Category Archives for "UK property investment"


Fairview New Homes – sustainability through brownfield development

Get To Know Series – UK Developers

In this series, we showcase many of the UK Developers work with. The UK market is full of quality developers with proven track records and who are working hard to solve the housing crisis, despite the hinders placed by Government at every level.

Building sustainable and environmentally friendly communities

Fairview Homes has been building homes in London and the home counties for almost 60 years, and its experience and expertise is epitomised in the Colindale development in London. Fairview takes pride in the way it builds communities while helping the economy to grow with green and sustainable development strategies.

Fairview – prioritising brownfield for a sustainable future

Fairview prioritises the transformation of brownfield sites, turning them from derelict and disused, decrepit dumps into vibrant and thriving communities. Since 1961, Fairview has been developing such sites in London and the home counties. Its past and current projects range from small village locations to large urban regeneration projects. Its new home product ranges from inner-city apartments to large detached family homes in well-connected locations.

This property developer’s brownfield credentials are no more evident than at Colindale, a London location, which it has been helping to evolve for around ten years. Its Pulse development, built on the site of the former Colindale Hospital, clearly showcases its capability to transform disused urban sites into exceptional communities. Together with its previous development Rhythm, and its new development Edition, Fairview will have built more than 1,500 homes at Colindale.

Working with communities

Colindale works hard to engage local communities where it is building. It has included strategies such as visiting local schools and contributing to local community initiatives and groups. Where it builds, it creates hundreds of contract jobs during development, further boosting the local community.

Safeguarding the environment

You would find it hard to name a property developer more committed to safeguarding the environment. Its business plan prioritises brownfield sites, with the aim of developing quality, attainable and sustainable homes that meet the aspirations of their occupiers.

Fairview collaborates closely with local authorities and the Homes and Communities Agency to achieve long-term sustainable developments for current and future generations while ensuring that the UK’s green and pleasant landscape remains intact and accessible. Where it builds, Fairview seeks to provide recreational environments fit for today’s lifestyles.

In the last 25 years, Fairview has helped to reclaim more than 200 brownfield sites, converting unsightly and potentially hazardous sites into exceptional living environments.

They specialise in building developments of quality, attainable homes, enabling their purchasers to realise their aspiration for homeownership.

Where can you invest in a Fairview property?

Fairview has several developments underway or soon to be developed, all ideal locations and properties for investment. Here we look at two upcoming development sites, typical of the quality of location and property offered by Fairview.

Phoenix, Poplar, London

This development of one to three-bedroom luxury apartments is located adjacent to Limehouse Cut canal, and thin walking distance of Langdon Park DLR and Mile End Underground stations. It benefits from exceptional shopping and schools nearby, as well as a brief commute into central London.

All daily shopping requirements are just a few minutes away, with Tesco Express, Co-Op, and Lidl all less than one kilometre away, and Waitrose just three kilometres. The acclaimed Westfield Stratford City is only six kilometres away.

Families have the advantage of a wide choice of schools, including St Saviour’s C of E Primary around a couple of hundred metres from the development. For senior school pupils, Langdon Park School is around one kilometre. In all, there are eight schools catering for nursery age through to 18 years old.

There is a plethora of sports clubs and leisure facilities all close to the Phoenix development, and these include the Mile End Park Leisure Centre and Stadium, a Cineworld complex, and the London Aquatics Centre. Food lovers are within half a mile of the famous Chrisp Street Market – the UK’s first purpose-built pedestrian shopping area – offering international cuisine and traditional pie and mash side by side.

Transport options are exceptional here. These include the Canary Wharf Taxi Service and Langdon Park DLR. Fast and regular commuter services make the City only a few minutes away. Canary Wharf is just six minutes by DLR, and Stratford International only 16 minutes. For access to Europe, London City Airport is less than six kilometres by road.

Orchard Lodge, Anerley, London

Like Phoenix in Poplar, Orchard Lodge in Anerley offers outstanding benefits to residents. Here, too, you can invest in one to three-bedroom apartments. Anerley offers wide, open spaces yet are only 20 minutes from central London. The development is within walking distance of Anerley station.

Residents are well served for their shopping needs, with a Tesco Express, Aldi, Co-Op and Sainsbury’s all between half and one mile.

There are four schools for infants and juniors within 1.3 miles. The closest of these is the James Dixon Primary School – less than a 200-metre walk away. Nearby senior schools include Harris City Academy Crystal Palace and Sydenham High School.

For the sports and fitness-minded, open spaces provide plenty of opportunity for walking, jogging and cycling. Also, there are several sports and leisure centres nearby, including South Norwood Lake and Grounds, and the stadium of Premier League football club Crystal Palace is just two miles away.

Anerley station is around 500 meters’ walk, and regular bus services can be taken less than two hundred meters away from the development.

For property investors who want to benefit from the some of the best brownfield locations in London and the home counties, and who want to invest in properties that have been built to be sustainable and with a conscience for local environmental issues, Fairview New Homes is a wise choice.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood


Kier Living – Independent quality across the country

Get To Know Series – UK Developers

In this series, we showcase many of the UK Developers work with. The UK market is full of quality developers with proven track records and who are working hard to solve the housing crisis, despite the hinders placed by Government at every level.

Building communities across the nation

Kier Living, part of the globally renowned Kier Group, builds more than 2,300 homes on sites across the UK every year. Kier Living brings together all Kier Group’s housebuilding operations, ranging from contract and mixed tenure to private sector housing.

A proud history defined by employee ownership

First founded in 1928 by Danish civil engineers Olaf Kier and Jorgen Lotz, the Kier Group was acquired by Hanson PLC in 1992. The acquisition triggered a buyout by the management at Beazer, and today’s Kier Group was formed. It became Britain’s first major contractor owned by its employees.

Now employing 16,000 people around the world, the Kier Group retains its focus on a collaborative, forward-thinking and enthusiastic approach across all its operations. It is evident in Kier Living, in which 70 years of experience of building new homes is combined with quality materials and modern construction methods to create new communities in each of its five regions: Central, Eastern, South West and Wales, Northern, and South East.

Renowned in private residential and public sector housebuilding

Kier Living has an incredibly impressive record in residential design and delivery. It works independently through all phases of the build cycle, from design to construction and aftersales care. Its locations are carefully selected, as are the materials used to build each new home.

Kier Living also specialises in delivering affordable housing and has recently been named as one of the participants on all five regional panels of the Homes and Communities Agency’s new £8 billion Delivery Partner Panel 3 (DPP3).

DPP3 will run for four years and is responsible for an increasing number of mixed-use and multi-tenure schemes. Kier’s appointment reaffirms its position as one of the UK’s leading public sector housebuilders and should help it to reach its target of building 4,000 homes per year by 2020.

Whatever the focus of development, Kier leverages three elements to create homes that people desire, in places where communities develop:

  • Quality – using the highest-quality fixtures, fittings and building materials, and creating innovative build solutions
  • Attention to detail – ensuring the highest possible standard to each new home built
  • Experience – its 70 years of experience in the UK housing market helps it excel from initial design to construction and beyond

Multi-award-winning excellence

Kier is highly respected in the industry, regularly winning the highest accolades from its peers and building and construction organisations. It has also achieved five-star ratings for customer satisfaction from the Home Builders Federation Survey. Here are a few of the awards received by Kier in recent years:

  • Green Apple Environmental Award Winner 2016
  • Five-star Home Builder for Customer Satisfaction 2015
  • Best Design of Three Storeys or Less – Housebuilder of the Year Awards 2016, Highly Recommended
  • Best Large Development ­– First-Time Buyer Readers’ Awards, 2015, Highly Recommended
  • Best Residential Development in Scotland – RICS Awards 2015
  • NHBC Pride in the Job Award Winner 2014

Where can you invest in a Kier Living property?

Kier Living builds homes from one-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom family homes, and at the time of writing is developing around two dozen sites from Redruth in Cornwall to Falkirk in Scotland. Here are two Kier developments which typify the quality of location and build available to investors in a Kier residential property:

Elderwood Place, Bilston, West Midlands

At Elderwood Place, you’ll find an exceptional mix of two to four-bedroom homes, ideal for couples and families, and perfectly placed for commuting into Birmingham and Wolverhampton, where residents will discover a vast array of world-class shopping, dining, entertainment, and sports facilities and venues.

Locally to the development, there is a range of local amenities including supermarkets (Asda and Morrisons) and department stores. There are good schools for families with children – Loxdale Primary and Ormiston SWB Academy – and plenty of green open spaces within walking distance.

Both Wolverhampton and Birmingham are around a 10-minute journey by Midland Metro from Loxdale station, which is less than a mile from Elderwood Place.

For day and night recreation, nearby Wolverhampton and Birmingham offer an eclectic mix of clubs, pubs, theatre and cinema, as well as spectacular sports events including championship football and county and international cricket.

Kingsmoor Park, Woking, Surrey

Situated in an ideal location, residence at Kingsmoor Park is an ideal destination for commuters into London. Woking offers great shopping facilities, schools, and a superb nightlife, with country parks, commons and heathlands on the doorstep of these contemporary two to four-bedroom homes.

Woking is Surrey’s largest covered shopping destination, with Peacocks Centre and Wolsey Place shopping centres offering an impressive array of shops and restaurants. In the town itself, there are farmers’ markets and street markets, and in Chertsey Road, you’ll find restaurants, bars and pubs. Entertainment facilities include two theatres and six cinemas.

Education facilities include the award-winning Sythwood Primary School, the University of Surrey in nearby Guildford, and the Surrey campus of the International School of London is located in Woking.

There are superb road links via the M25 and M3, with Gatwick and Heathrow Airports a short distance away. For commuters into London, Woking station provides regular trains with a journey time of less than 30 minutes.

When you invest in a Kier Living home, you are buying exceptional design in an appealing location. This property developer is renowned for its quality of design and build, and is developing sites around the country with aggressive expansion plans that should excite property investors.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood


CALA Homes – one of the UK’s fastest growing property developers

Get To Know Series – UK Developers

In this series, we showcase many of the UK Developers work with. The UK market is full of quality developers with proven track records and who are working hard to solve the housing crisis, despite the hinders placed by Government at every level.

A quality landbank for future quality communities

CALA Home is the fastest growing of the UK’s major property developers and housebuilders and is on track to meet its ambitious target of building 2,500 a year by 2020. A stunning result for a housebuilder that concentrates on creating exclusive developments at the upper end of the price scale.

Community placemaking, but not at the expense of exclusivity

CALA Homes is one of the UK’s premier property developers. It builds exclusive developments, with striking, individual and aspirational award-winning homes. It’s rating as a premier housebuilder is matched by the quality of the homes it builds – in stunning locations, these generously proportioned homes benefit from traditional design, contemporary home comforts, and light and bright living areas.

CALA has maintained its guiding principles of exceptional design and build throughout the last 30 years, with management insisting on offering value for money in a wide range of sought-after locations – including waterfront apartments, rural retreats, and urban pied-à-terres.

It also develops to create places – locations where people can build vibrant, sustainable communities, whether it be a countryside development or ‘village in the city’. Homes are designed to look good standing side by side while maturing well in their individually landscaped settings.

Home sales jump as CALA snowballs towards its targets

This year, CALA announced record sales, record revenues, and record profits, despite reducing its average sold price from £538,000 to £497,000.

The number of properties it built and completed on leapt to 1,677 – a 46% increase on the previous year. Revenues rose by 20% to £700 million, and it announced in June 2017 that it would make record profits. CALA is honing in rapidly on its target to build 2,500 homes and achieve revenues of £1 billion by 2020.

It has spent heavily on its land bank this year, snapping up land in prime locations as it has become available under the government’s National Planning Policy Framework.

Industry awards that match CALA’s exceptional reputation

CALA’s quality builds, attention to detail, great location and exceptional individual designs are recognised by its customers and industry peer group alike. Awards it has recently received include:

  • An impressive nine site managers for CALA Homes each scooped a prestigious 2017 NHBC Pride in the Job Award in recognition of their commitment to the highest standards in housebuilding
  • Customer Service Excellence award at the Scottish Home Awards 2017
  • Private Developer of the Year presented by Homes for Scotland
  • The Silver Award for the Best Large Housebuilder presented by WhatHouse? In 2016

In its awards cabinet, it also has awards for its marketing and training, and for designing and building the best luxury homes.

Where can you invest in a CALA property?

CALA develops predominantly across Scotland and in the Midlands and South East England. Here we look at two CALA developments that will be launched in the coming months:

Forest Ridge, Coopersale, Epping

Near the vibrant market town of Epping, to the north of London, CALA Homes is developing a stylish collection of 3 and 4-bedroom family homes in the village of Coopersale. The centre of Epping is only two miles away.

Each home has been sympathetically designed to fit in with its surroundings, and benefits from contemporary layout, stylish integrated kitchens, designer bathrooms, spacious interiors, and features the exceptional standard of finish, quality design and specification for which CALA is renowned.

Coopersale is a great location for work/life balance. There are great schools nearby – notably Coopersale Hall Independent School and Ivy Chimneys Primary School.

Commuting into London Victoria and Oxford Circus is around 50 minutes and Liverpool Street less than 40 minutes respectively on the London Underground network. The M11 and M25 are only a short drive from the development. Stansted Airport is around 30 minutes’ drive via the M11.

The Crescent, Edinburgh

The Crescent is an exclusive development in the grounds of one of the most iconic buildings in Edinburgh – Donaldson’s. Just a 10-minute walk into the heart of Edinburgh, the contemporary design of The Crescent is an exciting juxtaposition to the historic context of its immediate surrounds.

The Crescent’s gentle curves sit comfortably within this leafy domain, complementing its equally majestic surroundings. For those who celebrate choice, Edinburgh’s vibrant city centre melds quickly into quiet urban escape as awe-inspiring panoramic views of the city find balance with secluded tree-lined gardens and the peaceful murmur of the Water of Leith. Rich in heritage, creativity and style, this location offers the best of all worlds, reflecting modern lifestyle living. These 1, 2 and 3-bedroom homes are designed to maximise light and space, with dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows providing a seamless transition between the outside and inside.

–CALA is a premium housebuilder in every sense of the word. It has some incredible developments underway and planned. For investors who desire an investment in an exclusive property on an exclusive development, CALA Homes might be the first choice.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood


Miller Homes – proud of its innovative traditions

Get To Know Series – UK Developers

In this series, we showcase many of the UK Developers work with. The UK market is full of quality developers with proven track records and who are working hard to solve the housing crisis, despite the hinders placed by Government at every level.

A quality landbank for building quality communities

Miller Homes is one of the UK’s premier property developers and has built more than 100,000 homes since it was founded in 1934. It has consistently high customer satisfaction numbers and has won dozens of industry awards across all facets of its business.

Plenty to be proud about

Miller is a proud property developer, with plenty to be proud about. It is a customer-centric company, constantly listening and learning from feedback. It places the highest store in its customer satisfaction numbers, both internally and independently measured.

Miller frequently wins awards for quality, skilful construction, superb locations, and exceptional building teams. It develops to enhance locations and create communities. For customers, Miller provides a website that updates progress on homes bought off-plan, and information about the location and area.

Consistently satisfied customers

Miller conducts its customer satisfaction survey, via a commissioned independent research company. It asks questions about the customer experience, the house, the process, and the people, a few weeks after the customer has moved in.

In 2016, 93% of respondents said that they would recommend Miller Homes. This score has been consistent since 2011. More than 80% of customers are satisfied with the communications they receive from Miller, how special they have been made to feel on moving-in day, and on all demonstration meetings. Not a year goes by when Miller is not awarded a five-star rating in the Home Builders Federation National New Homes Customer Satisfaction Survey, achieving the accolade in every one of the last five years.

Building homes, developing communities

Miller builds homes in line with all modern building regulations and then takes it a step further by complementing energy efficiency with energy efficient appliances, water efficient sanitaryware, and low energy lighting. Savings on running costs consistently come in at the high end of the estimated £400 to £1,400 per year range estimated by Zero Carbon Hub and NHBC Foundation.

When planning a new development, and throughout the development process, Miller invites community feedback and employs industry best practices when designing its land use. It ensures that developments are not only functional but very attractive and great places to live.

Industry recognition to the highest degree

The plethora of awards that Miller wins every year is a testament to its innovative approach and readiness to embrace new ideas, technologies, and build processes that sit happily alongside its traditional values.

In the last few years, these are just a few of the awards Miller has won:

  • Nine Quality Awards in the June 2017 Pride in the Job Quality Awards
  • Family Home of the Year at Homes for Scotland’s 2017 awards ceremony
  • Silver Award in the Best Regeneration category at the 2016 WhatHouse? Awards for its Varcity North development in Edinburgh
  • The Gold Award by Investors in People, until 2019
  • The ESTAS 2015 Best Homebuilder in the UK
  • 12 NHBC Pride in the Job Quality Awards in 2016
  • 5-Star Home Builder Customer Satisfaction for the fifth consecutive year in 2016

Miller was also named as the leading mid-market private housebuilder in the UK by The Sunday Times in October 2016.

Where can you invest in a Miller property?

Miller has development locations and land available for the future across the UK. It builds thousands of new homes every year, and most of its new developments are located within 500 metres of a public transport node.

Its locations cover from the South East of England to Scotland, and practically everywhere between. Here are just two of these developments, to give you a flavour of the investment potential of a Miller Homes development.

City Fields, Wakefield, Yorkshire

15 minutes’ walk from the centre of Wakefield. Only eight miles from Leeds. Fronted by green space, cycleways and footpaths. It is City Fields, a development of two to five-bedroom properties that combine sustainable, contemporary design with a convenient location, perfect for lifestyle living.

Local shops are conveniently close, as are some great schools: Stanley Grove Primary and Nursery School and St Austin’s Catholic Primary, are both within a mile of the development, and pupils normally move on to either Outwood Grange Academy or St Thomas à Becket RC College for secondary education. Also close, you will find a GP and pharmacy.

There are excellent bus services into the city centre. Pinderfields Hospital is virtually adjacent to the development. From Wakefield’s two railway stations (each less than 1½ miles away), Leeds is only 15 minutes. London is a travel time of two hours (which will be reduced when High-Speed Rail is fully operational). The M1 and M62 motorways are only a few minutes away.

Wakefield has plenty for the sports and fitness fanatic, with gyms, leisure centres, golf clubs, rugby and football clubs. The renowned Pugneys Watersports Centre and Country Park are on the southern edge of town, where you will find facilities for sailing, windsurfing and canoeing.

Bonnington, Leith, Edinburgh

Only a mile from the heart of Edinburgh, Miller will be developing at Bonnington in Leith. The selection of one to three-bedroom apartments will become available from late 2017. These properties are ideal for young professionals, within walking distance of work and Edinburgh’s amazing social scene of fabulous cafes, bars and parks. There are great transport links across Edinburgh, and shops and schools are easily accessible.

These two developments show the diversity of Miller’s development while providing evidence of its incredible locational land bank. Whatever an investor’s aims, they won’t be disappointed when the invest in a Miller Homes property.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood


Countryside – creating exceptional places

Get To Know Series – UK Developers

In this series, we showcase many of the UK Developers work with. The UK market is full of quality developers with proven track records and who are working hard to solve the housing crisis, despite the hinders placed by Government at every level.

Character, quality, and community – the hallmarks of a Countryside development

Countryside Properties is a property developer with an exceptional reputation for delivering value and design. The company has a nearly 60-year history of developing successful and sustainable communities. From small stand-alone developments to new large-scale garden villages and regeneration projects. Though Countryside’s prime focus is on and the South East, it has some of the best development sites in the North of England, too.

A history of place creation

Countryside’s reputation is at least partly built on its ability to create a sense of place and community at strategic sites, such as Great Notley Garden Village in Braintree, Essex, to Wickhurst Green in Horsham, Sussex. Communities are built through master planning, incredible landscaping and infrastructure build, and attention to detail in every facet of community and every single home built.

The homes that Countryside builds range from starter homes to executive homes, and in locations as diverse as urban brownfield regeneration sites to sprawling rural landscapes. Every development is created with quality and character.

Passionate about placemaking

All Countryside homes carry a signature style and character. They are designed for modern lifestyles and built using quality materials. Developments are made to stand the test of time, on strategic land that provides residential-led mixed-use developments, supportive of creating a sense of place.

Notable projects include sites such as Horsted Park, where homes reflect the Kent farmstead feel, but with a contemporary twist. This scheme was one of only six nationwide to receive a RIBA Housing Design Award 2014 in the Completed Scheme category, and was named Housing Project of the Year 2013 by ‘Building’.

Another multi-award-winning Countryside development is found at Accordia, in Cambridgeshire. It was the first residential scheme to receive the prestigious architectural accolade, the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2008. Homes here were designed to bring the outside in and built using natural, traditional materials in a contemporary fashion. Terraces, balconies and courtyard gardens were provided at varying levels throughout the homes, blurring the conventional boundaries between outside and inside. Each home was designed to overlook a green space. Each space is linked to the next by a network of footpaths and cycleways. Low-key streets, home zones and subtle traffic-calming measures reduced the prominence of the car and created a safe 20-mph zone.

Partnering to create sustainable prosperity

Countryside’s track record includes successful partnerships with local authorities and housing associations, delivering almost 50 regeneration schemes over the last 30 years. Its methodology is to work closely with local authorities and residents from the earliest stage, thereby shaping social and community infrastructure needed today and prepared for the future.

Countryside is one of the country’s foremost property developers when it comes to ‘tenure blind’ developments – where it is impossible to distinguish between tenures of individual buildings or homes. The company is also highly experienced in estate regeneration, recreating places where people want to live.

Too many awards to name them!

Countryside has received more awards for housing design than any other housebuilder in the UK and has received more than 350 awards for design and sustainability. It is the only UK housebuilder to receive the RIBA Stirling Prize for a housing development. If we tried to name all the awards won by and presented to Countryside, you’d be here for the next week reading them!

Where can you invest in a Countryside property?

From incredible sites in Manchester and Liverpool to projects in London, Hampshire and Essex, and many places in between, you will find Countryside building on some of the best strategic land in England. While there are opportunities to invest in property on developments already underway, I thought I’d highlight a couple of Countryside sites that are in the earliest stages and coming soon.

Wren Green, Bamber Bridge, Preston

The three and four-bedroom homes that will be built here are designed for modern lifestyles. Bamber Bridge is a fantastic location, just four miles from Preston town centre and its excellent transport links. There is a good range of local amenities, including shops, banks, pubs and cafés, and three supermarkets within a mile. There are parks and green spaces nearby, and a high-quality leisure centre with a good pool and gym.

With nearby parks, leisure facilities and excellent schools, Wren Green is the perfect place for a growing family. And for those who relish in rural living, the Ribble Valley edges the development, offering endless walks and cycling, as well as quality fishing and other activities.

South Oxhey Central, Watford

A vibrant development in the South Oxhey suburb of Watford. Here investors can purchase one and two-bedroom apartments and two to four-bedroom houses. Homes that are ideal for first-time buyers through to families seeking a move out of the city.

The development is ideally placed for commuters, with easy access to Watford town centre. The nearby Carpenders Park railway station means commuters can be in London in less than an hour. There are several local shops near to the development for day-to-day needs, and three excellent primary schools within walking distance.

When an investor buys a Countryside property, they can be certain they are dealing with a property developer held in the highest regard by the industry and one that offers access to some of the best strategic locations in England.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood


Avant Homes – A phoenix from the ashes about to soar

Get To Know Series – UK Developers

In this series, we showcase many of the UK Developers work with. The UK market is full of quality developers with proven track records and who are working hard to solve the housing crisis, despite the hinders placed by Government at every level.

Exceptional quality in exceptional locations

Avant Homes aspires to be the UK’s largest housebuilder, as it once was in another life. With the backing of three hedge funds, a go-to management, and a new line of financing recently agreed. It has every possibility of doing so. In the meantime, investors who buy properties from Avant Homes will benefit from innovative design, and high-level specification all included within the price.

One of the largest privately-owned property developers in the UK

Avant was once the UK’s largest housebuilder when it was an amalgamation of 15 housebuilders collectively known as Gladedale. However, the company had to be rescued when it nearly collapsed under the weight of £1 billion of debt in the recession following the Global Financial Crisis. The company’s saviour, Lloyds Bank, sold Avant to a consortium of three hedge funds – Alchemy Special Opportunities Fund, Angelo, Gordon & Co., and Avenue Capital Group.

It has been slimmed down by CEO Colin Lewis and focuses on building homes in Scotland and the North of England down to Bletchley, Milton Keynes. With 600 employees, the group operates via a number of regional subsidiaries. The major of these are Avant Homes Scotland, Avant Homes North East, Avant Homes Midlands, and Avant Homes Yorkshire.

Avant – paying attention to quality and the local area

Avant’s mission is to be ‘good, better, different’. This is personified in the homes it builds, and how it builds them. The company doesn’t simply want to be the biggest at what it does, and it seeks to be the best. It benchmarks its product against that of other property developers, compares approach, and aims to build homes that are ‘good, better, different’.

With the focus on quality, attention to detail, and the local area. They seek to work with and build communities while maintaining excellence in its core responsibilities: employees, investors, customers, clients, stakeholders, and community issues. To achieve all of this, Avant’s management:

  • Drives the delivery of cost-effective homes designed for the needs of their customers. Built to the highest standards and future-proofed for residential needs
  • Emphasizes on site safety, use of natural resources, and environmental impact
  • Builds with specifications for sustainable lifestyles (including recycling, reduced waste, and using fewer resources)

High-level specifications creating unique homes

Avant’s specification list is off the charts. Off-plan investors have the choice of more than a dozen designer kitchens, with features that include soft close drawers, integrated appliances, and choice of colour schemes.

In the bathroom, buyers have a choice of panelling, hand-hair wash and slim-profile bath fillers, full-height tiling, digitally controlled thermostatic shower, and a floating vanity unit in a range of colours.

Sliding door wardrobes, en suite, and BT and television sockets to the bedrooms complete the individualisation options.

All of this is included as standard in an Avant Homes property (including carpets).

In February 2017, Avant Homes became the UK’s first national property developer to partner with British Gas and install the Hive Active Heating technology in every home it builds, giving homeowners and tenants the ability to control their gas and energy usage better and reduce costs.

Recognition beginning to flow

Avant’s design, build quality, and internal and external specifications have helped it win several industry awards, marking it out as a property developer delivering to the needs of its customers and local communities. Its most recent awards include:

  • The new housing development in the village of Winchburgh has been named the best in Scotland.
  • The developer’s team at Richmond Gate were presented the Property Team of the Year Award at the Herald Property Awards for Scotland in September 2016.
  • Also at the Herald Property Awards for Scotland, Avant Homes’ Pendlebury house type won the Best Family Home Award.
  • At this year’s Scottish Home Awards, Avant Homes won the House of the Year Award.

Where can you invest in an Avant Homes property?

Avant Homes completed more than 1,600 homes last year and planned to increase this to 2,000 homes per year within five years. It is currently developing dozens of sites, with more expected, providing homes ranging from one-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom family homes. Two of Avant Homes’ developments are:

Life at Bletchley

Located in the heart of Buckinghamshire and surrounded by stunning countryside, Life at Bletchley is a collection of homes from one and two-bedroom apartments through to four-bedroom homes. This development lies within a walk of the local railway station. From where London is less than 50 minutes by train: ideal for professionals working in the capital. Bletchley is close to the A5 and M1, providing excellent transport links to the rest of the country.

Local schools in the area include Knowles Nursery, St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary, White Spire School, and The Milton Keynes Academy. Local shops include a Tesco Express. There is a range of dining options locally, as well as a cinema, a hospital, and, of course, the amazing countryside to relax. Nearby Milton Keynes, which is in the running to be named the European Capital of Culture 2023. It provides further leisure and shopping facilities.

Johnsons Wharf, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent

In the heart of Stoke-on-Trent, Johnsons Wharf is part of the City Waterside regeneration programme. The site is surrounded by historically preserved buildings and puts residents close to the action of the bustling city centre. As such it is ideally located for local shops, leisure facilities, bars, restaurants and theatres.

And yet, residents also benefit from the peace of waterside living.

The development also benefits from Stoke’s fantastic transport links. With easy commutes to Stafford and Macclesfield, and good road and rail links to Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool. Families benefit from proximity to local primary and secondary schools and further education.

Properties available here range from two-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom homes. All of which benefit from the quality of Avant Homes build specification.

Avant Homes provides exceptional quality in its build and quality, and offers exceptional locations for investment, too.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood


Bloor Homes – ideal locations and unique properties

Get To Know Series – UK Developers

In this series, we showcase many of the UK Developers work with. The UK market is full of quality developers with proven track records and who are working hard to solve the housing crisis, despite the hinders placed by Government at every level.

Amazing opportunities from this privately-owned property developer

Bloor Homes builds around 2,000 homes every year. They are currently more than 70 sites in which it is developing across seven regions of England. As a property developer, Bloor Homes provides some of the most extensive internal and external options for home personalisation. It builds characterful homes that are deliberately designed with higher-than-usual ceilings, lighter-than-usual rooms, and with a personal, human touch. They call this the ‘Bloor Difference’.

One of the largest privately-owned property developers in the UK

Bloor Homes is now one of the largest privately-owned property developers in the UK. With regional operations covering the North West, Eastern, Midlands, South Midlands, Western, Southern, and South West regions. It is headquartered in Measham, as it has been since the company was founded in 1969.

The height of property personalisation

Bloor wants every one of its customers to benefit from buying a home, rather than a house. It has one of the most extensive options packages available, allowing personalisation of every room in the house and a range of landscaping and security choices outside. Its options brochure is a massive 80 pages.

Choices include top-of-the-range appliances from Siemens and Bosch, space-saving wardrobes in bedrooms, a variety of finishes and furnishings for bathrooms, and a full range of flooring, doors, windows and skylights. External landscaping is individualised with lawn, paving, patios, fences, and security features.

Developments and employees regularly recognised

Bloor is regularly recognised for the quality of its properties and its employees. Its site managers are perennial winners in NHBC Pride in the Job Awards.

Many of its developments win accolades from various industry bodies. For example, Gatewen Village picked up the prize for the best development of 51 units or more in the North at Bricks 2016 organised by LABC Warranty. To win this award, the property developer must demonstrate high standards of technical competency and build quality, as well as excellent organisational skills and customer service. It is the third year running that LABC Warranty has recognised Gateway Village.

A property everywhere, for everyone

Bloor’s developments across England and its approach to creating individual homes that create memories mean that there is a Bloor home to suit most people. Many of its developments are ideally located for commuters and benefit from the local amenities and facilities desired for modern lifestyles. We highlight two such developments below. A taste of the incredible investment potential when an investor buys a Bloor home.

Walpole Meadows, Stansted Mountfitchet, Cambridgeshire

Commuters will love this development. By road, it is within five miles of the M11 and Stansted Airport. London is around 45 minutes by road and 50 minutes by train from Stansted Mountfitchet railway station.

In the town, you’ll find a vibrant high street with a range of local independent shops and businesses, a short walk from the development. It’s also an ideal location for foodies. There is great range of cafes, restaurants and pubs nearby.

There are two primary schools and a secondary school, leisure facilities, a swimming pool, and plenty of green open space.

The development benefits from stunning rural views. The range of quality homes built includes two-bedroom bungalows and three to five-bedroom homes. There are landscaped areas, play areas for children, allotments, and land set aside for a new school in the future. Perfect for commuting professionals and growing families.

Saxon Gate, Crewe, Cheshire

Close to open countryside, in a perfect location for commuters, and an ideal place to raise a family – this is Saxon Gate.

Crewe offers unrivalled transport links. The HS2 line due in 2027 will reduce train journey to London from 1 hour 35 minutes to less than an hour. Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow will all be easily accessible.

Chester is only 20 minutes away. M6 is less than five miles. For shoppers, there are several shopping centres in Crewe and indoor and outdoor markets. Crewe’s main shopping centre is only five minutes’ walk from Crewe Bus Station.

Two to four-bedroom homes offer buyers access to some of the best-located properties in the North West. And with the investment taking place in infrastructure and transport, this advantage is likely only to improve.


Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood


Crest Nicholson – quality and sustainability across the south of the UK

Get To Know Series – UK Developers

In this series, we showcase many of the UK Developers work with. The UK market is full of quality developers with proven track records and who are working hard to solve the housing crisis, despite the hinders placed by Government at every level.

Introducing one the UK’s premier property developers

Crest Nicholson is one of the UK’s leading property developers, focusing on the South of England and Wales. It has been building homes and communities for over 50 years and delivers developments of all types of homes on various sizes and locational sites – including largescale urban regeneration and garden villages. This multi award-winning developer delivers on its promise to provide quality, sustainable communities – excellent properties in superb locations for property investors.

Crest Nicholson – one of the South’s premier property developers

Crest Nicholson operates through five regional housebuilding divisions. Two other business units complement these:

  • Crest Nicholson Regeneration (Major Projects) specialises in large-scale developments, on which it typically partners with public and private ventures and organisations. Such projects incorporate residential and mixed-use developments, often on brownfield sites.
  • Crest Strategic Projects (Strategic Land) sources land and acquires planning permissions for longer-term property developments.

Crest Nicholson delivers thousands of new build completions every year and expects to increase sales from around £1 billion in 2016 to £1.4 billion in 2019.

It builds homes suitable for a wide range of purchasers – from first-time buyers to families to investors – with properties ranging from one-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom detached homes.

A passionate developer with a mission

Stephen Stone, Crest Nicholson’s CEO, sums up the group’s purpose when he says that Crest Nicholson is a property developer with a passion for creating vibrant, sustainable communities with quality homes. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for individuals and communities, both now and in the future, by providing better homes, work places, retail and leisure spaces, with the customer at the heart of everything the company does.

Three core principles dictate every development

Crest Nicholson’s passion for creating quality developments is evident in the way it manages its projects with the guidance of three core principles:

·      Design and innovation

Crest Nicholson has an enviable reputation for delivering imaginative solutions in the design and build of high-quality homes. It is a leader in the development of off-site manufacturing processes, which will help to deliver homes more quickly while reducing waste, increasing on-site safety, and improving customer service.

·      Sustainability

Crest Nicholson understands that the developments of today must be built for sustainability to become the communities of tomorrow. It works closely with local stakeholders and planning authorities to ensure the development meets local needs. It works to create communities that blend in with local environments, and in which residents have access to good transport links and local shops, schools, and leisure facilities.

The properties it builds benefit from a range of green features, including low energy efficient lighting, smart meters installed, and many also feature low-carbon energy or renewable energy sources. All Crest Nicholson homes exceed the national average for water efficiency, and all have internal recycling bins.

·      Customer care

Crest Nicholson prides itself on delivering well-built, well-designed homes and a great customer experience overall. It works hard to retain and raise customer satisfaction levels, strengthening its quality assurance processes, including specifying a standard above the industry norm for paintwork and has improved its Quality Manual setting out the expected standards of its subcontractors.

Adding value for communities, providing potential for investors

Crest Nicholson has a well-located land portfolio in the south of the UK, strategic locations which add up to a sustainable land supply.

It uses its expertise and extensive partnerships to take land through the design and planning process, creating vibrant communities with a blend of tenures.

Throughout the planning and construction process, Crest Nicholson supports the development of local infrastructure, manages waste, and uses materials effectively.

It supports all customers throughout the buying process and then creates a community in infrastructure that supports that community. It includes innovative solutions such as creating Community Interest Companies to own and manage communal assets. And affordable management solutions to secure the long-term futures of the places created.

Recognised for all-round quality

Crest Nicholson is known by customers and its peers for the outstanding quality of its product. In 2016, among its industry awards were:

  • WhatHouse? Awards – Park Central, Best Partnership
  • WhatHouse? Awards – Bath Riverside, Best House
  • WhatHouse? Awards – Bristol Harbourside, Mixed-Use Development
  • The Housebuilder Awards – Sustainable Housebuilder of the Year
  • The Housebuilder Awards – Best Refurbishment Project
  • The Sunday Times British Home Awards – Best House Design Award winner

Eight of its site managers received Quality Awards from NHBC, and one received the Seal of Excellence.

Where can investors buy a new build Crest Nicholson home?

Crest Nicholson’s five regional divisions are Southwest, Chiltern, Eastern, Southern, and London. Across these five divisions, Crest Nicholson is currently developing dozens of sites. Two such sites and typical of the quality of location and properties developed by Crest Nicholson are Valentine Place in London and The Apex Apartments in Crawley.

Valentine Place, London SE1

Just a five-minute walk from Waterloo station, you will find Valentine Place, a collection of apartments, penthouses, and mews houses crafted around a former bakery. This development is at the heart of one of London’s premier cultural centres, and ideal for those who work in London.

There is no end to the recreation and leisure facilities surrounding the development and within walking distance. Views across the Thames, fine dining restaurants, the world-famous Borough Market, and pop-up markets are just a few of the local amenities here.

This development is perfect for professionals and young families. And ideal for those working in the legal quarter, The City of London, Canary Wharf and the West End.

The Apex Apartments, Crawley, West Sussex

A new collection of contemporary one and two-bedroom apartments, The Apex Apartments development is ideal for town centre living. In the heart of this commuter town, Crawley and Three Bridges railway stations are nearby. Regular trains taking commuters and travellers to London Victoria in less than 45 minutes. Close to the development, the M23 is the main route to London Gatwick for national and international flights.

Crawley offers a wide variety of high street names and boutique shops for retail enthusiasts. Houses an arts and entertainment complex, and is getting a name as a gourmet hub. Gyms and plenty of open spaces cater for fitness and sports enthusiasts.

These quality properties are set around a landscaped courtyard. And also nearby Goffs Park offers a green haven from the hustle and bustle of the town centre lifestyle.


Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood

Hamptons International – Centuries of experience and thousands of sales

Hamptons International – Centuries of experience and thousands of sales

Working with Hamptons International

We’ve actually worked with Hamptons for around 5 years now and assisted in the off market side of many of their developments on behalf of developers. They have recently restructured their London Residential team and are posed for growing under the direction of Countrywide.

Get To Know Series – UK Developers

In this series, we showcase many of the UK Developers work with. The UK market is full of quality developers with proven track records and who are working hard to solve the housing crisis, despite the hinders placed by Government at every level.

The power of an estate agency network in action

Hamptons Internationalis one of the oldest estate agents in the UK, with 85 offices around the country. Having been acquired and sold several times during its history, it is now owned by Countrywide, the UK’s largest estate agency. Hamptons offers a number of property services including sales, residential development services, new home sales and property investments. The company also has a global network and offers an extensive portfolio of properties abroad.

Award-winning end-to-end investment property solution

Hamptons International Residential Development works with housebuilders and developers and sells more than 5,500 new homes each year.

In 2015, Hamptons International was awarded Best Large Agency for the fourth year running at the Estate Agency of the Year Awards.

Its service provides an end-to-end solution to developers, buyers and investors. It provides advice and a complete range of services on UK property developments of all sizes, marketing to investors at home and abroad. Its network of 85 UK offices is enhanced by operating with several long-standing partnerships. These are key to facilitating its incredible sales numbers, with partnerships aiding the marketing of projects ranging from full-scale developments to mixed-use schemes.

The Land team – the experience to guide

Hamptons’ Land team has over 30 years of experience as specialists in identifying, advising and acquiring sites with development potential. They help release the land, arranging the sale and acquisition of properties and building land. Services include:

  • Land sales
  • Site acquisitions
  • Feasibility advice
  • Site assembly
  • Strategic land
  • Targeted research and marketing support
  • Securing of development partners
  • Joint venture arrangements

Specialists in London

Hamptons is particularly strong in the London property market, where it has 22 offices and more than 140 years of experience.

Offering privileged access to investors

The PRS market is developing rapidly and offers some exciting investment opportunities. Hamptons’ Investment Consultancy team has an enviable track record of advising on and transacting residential property investment opportunities. It works with property companies, institutions, private equity firms and specialist PRS developers.

Investor clients also include family trusts, high net worth individuals, and international and sovereign wealth funds. Working closely with the investment team, Hamptons’ clients receive privileged access to new off-plan deals, income-producing portfolios, and build-to-rent opportunities.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood

Colliers International – a global property advisory with marketing focus

Colliers International – a global property advisory with marketing focus

Working with Colliers International

We’ve been working with both the Singapore and UK team at Colliers to assist their developers to sell more stock, re-launch sites and finish off the remaining units in a development. Our off-market approach means that we do not compete with their above-the-line sales.
The team are very professional and in the past years have proven to be very successful in securing many sites across London and more recently into the rest of the UK.

Get To Know Series – UK Developers

In this series, we showcase many of the UK Developers work with. The UK market is full of quality developers with proven track records and who are working hard to solve the housing crisis, despite the hinders placed by Government at every level.

Teaming up with a global giant could boost profits

Colliers International is an industry-leading real estate company, with 15,000 employees operating in 68 countries. It provides a range of services for property investors, and markets for property developers using a ‘go-to-market’ strategy. In the UK, Colliers operates across several sectors from 12 regional offices.

A truly global property company

For more than two decades, Colliers has been delivering real estate services to owner-occupiers and investors as one of only a handful of global real estate advisory companies. Its workforce is highly trained and extremely passionate. They put clients first, and enjoy the success they have because they enjoy what they do. The company has returned an average of 20% per year to its shareholders.

Contributions from all 68 countries in which it operates enabled Colliers to post record profits in 2016 as:

  • Global revenues reached $2.6 billion
  • Property under management totaled 2 billion square feet of property around the world
  • 72,000 lease or sale transactions were completed, with a total value of $105 billion

Colliers Residential

The Colliers Residential team is based throughout the UK and offers a comprehensive residential agency and advisory service. Its representatives are knowledgeable and enterprising. With a global platform at their fingertips, Colliers advises both the sell side and the buy side of the property market. It represents a wide variety of companies, from global brands to family-owned businesses.

Renowned for its corporate responsibility

Colliers has a renowned corporate responsibility mission that has been recognised with many industry awards and certifications. It aims to uphold three pillars of the community, people and the environment. To this end, Colliers has:

  • Been Investors in People accredited since 2005, in Human Resources Management
  • Been certified by DNV GL in environmental management; business management; business continuity management; and health and safety management
  • Chosen to support several charities through 2017, including Cancer Research UK; LandAid; Alzheimer’s Society; Children in Need; and Comic Relief, among others.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood