“Buy off-plan to beat stalling house prices and falling rental yields” says Jean Liggett

“Buy off-plan to beat stalling house prices and falling rental yields” says Jean Liggett

United Kingdom
  • London’s house price slump continues with growth rate of just 1.9% (Hometrack)
  • Haircuts of 15-20% common across the Home Counties (Properties of the World)
  • Off-plan properties once again pique investors’ interest (Properties of the World)

Whilst the financial crash a decade ago saw investor appetite for off-plan properties fall as concerns over the financial ability of some developers to complete, now experts are seeing investor interest once again in off-plan properties in light of stalling house prices and impeded rental yields.

Whether it’s ‘because of Brexit’ or not, the stalling of UK house prices over the past 12 months has not only been well-documented in the media but also physically felt across the nation.

Those peering through estate agents’ windows in London will see reductions of between 5-10% whilst anyone residing in the Home Counties, unfortunate enough to have their home valued of late, will be reeling from sweeping haircuts of between 15-20%.

Property buyers can no longer rely on never-ending upward house price trajectories thus savvy investors are looking to other methods of securing capital gains such as buying off-plan. With off-plan units traditionally cheaper than completed stock, up to 20% in some cases, investors are more willing to accept the risks of buying off-plan in return for such an attractive and swiftly realised capital return.

And with recent tax changes impeding the returns available, buy-to-let landlords too are increasingly looking to off-plan properties, especially those nearing completion, for their next purchase.


“Buy off-plan to beat stalling house prices and falling rental yields is what I say when clients ask me what they should do.

“With the imposed tax changes, every penny counts for today’s landlords so purchasing a brand new, modern buy-to-let property which requires no refurbishment and thus additional expenditure or void period whilst works are being done, is highly appealing.

“90% of our sales for UK residential buy-to-let are for off-plan properties with northern cities, especially Manchester, in high demand due to their lower entry prices and strong rental market.”

Jean Liggett, CEO Properties of the World

Manchester Waters, is currently the largest off-plan development that Properties of the World is offering investors. Comprised of 500 apartments ranging from studios to 3 beds, the award-winning development presents units available from just £109,995, with a 6% return for investors and house price growth rates of 7.3% recorded for Manchester, the fastest in the UK (Hometrack).

With excellent views of the Manchester Ship Canal, private residents’ gym and cinema room and being located just 10 minutes from the city centre, demand for these apartments, due to be completed Q4 2019, is high. Over 85% of units have already been sold off-plan since launch in July 2017.

For more information, visit http://www.propertiesoftheworld.co.uk or call +44 (0)20 7624 5555.

Be announces zero fees for West London lettings

Be announces zero fees for West London lettings

United Kingdom
  • Average letting fee is £404 (Generation Rent)
  • Be:here Hayes letting fees now £0
  • Change driven by desire to make moving as cost effective as possible for tenants

According to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), the average letting fee charged by its members is £202 per tenant. According to campaign group Generation Rent, the national average is £404. That’s a substantial amount for tenants to hand over, particularly given the other costs associated with moving house.

Now, pioneering build to rent developer Be has announced that it is moving to a no fees model for its be:here Hayes development at The Gatefold Building in Hayes, West London.

“We recognise that moving can be an expensive and stressful experience. We’ve already cut out some of the stress of moving house by providing superb, fully furnished apartments here at be:here Hayes alongside inventories and check-in being done in-house by our on-site team. Now we can reduce the cost of moving for our tenants too.”

Akash Sharma, Assistant Property Manager, be:here Hayes

Under the new offer, effective from October 16th, Be pledges to charge no referencing fees, no fees for contract updates when sharers change and no extra deposits, admin or processing fees relating to pets (a monthly ‘pet rent’ of £20 will still apply).

In addition, the company has announced that it is reducing its requirement for security deposits at be:here Hayes from six weeks’ rent to just a month’s rent – saving new tenants over £500 when renting a one bedroom apartment.

“We want tenants to enjoy moving into be:here Hayes, so that means making the process as hassle free and cost effective as possible. We’ve never charged agency fees because we do all our own lettings in-house, but we’ve gone one step further and removed the referencing fee and all other admin fees. This means new tenants have one less thing to worry about and can use the extra cash to explore their new West London neighbourhood or add a few extra personal touches to make their new apartment feel even more like home.”

Akash Sharma, Assistant Property Manager, be:here Hayes


Exploring the local area is certainly something that residents in the Gatefold building will be keen to do. The ambitious Old Vinyl Factory reimagining is bringing restaurants, shops, a cinema, a live music venue and more to residents’ very doorstep. Meanwhile, the Grand Union Canal and nearby Minet Country Park and Barra Hall Park provide plenty of opportunity for enjoying fresh air and exercise while getting back to nature. It’s a superb local offering that tenants will now be able to enjoy even more of, thanks to Be’s proactive approach to saving money.

Hayes and Harlington station is just a short walk from be:here Hayes, with fast, frequent trains to Paddington in under 20 minutes. When Crossrail arrives in 2019, residents will be able to reach Bond St in the heart of the West End in under 30 minutes.

Spacious apartments, furnished by Habitat, are available at be:here Hayes from £1,200 pcm for a one bed and from £1,450 for a two bed. Either a garden or a balcony is provided with every home and pets are welcome.

For the latest availability and any questions, please contact the be:here Hayes team directly on 020 3369 1646 or visit http://www.behere-hayes.co.uk/.

Buyers go Wild for luxury at Wildcrest by Hamill Homes

Buyers go Wild for luxury at Wildcrest by Hamill Homes

United Kingdom


  • Hugely successful Hamill Homes Wildcrest launch event showcased work of Alexander James Interior Design
  • Lifestyle showcases featured the work of Beau Han Xu and McLaren
  • Visitors delighted with bespoke Lida Cucina kitchen

An exclusive new residential launch has shown just how creative it’s possible to be when building an atmospheric viewing experience. Guests invited to the bespoke private residence Wildcrest, in Sunningdale, were treated to fine wines and canapes as part of the viewing, which also encompassed a showcase of McLaren cars from the company’s new sport series, as part of the external dressing of the property.

Once through the impressive front door, visitors enjoyed the work of leading interiors firm Alexander James Interior Design, which has been recognised as one of the World’s Top 100 Interior Designers by the Andrew Martin Design Awards 2016 and 2017.

“Working with partners like AJI allows us to showcase our product. We believe the houses that we create are truly special, and AJI offers that wonderful finishing touch that transforms them from amazing houses to spectacular homes. We have been proud to work with AJI and look forward to more collaborations in the future.”

Kevin Hamill, Director Hamill Homes Ltd

The one-off house features a range of stunning pieces, such as the work of Beau Han Xu. Xu is a designer and gemologist known for his superb glassware collection, which includes breathtaking decanters and glasses with freefall Swarovski Beau Cut zirconias in their stems.

“Products like the Beau Han Xu collection perfectly encapsulate the lifestyle offering of Wildcrest. This unique property, created by Hamill Homes, is simply exquisite. It was essential that the interior design reflected the grace and elegance of the house itself. 

Robert Walker, Managing Director, Alexander James Interior Design

The hugely successful launch event, held on 12 October, also showcased the Lida Cucina kitchen, with guests able to experience live cooking stations as part of their experience.

“A property such as Wildcrest deserves an outstanding kitchen. We worked to create a bespoke space that is incredibly stylish, while also offering all of the practical touches required for contemporary family life. The result is a kitchen that even the most committed foodie would be delighted to call their own.” 

John Harvey, Managing Director, Lida Cucina

In keeping with the tone of the property, the launch event also featured a clay pigeon shooting simulator, as well as an exclusive Linn Lounge event. Linn is known for presenting iconic artists for intimate musical performances across the UK. The opulence of the overall offering was such that Luxury Marketing House spent the day on site, filming the successful launch. The event was run in conjuction with The Luxury Network, which is known for coordinating and connecting a wide range of ultra-luxurious brands.

“This was one of those unique property events that promised to deliver an outstanding, immersive viewing experience. It presented visitors with a true taste for the sumptuousness of the lifestyle being offered by Wildcrest. Interior design plays a key role in that, with the subtle interplay of colours and textures creating an overarching feeling of welcome, elegance and indulgence.” 

Robert Walker, Managing Director, Alexander James Interior Design


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

First deadlock, then hope – the Brexit negotiation saga continues

First deadlock, then hope – the Brexit negotiation saga continues

United Kingdom
  • Brexit repeatedly shocking exchange rates (easyMarkets)
  • Leaked document signals hope for UK trade deal
  • Sterling bulls quick to rejoice at the hint of good news


Just like life, the currency market is a roller coaster. Take what happened on 12 October with the Brexit talks. First in the afternoon we had doom and gloom and then a few hours later we had hope.

In all divorces, one of the key areas that most lawyers will lock horns over is money. And the Brexit negotiations are proving to be no different. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, said that there was a “deadlock” over the UK’s so-called divorce settlement. He also said that the lack of progress on this matter was “disturbing”.

The UK was hoping that it would make some headway and at least agree to start talks on a future trade deal before the crucial EU summit on 19-20 October. However, this has yet to happen. In fact, Mr Barnier has said that he felt he was not in the position to recommend to the European Council to start discussions on the “future relationship.”

“With March 2019 fast approaching the lack of progress and the increased chances of the UK getting no deal sent shivers down the spines of sterling bulls with GBP crashing against both the USD and the Euro. The GBP/USD had fallen down to the 1.31310 levels and the EUR/GBP had risen to around 0.90184.”

James Trescothick, Senior Global Strategist, easyMarkets


Meanwhile, a leaked internal draft document hinted that the 27 European Union countries should prepare to discuss trade amongst themselves, which will pave the way to start negotiating trade talks with the UK Government in December. The paper underlined Mr Barnier’s earlier comments about a lack of progress, but also mentioned there had been developments on some key areas, which would please many.

Though this draft can at any stage be revised, it does show a tiny a bit of hope that a deal could be made before the UK’s official exit.

The market reacted swiftly to the news.

“Sterling bulls rejoiced. GBP/USD skyrocketed back above 1.32 reversing its previous losses of the day and at the time of writing is currently trading around 1.3264. The EUR/GBP did the opposite and crashed back down, falling below 0.9000 levels to trade around 0.8925. What a difference a few hours make!”

James Trescothick, Senior Global Strategist, easyMarkets


When Theresa May announced that Britain would honour its financial commitments to the EU, there was the belief that the fifth round of talks would finally bring some much needed clarity that a deal could indeed be made in time. Initially it looked like that the EU and UK were getting nowhere, but this leak has shown there could be a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.

We are still very much in unknown territory, but one thing that is mostly likely certain is that we will continue to get ups and downs with the Brexit roller-coaster.

James Trescothick, Senior Global Strategist, easyMarkets



For further details, visit www.easymarkets.com, email pr@easymarkets.com or call +44 203 1500 748.


About easyMarkets

easyMarkets® is an online pioneer market maker established in 2001. We’ve made trading markets as easy as possible with proprietary mobile, web and desktop platforms. Traders enjoy full markets access with a simple and powerful approach to CFD’s, forex and options trading.

easyMarkets® is part of an international network with offices in Europe, Asia and Australia.


Risk warning: Forward Rate Agreements, Options and CFDs (OTC Trading) are leveraged products that carry a substantial risk of loss up to your invested capital and may not be suitable for everyone. Please ensure that you understand fully the risks involved and do not invest money you cannot afford to lose. Our group of companies through its subsidiaries is licensed by the Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission (Easy Forex Trading Ltd- CySEC, License Number 079/07), which has been passported in the European Union through the MiFID Directive and in Australia by ASIC (Easy Markets Pty Ltd -AFS license No. 246566).



Be creates the perfect Habitat for renters

Be creates the perfect Habitat for renters

United Kingdom ,
  • Average cost to furnish a first home in London is £5,495 (Santander)
  • 46% of 25 to 34 year olds now live in private rented sector (English Housing Survey)
  • Partnership between Be and Habitat offers stylish homes to renters in Hayes (UB3) & East India (E14)

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

Residents of Be Living Ltd’s built-for-rent developments be:here Hayes in West London (UB3) and be:here East India in E14, now have an alternative.

Be’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.

The partnership between Be & Habitat sees each development and each apartment type reviewed in order to determine the best possible furniture for the layout/area.

“Part of the be:here Hayes ethos is to offer our residents superb homes that provide them with style and comfort, as well as an excellent location. As such, we’ve partnered with Habitat to give renters wonderfully stylish, contemporary homes that they can feel instantly relaxed in, without having to worry about the cost of furnishing them.”

Akash Sharma, Assistant Property Manager, be:here Hayes


The Habitat furnishings complement the other conveniences of life at Be’s developments. The be:here Hayes development, for example, has a friendly on-site team, 30 ft private gardens, generous balcony space and a communal roof terrace, the development is already proving a hit with Londoners. The welcoming attitude to sharers is well received, as is the fact that numerous apartments throughout the development have been designated as pet-friendly.

Spacious, one-bedroom apartments at be:here Hayes rent from £1,200 pcm. Two-bedroom homes are available from £1,450. All apartments come with a garden or balcony.


For the latest availability and any questions, please contact the be:here Hayes team directly on 0203 845 4796 or visit http://www.behere-hayes.co.uk/.

8 Top Tips to Perfecting Your Country Home Decor

8 Top Tips to Perfecting Your Country Home Decor

United Kingdom

Country home decor is about blending the traditional, rustic charm of your countryside location with contemporary finesse to create a peaceful, welcoming environment in which you feel completely at home and utterly comforted.

So how do you achieve the ultimate country home design? Here top interior designers, Alexander James Interior Design, share their favourite tips and tricks to help you get the look.


  1. A Timeless Colour Combination

Tip: The classic combination of crisp blue and brilliant white is a timeless country home decor look. Fresh and utterly charming, you can use this blue and white scheme in your pottery, linens and accessories.

This driftwood coffee table with glass top adds yet another of country charm, acting as a stunning statement piece and adding an organic, earthy feel to our living room design.

  1. Inspirational Themes from Nature

Tip: Country home decor would not be complete without bringing themes of nature into the home, referencing inspiration from nature throughout your interiors.

In our Cotswolds barn conversion, this avian themed dining area is symbiotically styled with the exterior of the property, reflecting elements of nature throughout and rich character in these bespoke studded dining chairs.

Celebrating this beautiful Oxfordshire countryside setting, we brought nature indoors with this enchanting bird themed design, adding touches of comfort and luxury with these beautiful William Yeoward fabrics.

  1. A Haven of Relaxation

Tip: When we think of countryside retreats, we imagine escaping the hustle and bustle of modern life, recharging and enjoying a spot of relaxation. Your country home decor must therefore be designed with the utmost relaxation in mind.

This luxurious cinema room is both refined and classic in design, offering the perfect space in which to relax and unwind, with two elegant day beds taking centre stage of the room, dressed with soft furnishings and sumptuous Johnstons of Elgin throws.

The gentle tones of ivory and muted teal enhance the light, airy design of our contemporary Surrey barn, creating a haven of relaxation with these luxurious Romo and Zoffany fabric cushions.

  1. Organic Elements of Nature

Tip: Incorporate natural elements from the outdoors into your interiors to create an authentic country home decor look. Use organic elements that induce a sense of calm and peace, such as beautiful woods.

Styled to its beautiful countryside surroundings, our stunning Cotswolds project brings nature into the interiors with topiary pots, rustic wooden furniture and richly coloured florals and soft furnishings.

We designed our latest Henley-on-Thames show home for Millgate Homes to exude the traditional charm and countryside beauty of this historic, riverside town – with bespoke, rustic wooden furniture and sumptuous fabrics by Romo.

5.  A Warm, Open Welcome

Tip: Design every space in your interiors to emit a warm sense of welcome to achieve the perfect country home look. It’s the little touches that count; the scented candle emanating a beautiful fragrance throughout the room, the display of magazines on the coffee table and the luxurious throws awaiting an afternoon of reading on the sofa.

The rustic kitchen diner setting, antique-style metal framed wall clock and framed prints all add to the country charm in our modern Surrey barn project, whilst the soft colour scheme and vibrant lavender plant offer an enlivening, spring-like feel.

  1. An Essential Spot of Luxury

Tip: Just because we associate country home decor with rustic character, doesn’t mean that a touch of luxury need be neglected! On the contrary, luxury plays an important role in offering true comfort within a country home.

This bespoke ottoman in sumptuous Kirkby Design fabric adds another layer of luxury to the alluring master bedroom in our Cotswolds project.

At the foot of the master bed elegantly sits this bespoke made seating, dressed beautifully with luxurious Camengo and Zoffany cushions and a lavish faux fur throw.

  1. The Refreshing Vitality of Florals

Beautiful floral displays will bring another element of nature into your country home decor, invigorating the space with new life and fresh vitality.

Traditional yet contemporary, these elegant bobbin chairs and dining table by Julian Chichester rest serenely beneath the high-vaulted oak beams of our rustic Surrey barn project. With ivory tones and magnificent floral display, this design is fresh, light and ethereal in its tranquility.

This damask motif Harlequin wallpaper of interlocking flowers in mirror effect radiates femininity and natural charm, whilst the Jane Churchill fabric cushions bring an indulgent sense of comfort to our Henley-on-Thames bedroom design.

  1. An Abundance of Light

Tip: A common misconception is that country homes are filled with a multitude of trinkets, furniture and accessories, but this can lead to a confused, chaotic look. Be careful not to clutter your interiors, rather create spaces that are bright and airy, filled with natural light.

Brimming with natural light, we designed these vibrant riverside homes to reflect the quaint countryside location, with luxurious Romo fabric cushions, solid oak coffee table and abundant plant displays.

For more information please contact Alexander James Interior Design on 020 7887 7604 or visit www.aji.co.uk.

Resorts with altitude and easy access remain most sought-after in 2017-18 season

Resorts with altitude and easy access remain most sought-after in 2017-18 season

France United Kingdom World

Access, length of ski season and altitude should be key considerations of international investors choosing a resort for their perfect ski home this season, said new-build ski specialist Skiingproperty.com in October.


“The Savoie region in the French Alps, in particular, is home to established high altitude resorts with excellent skiing and easy access from the UK and Europe,” said Skiingproperty.com director Julian Walker. “These resorts include Tignes, Val d’Isère, Courchevel and Méribel. We also recommend Alpe d’Huez a little further south.”


Tignes Part of the Savoie department’s Espace Killy ski area, with its 300 kilometres of slopes reaching from 1,550m to 3,456m, Tignes is made up of four villages, each at different altitudes. The highest is Val Claret (2,300m), followed by the main village at Le Lac (2,100m) and further down are Tignes Les Boisses (or Tignes 1800) and Tignes Les Brévières. The Grande Motte glacier, which offers summer skiing, is accessed via Val Claret. Transfers to the resort from Geneva and Lyon are around two-and-a-half hours, or two hours from Chambéry. Skiingproperty.com has luxury chalets in Tignes available off-plan from €2.28million.


Val d’Isère

The other half of the Espace Killy ski area, the lively resort of Val d’Isère lies at an altitude of 1,850 metres. The resort is about to benefit from a major €200million regeneration project, which follows the opening last year of a €16-million two-year redevelopment of the Solaise area directly above the resort, which includes a new mid-mountain station at 2,500 metres. Transfers to the resort from Geneva and Lyon are around two-and-a-half hours, or two hours from Chambéry. Skiingproperty.com has luxury three-bedroom apartments in Val d’Isère available off-plan from €923,000.


Méribel Located in Savoie and part of the Les Trois Vallées ski area, the largest in the world, the heart of picturesque Méribel lies at 1,450 metres but its chalet developments rise up the side of the valley to 1,700 metres. There is also a satellite resort, Méribel-Mottaret at 1,750 metres. A favourite with British homeowners, skiers there can be on slopes at well over 2,000 metres in no time, from which they can link into Les Trois Vallées’ 600kms of slopes. Transfers to the resort from Geneva, Grenoble and Lyon are around two hours, or 75 minutes from Chambéry. Skiingproperty.com has off-plan apartments in Méribel available from €1.09million.


Courchevel One of the Alps’ most upmarket resorts and also within Les Trois Vallées, Courchevel is a collection of linked villages at different altitudes. The main village and lift hub is Courchevel 1,850, named after its altitude. A little lower is Courchevel Moriond (1,650), then Courchevel Village (1,550) and then Courchevel Le Praz (1,300). Courchevel has more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other resort in the French Alps and recently opened a £50-million water park. Transfers to the resort from Lyon and Geneva are around two hours, or 75 minutes from Chambéry. Skiingproperty.com has off-plan apartments in Courchevel available from €776,000.


Alpe d’Huez Located in the Isère department, the resort of Alpe d’Huez sits at an altitude of 1,860 metres. Its 250 kilometres of slopes, which comprise France’s fifth largest ski area and include the longest black run in the Alps, range from 1,100 metres up to 3,330 metres. A long ski season, typically from early December until late April, is guaranteed thanks to the glacier there. The nearest airport at Grenoble is just 90 minutes’ drive away. Skiingproperty.com has off-plan apartments in Alpe d’Huez available from €315,000.



For further information or to enquire about properties in the French Alps:

Julian Walker



Email: info@skiingproperty.com

Website: www.skiingproperty.com


 About Skiingproperty.com

Skiingproperty.com, which is owned and operated by international property specialist Spot Blue International Property, works with developers in the French and Swiss Alps to promote new and off-plan developments to the UK and wider international market. Since its foundation in 2003, Spot Blue International Property has established itself as a leading international property specialist and is a member of the AIPP and NAEA. The company’s high profile in the UK and worldwide means it is regularly quoted in the national press and invited to appear on panels at leading seminars and exhibitions.


Are freshers shunning university halls?

Are freshers shunning university halls?

United Kingdom
  • New figures from Collegiate AC show growing trend of freshers opting for luxury private pads 
  • Outstanding shared social spaces are key appeal Freshers 
  • Location also wins the day for purpose built accommodation providers 


New data from luxury accommodation provider Collegiate AC has shown a growing trend in freshers’ requirements from their university accommodation.  

The figures reveal that first year students are increasingly shunning university halls in favour of more luxurious private student accommodation. 


Today’s freshers have more choice than ever before when it comes to student pads. They are making the most of that choice by opting for alternatives to university halls. The image of the university lifestyle has changed dramatically over the past decade or so and university halls are no longer in line with what students demand as part of their experience, so they’re voting with their feet.  

Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC 


Collegiate’s data shows that first year students accounted for 20.19% of its residents back in 2015/16. That figure increased to 21.66% in 2016/17 and to 22.06% in 2017/18. The proportion of freshers opting for more luxurious pads is rising slowly but steadily, year on year.  

 First years increasingly expect a wide range of features from their accommodation, as showcased by Collegiate’s Ernest Place in Durham. The site is part of Collegiate’s Prestige Collection. The stylish en-suite studios offer an exclusive lifestyle that affords students peace and privacy, while also providing an on-site social scene.

The superb shared facilities include a private fitness centre, resident’s club lounge, concierge service, private dinner party room, in-house cinema, sauna and glass-walled sky lounge. Naturally, there are also a number of dedicated study zones, as well as the spacious desk area that each student enjoys as part of his/her room.  


 Part of what makes the appeal of accommodation like this so strong is the blend of private space and outstanding social spaces. Tuition fees nowadays mean that students have to pay a great deal of money in order to attend university, so it’s not surprising that they want to make the most out of every minute of that experience.  

Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC 

Eclipse in Cardiff, which is part of Collegiate’s Fusion Collection, is another prime example of the lure of luxury digs. As well as a dinner party room, concierge and private cinema, the site features table games, a gym and fitness suite and even a themed, on-site nightclub with its own secret entrance. 

Many purpose built accommodation providers have also used the location of their sites to tempt students away from university halls. Sites are not only well located for the university, but also for pedestrian access to the city centre, something which many university halls lack.  


With location as well, it’s about going over and above that which is offered by traditional university accommodation. Most first years are excited to experience all that their new town or city has to offer and that means shopping, eating and socialising in the city centre. The more conveniently a property is located for this, the better.  

Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC 

With demand for luxury student accommodation continuing to grow, it seems that university halls of residence are going to have an increasingly tough job on their hands if they want to attract freshers for the start of each new academic year. The lure of luxury is just too strong!  


For more information and to book accommodation in university towns and cities across the UK, contact Collegiate on +44 1235 250 140 or visit www.collegiate-ac.com 

Happening Hayes – is this London’s most exciting new business and tech hub?

Happening Hayes – is this London’s most exciting new business and tech hub?

Uncategorized United Kingdom
  • VIRTUS announces West London’s largest data centre in Stockley Park
  • The Record Store at The Old Vinyl Factory launches with 84k sq ft of office space in Hayes
  • New residential accommodation meets rising demand from professionals working in Hayes and surrounding areas


In September, VIRTUS announced that it would be building West London’s largest data centre campus in Stockley Park just outside Hayes. The LONDON5 and LONDON6 buildings will cover 34,475 m2 as part of the eight-acre campus, cementing Hayes’ position as one of London’s most exciting digital tech locations.

A long-term favourite with companies with international connections, due to its proximity to Heathrow Airport, Hayes in the London Borough of Hillingdon is now positioning itself as one of the capital’s most enticing tech hubs. The news comes as a new Knight Frank report highlights the poor of affordability in Shoreditch, which has the dubious honour of being named the most expensive tech hub in the world for office space. Companies who have already moved to Hayes in recent years include SONOS, Host Europe Group (HEG) and CHAMP Cargosystems, all of which have signed 10-year leases for The Shipping Building, part of The Old Vinyl Factory.


In line with Hayes’ hip new credentials, this weekend saw the regeneration specialist U+I launch 84,000 sq ft of office space at The Record Store. The vast, open-plan floors of the art deco building have been given new life by award winning architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris. The six-storey building is part of the £250m redevelopment centered around The Old Vinyl Factory, on the site of the former EMI vinyl record factory. Companies moving into the new office accommodation at the Record Store can enjoy working in the same building where EMI worked its magic on groundbreaking albums by the likes of The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.

“With the hunger for connectivity and data growing exponentially, our data centres continue to play a vital role in enabling the UK and Europe’s digital economy.

 “We work with clients across all industries, all with unique audiences and IT landscapes, but with the common need to deliver the highest levels of availability, performance and security of digital experiences.”

Neil Cresswell, CEO, VIRTUS


With so many new employment opportunities flooding into Hayes, accommodation providers are rushing to be part of the influx. One company that prides itself on being ahead of the curve is Be Living Ltd, whose stunning new be:here Hayes at Gatefold Building is already open to tenants. The one, two and three-bedroom apartments mirror the innovation springing up at The Old Vinyl Factory.

The be:here Hayes apartments are just 300 yards from Hayes & Harlington station, ready for Crossrail in 2019. The 119 homes are sharer-friendly and pet-friendly, while the wider Old Vinyl Factory development will provide everything from restaurants and leisure facilities to a music venue, right on residents’ doorstep.


“Hayes’ credentials as a business and tech hub seem to be growing almost daily, with everyone from startups to established multi-nationals keen to be a part of the area. It was important to us that the professionals and their families who are being drawn into Hayes had an appropriately stylish accommodation option to suit their needs. That’s why we were so keen to launch the Gatefold building, to offer something a cut above the rest and in keeping with the new life and energy being breathed into Hayes.”

 Akash Sharma, Assistant Property Manager, be:here Hayes

With affordable, high quality office accommodation and superb new homes, the attractions of Hayes are clear. Spacious apartments at be:here Hayes are available from £1,165 pcm for a one bed and from £1,450 for a two bed. All homes include either a garden or a balcony.


For the latest availability and any questions, please contact the be:here Hayes team directly on 0203 845 4796 or visit http://www.behere-hayes.co.uk/.

Top tips for settling into new student accommodation

Top tips for settling into new student accommodation

United Kingdom
  • Choosing the right accommodation is key
  • Take advantage of shared social spaces and organised events to make friends fast
  • Explore and get to know your local area as quickly as possible to feel at home


Heading off to university can be a daunting prospect for several reasons. It’s an exciting time but also a nerve-inducing one for many students. Thankfully, luxury accommodation providers such as Collegiate AC have been working hard to ensure that settling into their accommodation doesn’t have to be one of the items on first year students’ list of things to worry about.


“There are several steps that students can take to ensure that they settle quickly into their accommodation. The first, of course, is to find the right accommodation – somewhere that students will feel safe, happy and have the peace to study.” 

Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC

Knowing that they have luxurious accommodation lined up is perhaps the biggest reassurance that students can have. A crop of outstanding new facilities, such as Eclipse in Cardiff, which is part of Collegiate’s Fusion Students Collection, have raised the bar in terms of what students can expect.

The accommodation is designed to ensure that students can settle in as quickly as possible, giving them a ‘home from home’ complete with en-suite facilities, a spacious desk area, plentiful storage, a comfy bed and a flat-screen TV.

Collegiate is committed to providing pastoral care as well as superb accommodation, and each development comes with an on-site team to provide support in times of need, as well as practical advice. These teams have put their heads together in order to provide top tips to help students settle in this autumn.


Collegiate’s Top Tips for Settling into New Accommodation


  1. Prepare a list

There’s nothing quite as reassuring as knowing you’ve done everything you can to prepare. Whether it’s your favourite posters, your can’t-live-without CDs or your stack of textbooks, arriving knowing you’ve got everything you need will ensure that you’re instantly more relaxed.


  1. Don’t take more than you need to

Some people enjoy packing. Many more don’t. As such, don’t go through the pain of packing saucepans, sheets or shampoo if you don’t have to. Look for a provider that offers lifestyle services as well as accommodation.

These can include set packs of goods to ensure that your accommodation feels more homely when you arrive, from bedding to cutlery. The result is that you’ll arrive feel calmer and with less to unpack, which makes for a much quicker process of settling in.


  1. Get involved

Remember that you’re not the only student to arrive feeling nervous about your new environment. That’s why universities have ‘Freshers’ Week.’ Freshers Week refers to the first week at uni when first years settle in for the year ahead. There are plenty of practical details to take care of (registering with a doctor, touring the library, meeting your tutors, etc.) but also plenty of social events organised just for first years. These can range from nights out to paintballing. Throw yourself into these in order to familiarise yourself with your new surroundings and what’s on offer. Doing so will help you to feel connected to your new city faster.


4. Make friends

It’s probably been a long time since you’ve had to make so many new friends, but this is another area that your choice of accommodation can help with. At Crown House in Sheffield, for example, the Prestige Collection accommodation includes an outdoor courtyard cinema, BBQ and alfresco dining area, fitness suite, gaming booths, dinner party room, flexible lounge area and study zones. That gives you plenty of options for hanging out and having fun while getting to know your peers. The on-site team also organises events specifically to help first years settle in, so make the most of these as well and you’ll soon feel right at home.


5. Get lost

If you’ve chosen your accommodation wisely, you should find that the whole of your new city is on your doorstep, ripe for exploration.

Residents of Ernest Place in Durham, for example, are just 10 minutes from the shops, restaurants and nightlife of the city centre. As such, head out with no destination in mind and see what you find. Keep an eye out for everything from your nearest post box to the local bus stop. You’ll quickly start to feel familiar with your new area, as well as discovering the unique charms that your new town or city has to offer.

“Above all, remember that all the other freshers are in the same boat as you. It’s natural to feel both nervous and excited when you start a new chapter in your life. Use our top tips to ensure you settle in quickly and ditch those nerves. Then you can truly start to enjoy the university experience to the max.”


Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC


For more information and to book accommodation in university towns and cities across the UK, contact Collegiate on +44 1235 250 140 or visit www.collegiate-ac.com.