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 www.bellishomes.co.uk 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 http://www.behere-hayes.co.uk/

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
www.surrendeninvest.com

Turkey courts the world’s golfers, as tourism numbers rise significantly

Turkey courts the world’s golfers, as tourism numbers rise significantly

Turkey United Kingdom
  • Visitor numbers increased to 38.6 million in 2017 (Turkish Statistical Institute)
  • Golf tourists spend 120% more than general tourists (IAGTO)
  • Kusadasi winning favour with golfers and expats alike when it comes to contemporary Turkish homes (Spot Blue)

Back in 2015, KPMG crowned Turkey the ‘Rising Star of Golf,’ flagging it up as one of the most successful golf tourism destinations in the world. Given the International Association of Golf Tour Operators’ assertion that golf tourists spend an average of 120% more than general tourists, the need to nurture this segment of Turkey’s visitors was clear.

Fast forward three years and it’s clear that Turkey is working not only to woo golf tourists with its courses, but also to tempt them to buy golf properties there too.

Golf tourism in Turkey is big business. There are some absolutely sublime golf courses here, while Turkey has the weather to ensure that golfing here holds almost year-round appeal. A great deal of money has gone into enhancing the country’s golf offering in recent years, from course upgrades and whole new courses to superb golf developments for those with a real passion for the game. 

Julian Walker, MD, Spot Blue

The PGA National Turkey Antalya Golf Club is currently showcasing its courses, having become Turkey’s first 36-hole golf resort. Representatives are touring key European golfing markets and promoting the courses, which lie in Turkey’s famous Belek golfing paradise.

“…It’s clear from the response that we’ve received at all the shows that there is a real appetite for playing golf in Turkey and at PGA National Turkey. 

Ahmet Cagil, General Manager, PGA National Turkey Antalya Golf Club

For many golfers, though, a holiday just isn’t enough. Second homes on golf resorts are immensely popular and Turkey has more than risen to the challenge of providing a tempting array of options. Some of the best are located at Kusadasi, a prestigious golf club with its own academy, pro shop and renowned clubhouse restaurant.

Properties at Kusadasi are not only exquisite in their design, but also surprisingly affordable. A two-bedroom apartment with its own private pool and steps down to a larger, communal pool is priced from just £59,500. Semi-detached houses start from £99,500, while beautifully contemporary, detached triplex villas are available for £159,500.

Visitor numbers to Turkey picked up significantly in 2017, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute. 38.6 million tourists visited Turkey over the course of the year, compared to 31.4 million in 2016. Income from tourism was up as well; the last quarter of 2017 saw an increase in tourism income of 27.7%, 77.7% of which came from visitors from overseas. Overall, tourism income for the year totalled $26.3 billion.

Kusadasi, with its laidback beach vibe and glorious weather, attracts many tourists throughout the year. Its large expat community encourages some of those to stay for longer, buying second homes and even primary residences so that they can enjoy the area more fully – including its excellent golf course.

Belek remains the spiritual home of golf in Turkey, but Kusadasi appeals to those wanting golf and something more as well. The laidback lifestyle, plentiful restaurants and blend of old and new offers something unique in Turkey.

“Not only does East meet West in Kusadasi, but traditional meets modern. And all this for an affordable price tag. It’s an immensely popular area and for many, the superb golfing facilities and golf resort properties give this area the edge over other parts of Turkey, particularly as we gear up for another summer of golf tourism.” 

Julian Walker, MD, Spot Blue 

For further information about buying or selling property in Turkey, please contact: 

Spot Blue

Tel: +44 (0)20 8339 6036    

Email: info@spotblue.com 

Website: www.spotblue.com

Notes to Editors:

Spot Blue International Property is one of the UK’s leading Turkish property agencies, with hundreds of properties regularly listed and updated on its website, www.spotblue.com. As well as helping developers promote their projects to the UK and other foreign markets, www.spotblue.com features properties for sale by private individuals. Spot Blue only promotes property of developers that pass its due diligence assessment. It also specialises in matching buyers with suitable properties and operates in all major resorts in Turkey. The company’s high profile in the UK means it is regularly quoted in the national press and invited to appear on panels at leading seminars and exhibitions.

Liverpool, European Capital of Culture: 2008 – 2018

Liverpool, European Capital of Culture: 2008 – 2018

United Kingdom

On 4th June 2003, Liverpool was announced as the European Capital of Culture for 2008.  The award represented an opportunity for urban regeneration, as well as a revival of the cultural, social and economic image of the city.

Liverpool saw enormous advantages from the win. Research programme, Impact 08, found that the city had seen 9.7 million visitors during its festival year of 2008, – an increase of a third – generating an extra £753.8m for the economy and the city’s transformation in the lead-up to the award year gave Liverpool a huge boost as regeneration led to a surge of people wanting to live in the city.

Having just chosen Liverpool as the location for its first non-London office, specialist end-to-end property investment company Surrenden Invest’s Sales Director and Liverpool resident, Joanne McCormack reflects on the impact of the flow of new residents:

“Hosting European Capital of Culture resulted in Liverpool’s population increasing from 435,500 in 2001 to nearer 600,000. Over the same period, 22 to 29-year-olds in the city centre increased fourfold, while the overall city centre population increase stood at 160%.
This new trend for living in the city centre has been increasing ever since and has led to a huge rise in demand for rental properties meaning developers are racing to keep up with regeneration and the supply of new homes.”
 

Some of the developments that have already changed the face of the city include the Ten Streets regeneration project, the new Liverpool One shopping centre, regeneration of the Albert Docks and Lime Street, and the Liverpool Waters and Anfield projects, all of which have created huge boosts to the local area.  Future town plans include expansion of the port of Liverpool for cruise liners, a potential new football stadium located in the docks and an all-new University hospital.

Research from academics at Liverpool University found that 85% of the city’s residents agreed that Liverpool is a better place to live in than before.  The city is now packed with attractions and during 2018 a year-long programme of culture, music and sporting events will mark the anniversary since the city hosted European Capital of Culture.

Ten years on from the win, Liverpool is now regularly noted as one of the world’s top places to visit and is a notable property investment hotspot in the UK.  The city has enjoyed sustained property price rises, with data from Zoopla showing an increase in home values of 5.52% over the past year and of 28.35% over the past five years.

Property investment experts Surrenden Invest which has just opened an office in the heart of the city, predicts that Liverpool will continue to go from strength to strength offering low price points and strong growth potential, making it an ideal option for investors.

“The city has a thriving, service-based economy, which was worth £29.5 billion in 2015 and is leading the UK’s Northern Powerhouse region in terms of its overall GVA growth and its growth of GVA per capita. A growing population, backed by strong economic credentials and a buoyant housing market make Liverpool an ideal environment for opportunity pushing it up on the list of UK cities to watch.”

Jonathan Stephens, Founder & MD, Surrenden Invest

One opportunity attracting a great deal of investor attention enjoys a prime position in Liverpool’s L3 postcode area to the north of the city centre.  The Tannery, exclusively available through Surrenden Invest, is just 1.1 miles from the 125-acre Ten Streets regeneration project, which is set to create some 2,500 jobs, as well as being close to the £150m Jennifer Project regeneration scheme with its flagship new Sainsbury’s superstore and extensive retail offering.  There are also plans for a new police headquarters to be built on nearby Scotland Road, bringing an additional 850 workers to the area 10 minutes walking distance from The Tannery.

This historic, once industrial part of town is rapidly becoming one of the most desirable and trendy investment locations in Liverpool, with The Tannery standing out as an iconic building on one of the most covetable roads in the city.

The building’s design draws from the site’s history as a tannery. Folded aluminium panels resemble the hanged leather that the site’s original building once housed, while horizontal breaks in the façade represent the leather press.

Facilities such as 24hr concierge, on-site gym, laundry facilities, a private gated courtyard, and underground secure parking are just some of the comforts which come as standard. Impressive views over the city centre complement modern interiors, designed to offer both comfort and contemporary appeal to urban residents.

Prices at The Tannery start from £85,000 with net rental yields estimated at 6.0%.

Surrenden Invest
London office: 0203 3726 499
Liverpool office: 0151 3477 459
www.surrendeninvest.com

Marc Pritchard’s 5 top tips to finding your dream home in Spain this Easter

Marc Pritchard’s 5 top tips to finding your dream home in Spain this Easter

United Kingdom

Increasingly the temptation to spend the Easter break overseas is winning over the hearts of those looking for the certainty of sunshine for their precious time off. The latest survey by easyJet revealed that Spanish cities were the top choices for travellers heading overseas over Easter.

Many Brits will be looking seriously at Spain this Easter with a view to purchasing a second home, relocation or retirement property. Buying the dream home overseas can be a confusing process however so Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España, Spain’s market-leading homebuilder, has put together his 5 top tips to find the perfect holiday home whilst on your Easter break.

 

  1. Find a company you trust – firstly, make sure to contact a company that has a proven track record that you can trust. Do some research online to find the right developer; be sure you know who you are dealing with and trust them to handle your transaction smoothly. Leading Spanish home builder Taylor Wimpey España, which celebrates its 60th year of operations (1958 – 2018), is leading the way in new-build homes in Spain.
  2. Identify the areas and region you like – As the property will be a fair few miles away from the UK, it is important to ensure that there are good transport links to the main airports. Being close to airports and indeed amenities such as restaurants, beaches or golf courses will help you to enjoy the Mediterranean life more easily. Potential buyers ready to purchase with Taylor Wimpey España are likely to be looking in one of three main areas: the Costa Blanca, the Costa del Sol or the Balearic Islands, primarily due to their good connectivity.
  3. Choose the type of property you want to buy – The type of property will depend on your tastes and specific needs – there is a wide choice. Happily, Taylor Wimpey España has something for everyone. Try Royal Blue on the stunning island of Mallorca for penthouse living with uninterrupted sea views. Want a golf course within walking distance of your home? Then head to Marbella on the Costa del Sol and go for the luxury homes of Le Caprice with training programmes for golf lovers.
  4. Book an appointment for a viewing – As with any home purchase, there can be pitfalls when buying a house overseas so, it is very important not to rush in but take advantage of holiday breaks to visit first before buying. To view properties during Easter, Taylor Wimpey España’s team are on hand to meet at a time which suits you the most.
  5. Make it legal – There are certain legal steps that need to be considered such as obtaining a Spanish fiscal (INE) number, signing contracts, paying fees and taxes and making staged payments. Get a lawyer to translate documents if they are in Spanish. An overseas buyer should take the time to learn about the purchase process of a holiday home and a reputable seller, such as Taylor Wimpey España, should be happy to help buyers though that process.
  6.  

    If time is spent wisely and homework properly done, it could be one of the best decisions you make to buy a Spanish property. So if you are thinking of visiting some stunning holiday homes during your trip to Spain for Easter, why not start now and book a no-obligation appointment with Taylor Wimpey España by clicking here:

    http://taylorwimpeyspain.com/newsletter/Visit_show_home_en.htm

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

Step Forward Homes reports rising demand for affordable homes from veterans and 999 workers

United Kingdom

The NHS pay rise that unions have just agreed has catapulted the issue of affordable housing for emergency workers into the spotlight once more. The rise of at least 6.5% over three years is no doubt welcome news, but is still unlikely to keep up with inflation, meaning that nurses, porters and paramedics will continue to face issues when it comes to affording property.

Like many key workers, 999 staff have found their salaries increasingly insufficient when it comes to saving up a deposit or applying for a mortgage. One impact of this is that many of those workers are being pushed to live further and further from their place of work, as they seek out the few homes that they can still afford. According to MPS figures for 2015, 54% of ‘blue light’ emergency services workers in the capital no longer live within London.

“If you finish at 7pm in the evening, before you get home and get yourself sorted out, it is probably 10 o’clock at night. And then you need to leave home at half past four in the morning again to start work at seven.”

Anthony Scantlebury, GMB London Ambulance Service

 

The excessive travel required can result in an increase in stress, which in turn leads to rising sickness levels. Stress and other mental health issues can have a major impact on productivity. Despite having 1,275 fewer officers than in 2010/11, the Metropolitan Police in 2016/17 saw a staggering 72% rise in the number of sick days taken due to psychological health issues.

Mental health problems are also a concern for the UK’s Armed Forces. Ministry of Defence figures show that an average of seven troops are discharged daily due to health problems. In the year to October 2017, 2,526 troops were discharged on medical grounds – the highest rate for three years.

Affordable housing is an issue for ex-Forces personnel, just as it is for emergency workers. In 2012, all 407 local authorities signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant and Community Covenant, which were designed to ensure that those coming out of the Armed Forces should take priority when it came to affordable housing. However, the Department of Communities and Local Government does not monitor the number of veterans who receive housing in the UK, making it hard to assess the policy’s impact.

“The Armed Forces Covenant clearly states that such a Service leaver should suffer ‘no disadvantage’. Yet as this [University of York] report has found, the planning and execution required around housing do not adequately support the Nation’s undertaking.”

Tony Stables, Chairman, Forces in Mind Trust

Research on the accommodation and housing related support needs of single veterans in Britain undertaken by the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York in 2013 found that ex-Forces personnel faced particular issues in terms of buying their own homes.

“Low rates of home ownership and experience of the civilian housing market places many of those leaving Service, particularly among non-officer ranks, at a disadvantage in accessing housing.”

Centre for Housing Policy, University of York

The problem continues to this day. Innovative not-for-profit housing company Step Forward RP Ltd is working with Britain’s Armed Forces and emergency services personnel in order to deliver a fresh approach to affordable housing. The company deals daily with those facing increasing difficulties in their efforts to find affordable accommodation, either to rent or to buy.

“Armed Forces personnel and 999 workers in the UK are being increasingly left behind when it comes to affordable accommodation. That’s why Step Forward Homes is continuing to build new homes to rent and buy for our current and former Armed Forces personnel and first responders. The number of affordable homes isn’t yet where it needs to be and we need to do all we can to ensure that affordable provision increases as rapidly as possible.”

Stephen Boardman MBE DL, Step Forward Homes

 

Step Forward Homes offers shared ownership homes for those looking to buy, and accommodation with rents set 20% below market value for those who want to rent. The company serves clients in the North West of England, working in partnership with housing associations in order to ensure that local key workers’ needs are met.

With inflation continuing to outpace salaries in the UK, the issue of affordable housing continues to grow. The Savills Housing Sector Survey highlights the need for new homes from a much wider range of sources, as well as a broader range of tenures. Providing affordable housing requires new ways of thinking about funding models. 43% of those whom Savills surveyed said they needed to change their financial structure in order to facilitate development. Step Forward Homes has done this by working with institutional investors.

“Providing affordable housing means thinking outside the box. It’s about taking a fresh look at what we can achieve without placing further pressure on the UK’s taxpayers. That’s why our funding model doesn’t rely on grants or government funding at any stage. There are ways to provide affordable housing that work for all concerned – we just need to be proactive about doing so. That way, we can build a better future for everyone.”

Stephen Boardman MBE DL, Step Forward Homes

 

For more information, please visit https://stepforwardhomes.co.uk or call 01565 648284.

Off skiing for Easter? Higher isn’t always better

Off skiing for Easter? Higher isn’t always better

United Kingdom

Everyone knows that buying a decent property in the best ski resorts requires a healthy bank account and probably equally healthy friendships and insider contacts, if you follow our drift.

That’s why, those in search of a practical base for their mountain leisure pursuits should definitely consider looking just outside their desired location or resort.”
Julian Walker, Director,
Skiingproperty.com

By moving slightly down the mountain, buyers in France’s famously glitzy Courchevel for instance, can save nearly two thirds on a home in La Tania, which at 1400 metres is on the valley’s lower slopes compared to its glamourous cousin at 1850 metres.

Close to Courchevel, there are several other villages, which enjoy access to the westerly section of the Three Valleys, the world’s largest ski area, which Courchevel is the star of.

The villages are in varying levels of development and charisma, but ultimately each location benefits from the recent investment in the Three Valleys facilities and the resort is well equipped to cope with new seasonal residents. For example, Courchevel’s new fast lifts have considerably reduced queueing times and a full day’s skiing can now be compressed into half the time thanks to improved efficiency.

There are enough activities outside of skiing too. Aquamotion is an indoor water park with a range of pools, saunas, steam rooms and even an artificial wave pool.
Activities like paragliding, mountain biking, zip lining and trekking are focal points for many visitors all year round.

There is a brand new 3km toboggan run which is guaranteed to give a hair-raising experience and is served by a new gondola which was also opened last year.  Both can be accessed from Courchevel 1650.

Courchevel 1850 is France’s most prestigious and expensive resort with property prices closer matching some of the world’s capital cities.

Savvy buyers who have done their research will know that less than 10 minutes away lies the much more relaxed and authentic Courchevel Moriond 1650, where you can make a comparatively affordable house purchase.

Further downhill is the slightly larger Le Praz, at 1,300m. The lively resort offers a great base for exploring the region whilst the glamour of Courchevel 1850 can be easily accessed via a gondola.

Nearby, and only slightly higher is the small resort of La Tania, which is easily navigated on foot and enjoys all the benefits of the Three Valleys without the jet-setting price tag.

On the market:

4-bedroom Ski Chalets for sale in La Tania

£1,240,277

  • 4 spacious bedrooms, 121-128 sqm
  • High quality features
  • Ski-in ski-out location
  • 30 metres from the ski lift
  • Underground parking

Selection of luxurious Ski Apartments for sale in Courchevel Le Praz

£876,412

  • 14 new build apartments, 60 to 122 sqm
  • Two, three & four bedrooms
  • Spectacular views
  • Close to town centre
  • 400 metres from ski lifts
  • Close to shops
  • Parking, ski locker
  • 2 hours from Geneva airport

Ski Apartments for sale in Courchevel 1650

£740,438

  • Two & three bedrooms
  • Parking included
  • Close to ski lifts & slopes
  • Restaurant & shop on-site
  • Wellness area
  • Near Aquamotion water park

For further information contact
www.skiingproperty.com
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8339 6036

 

Manchester Middlewood Locks welcomes new residents

Manchester Middlewood Locks welcomes new residents

United Kingdom
  • Manchester flagged as one of UKs best places to live with houses prices up by 4.3%
  • Salford’s Middlewood Locks regeneration area connects growing population with new homes and city centre living
  • Surrenden Invest launch superb new development Middlewood Plaza

Things are going well for the city of Manchester, in North West England. The Sunday Times flagged Manchester up as being one of the best places to live in the UK, citing its funky atmosphere, green space and excellent schools as offering the complete package.

Manchester’s strong talent pool (fed by its top tier universities), workforce catchment area, employer costs, employee quality of life and economic output all consistently contribute to it getting ranked high for working, living and visiting alike.

Your Move’s latest house price data shows a rise in house prices in the North West of England, despite falls in many other areas of the country. While house prices in London fell by 2.6% in the year to January 2018, they rose by 4.3% in Manchester.

For those considering a property purchase around Manchester, Salford should be at the top of their list of locations to consider.  Offering swish new places to live and work, Salford is undergoing a renaissance and a population boom.

After decades of being Manchester’s poor relative, Salford is on the up with a bold ambition to become a modern urban hub with a string of developments planned west of the Irwell covering the likes of Salford Quays, Greengate & Port Salford.

Salford’s most exciting regeneration zone is Middlewood, conveniently situated between Manchester city centre and central Salford.  The area is undergoing rapid transformation with 5000 homes, new commercial premises and the amenity zone of Middlewood Locks, which is being built around existing retail parks and set to become Salford’s most desirable residential location thanks to its routes in and out of the centre.  The £1 billion regeneration project encompasses a gym, hotel, bars, restaurants, nursery and medical centre, as well as residential accommodation.

April sees the launch of a superb new residential development in this area; – Middlewood Plaza. Exclusively available through Surrenden Invest, the new development is just ten minutes’ walk from Manchester city centre, providing residents with access to the amenities of both Manchester and Salford. Featuring impressive, split-height blocks of six and nine storeys, the development is home to 125 beautifully designed homes, complemented by an extensive roof terrace with views over the city.

Designed to meet the diverse housing needs of Manchester’s urban professionals, Middlewood Plaza offers a mix of apartments, townhouses and duplexes. Secure underground parking and cycle bays are available for residents’ use. In addition, the properties feature smart technology, including whole-house ventilation and sprinkler system protection. The homes are also all fully wheelchair accessible.

For investors, Middlewood Plaza presents an opportunity to be part of one of Manchester’s most exciting regeneration areas, packed with potential for capital growth.

Homes can be purchased with the optional convenience of tailored furniture packs and interior design solutions, courtesy of established furnishings specialist, David Phillips.

A mixture of 1, 2 & 3-bedroom apartments, townhouses and penthouses are available.

Prices start from £153,500 – £393,500 with projected net yields of 5% net.

For further information contact www.surrendeninvest.com email info@surrendeninvest.com or call 0203 3726 499.

“At Be, we deliver something very different to the current Buy-to-Let landlords’ offer” says Simon Chatfield, Senior Director at Be

“At Be, we deliver something very different to the current Buy-to-Let landlords’ offer” says Simon Chatfield, Senior Director at Be

United Kingdom

Located In the heart of Hayes, be:here Hayes is a multi-award-winning rental development of high quality homes with private gardens and outstanding communal spaces which opened its doors to the first residents on 1st February 2017. It was delivered by BTR developer Be at former EMI record label building in West London.

Senior Director Simon Chatfield has helped to develop solutions for the build-to-rent sector through his Be developments. Having worked in the development industry for over 30 years, he explains some of the company’s thinking.

 

Build to Rent (BTR) is still a relatively new concept in the UK, what do you think is holding back the growth of the sector?

Be has been successful in building a pipeline of opportunities (2,500+ homes) however there is investment available for significantly more opportunities.

Finding suitable opportunities to meet this investor demand is holding back the sector and stopping significant growth. There is support from the Greater London Authority and government for the sector and an understanding of the benefits of purpose built, professionally managed homes. We need to build on this support to ensure that more opportunities and a pipeline is created to secure further investment.

The lack of decent rental homes has left a gap in the market, how can BTR developers change the way Londoners view rental accommodation?

By continuously asking residents what they want and doing our best to deliver it. We will keep evolving our offering, as we understand more and more about what our residents want. Once tenants realise that there is a new, different offer available we believe that Londoners will start to view their options differently.
You have worked in the development industry for over 30 years, what made you decide to move into the BTR sector?

I saw the BTR sector as an exciting opportunity to create something new and innovative for a section of the population that was being largely ignored by developers and other housing providers. My experience of creating communities and a focus on delivering homes people want to live in seemed a good fit for this emerging sector.
What was your inspiration for Be:here Hayes and the Be BTR concept?

To create a customer focussed offer for tenants based on what renters told us they wanted and an attractive opportunity for investors.

We sent out 8,000 surveys to renters and ran a series of focus groups where we sat down with renters and discussed what they wanted and how we might deliver it in detail. They told us what they liked about renting, what they wanted and did not want as well as how they would like their landlord to behave. This inspired us to create something that delivered something very different to the current Buy-to-Let landlords offer.
Why did you select Hayes as the location for one of Be’s BTR sites?

We selected this site for a number of reasons:

  • Excellent transport connectivity (which will only get better when Crossrail arrives in 2019) by both rail and road
  • Being part of an exciting wider regeneration scheme – The Old Vinyl Factory – which will see a major new place emerge over the coming years. With offices, workspaces, leisure, restaurants, shops and a new school all created we see this as an exciting new place to live
  • Connectivity to local employment e.g. with Heathrow and Stockley Park close by
  • Proximity to the local services and amenities in Hayes town centre

How is Be:here Hayes changing Hayes itself?

It’s too early to say but we think the wider Old Vinyl Factory development will create a great new community and a great place to live in Hayes. We are part of that growing community. The transport improvements provided by Crossrail will ensure that the transformation of Hayes will continue.
What do you think renters want today?

We are constantly working to understand what it is that tenants want and we regularly survey our tenants to ensure we stay in touch with changing aspirations.

In essence we believe the key things renters want are:

  • Accommodation specifically designed for renting
  • Superfast broadband
  • A range of amenities and facilities such as gyms, roof gardens and shared spaces
  • On-site management to look after them and the building
  • High levels of customer service
  • A sense of community with opportunities to get to know their neighbours
  • Security to know they can stay as long as they want
  • Pets!

 

In what ways do you feel that Be is meeting the demands of renters today?

I think one of the biggest ways we are meeting renter’s demands is by delivering really good customer service.

This starts by us making the lettings process as easy as possible. Our online system provides renters with live information on the availability of units, access to photos and floor plans and enables them to reserve and complete their tenancy without the need to keep attending a letting agents office. In addition we don’t charge lettings fees.  The quickest we have done a letting is 48 hours!

Our focus on customer service ensures that once our tenants have moved in we are there to look after them and the building. We take in parcels, fix minor repairs as quickly as possible, make sure the common parts are clean and well looked after and build a sense of community.
What does the future hold for Be?

The future looks very exciting! We are getting to know our tenants better all the time so we can understand what we are doing well and improve the things we can do better.

We will be applying what we learn to our new developments and with two major site in Kew (350+ homes) and Barking (600+ homes) and a raft of other schemes we have the opportunity to create exciting new places for renting across London. In a few years’ time hopefully there will be an opportunity for more and more London tenants to rent a home in a Be development.

For more information please contact be:here Hayes on 0203 845 4796 or visit http://www.behere-hayes.co.uk/.