shape their properties to the needs and desires of contemporary tenants.”


Robert Walker, Managing Director, Alexander James Interior Design

The rapid growth of the private rented sector and the increase in dedicated build to rent developments had led to a gap in the market in terms of interior design. IMPRSS is filling that gap

Rental properties require robust furniture and furnishings. The IMPRSS team is demonstrating that that doesn’t have to be at the expense of style. The IMPRSS brochure details five contemporary design options that private landlords can use to ensure that potential tenants are queuing up to live in their superior accommodation.

By tapping in to the aspirations of Generation Rent, IMPRSS is enabling landlords to maximise rents while minimising void periods. By seeking out low maintenance furnishings that are durable yet low maintenance, IMPRSS is also ensuring that upkeep costs are kept to a minimum.


The growth of the PRS in the UK has created a unique opportunity for landlords. We are working to help them stay ahead of the competition. An outstanding show home can work wonders when it comes to signing tenants up to a new property. It can make those viewing it feel right at home, as though they belong, the moment they step through the door. Many tenants then want to see precisely that standard of décor in the apartments that they rent. That’s what we’re working with builders and developers to deliver.”


Robert Walker, Managing Director, Alexander James Interior Design

The IMPRSS service is available to PRS property holders across the UK. As well as furnishing PRS homes, IMPRSS offers a range of bolt-on options, in order to deliver a full service. These include electrical goods, kitchenware, pictures and mirrors, soft furnishings (towels and linen) and accessories. There are even free extras for landlords who purchase all five bolt-ons, including Nespresso machines and Sonos Play 3 systems.


For more information, visit IMPRSS at or call 020 3362 0472.

Subterranean sanctuaries: Aqua Platinum reports boom in private basement spas

Subterranean sanctuaries: Aqua Platinum reports boom in private basement spas

United Kingdom World ,
  • 6 out of 10 workers are experiencing increased stress levels (Regus Group)
  • Basement planning permission applications more than double in a decade (Glenigan)
  • Home spas offer the ideal solution for combating rising stress levels (Aqua Platinum)


Stress levels around the world are on the rise. According to a survey spanning 15 countries by the Regus Group, six out of every ten workers in significant global economies are experiencing increased stress in the workplace. Those working for larger companies were the most likely to experience stress, with the likelihood almost double that of smaller companies.

“As our world becomes more stressful, we’ve noticed an increase in people seeking new ways to combat stress. Homes are becoming sanctuaries from the outside world and one notable result of this is the boom in basement spas that we’re currently witnessing.”


Aqua Platinum spokesperson

Basement spas make sense for a number of reasons. The stress-busting advantages of having your own on-site Jacuzzi and steam room are obvious, but there are also economic reasons why creating a home spa in your basement is a good idea. This is particularly true in some pricier areas.

“A basement costs circa £500 per square foot to build and then you have to fit it out, so once an area gets beyond an average value of circa £750 per square foot it makes sense. Most areas in the doughnut around central London are now well over £750 per square foot, with £1,000 not unusual, making these investments very good value.”

Ed Mead, director, Douglas & Gordon


Rising house prices in London have led to a surge in planning applications to dig basements in recent years, with 887 applications to build basements on residential properties submitted in 2015. The figure was up by a quarter on year before and nearly double that of the 2007 pre-crisis peak, according to figures from Glenigan.

One of the most well-known basement planning permission applicants last year was Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich. The Russian tycoon was granted permission to expand the basement beneath his mansion in Kensington in order to fit in a larger swimming pool.

Swimming pools are one of the most popular elements of home spas, according to the experts at luxury swimming pool design and build company Aqua Platinum, but complementary facilities are increasingly sought after.


“Swimming pools can be designed to suit almost any space – there’s a vast amount of flexibility when it comes to shape and size. We’ve seen a trend recently for home owners to opt for smaller pools in order to make room for other spa elements, such as steam rooms and experience showers. Many property owners are looking for the full spa experience, to bolster the enjoyment and fitness benefits of owning a private swimming pool.”


Aqua Platinum spokesperson


Not far from Roman Abramovich’s Kensington pad, Aqua Platinum was appointed to design and build a high-tech indoor swimming pool and sauna at Burnsall House in Chelsea.

The largest detached home to have built in Chelsea for nearly a decade, Burnsall House was a special home in many ways and the design of its basement spa was no exception. The seamless transition from interior wall to pool on three sides took some careful planning. The result was a stunning, bespoke pool that exudes calm and peace.

With massage jets in the pool and a superb sauna alongside it, the basement spa complex offers the ideal antidote to the stresses and strains of modern life. It perfectly encapsulates the trend for turning homes into sanctuaries to combat rising global stress levels.


For more information, call 0203 362 0442 or visit

All that glitters is sales gold, as Alexander James Interior Design show home drives 85% of Hatton Wall off-plan sales

All that glitters is sales gold, as Alexander James Interior Design show home drives 85% of Hatton Wall off-plan sales

United Kingdom
  • Six out of seven apartments at Twenty Hatton Wall sold off the back of show home viewings
  • Show apartment perfectly reflects the individual style and heritage of Clerkenwell
  • Sales success reinforces the role of interior design in today’s property market


Alexander James Interior Design is celebrating the success of its latest show home – a two-bedroom duplex apartment at Twenty Hatton Wall in Clerkenwell.

The superbly presented show home led to six out of seven apartments in the development being sold off-plan.

“We are delighted by the resounding success of the Twenty Hatton Wall show home. We dressed it to appeal to contemporary Londoners, allowing them to picture themselves at home in the development. The results speak for themselves!”

 Richard Angel, Managing Director for London, Alexander James Interior Design


Twenty Hatton Wall is a collection of seven one-bedroom and two-bedroom duplex apartments arranged over the top two floors of the Black Bull Yard premium office development.

Developed by Boultbee Brooks, each apartment enjoys its own private rooftop terrace area, while interiors are bright, expansive and flooded with natural light thanks to the floor to ceiling windows.

The Alexander James team was tasked with furnishing one of the two-bedroom duplexes, priced at £1.1 million. The design needed to reflect the vibe of the local area – stylish, arty and creative.

 “Due to high specification of the apartments, their premium location and superior design, not to mention the stylish show home designed by Alexander James, Twenty Hatton Wall was always destined to be a highly desirable and fast moving development. Having the carefully considered show home in place enabled buyers to picture themselves at home at Twenty Hatton Wall and made their decision to purchase an easy one.”

 Joshua Ayres, Director, London Residential Development, Hamptons International


As well as drawing inspiration from the local Clerkenwell vibe, the Alexander James team looked to Shoreditch and New York in terms of the style of the show home.

Given the trend-conscious nature of buyers in the Clerkenwell area, it was essential to achieve the perfect balance of contemporary chic and retro-inspired cool. With nearly all plots sold as a result of show apartment viewings, clearly the design was absolutely spot on.

“It’s always exciting to be asked to design and dress a new development, especially with the challenge of the immediate location not typically associated with residential property. Our skill is in having a thorough understanding of the London residential market, what the competition is doing and what prospective purchasers want from a home. This allows us to get into the mind-set of the buyer and view the property through their eyes, then furnish it accordingly to ensure success. In this case, that meant tapping into a true Londoner’s perspective and creating a home that was at once comfortable but aspirational, an oasis of funky luxury in one of London’s hippest areas. Seeing nearly all of the apartments sell as a result of our work was a delight and emphasises the value of interior design in today’s property market and importantly the value-add Alexander James Interiors brings to our clients.”

 Richard Angel, Managing Director for London, Alexander James Interior Design

For more information, visit Alexander James Interior Design at or call 0203 362 0472.