Autumn Budget 2017 – What does it mean for property developers?

The UK property market news that affects property developers large and small

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond was more animated than I can remember seeing him previously. He even told some amusing jokes, before and during his Autumn Budget speech. Jovial references to the Prime Minister and cough sweets, driverless cars and Jeremy Clarkson being snubbed by Hammond and May. Who’d have thought? But, of course, it’s not Hammond’s standing as a stand-up comic that had us transfixed on the delivery of the Budget. Substance, not style, is what we wanted. Did we get it?

In this article, I summarise the main Budget measures that might concern property developers.

What did Hammond promise to deliver?

Philip Hammond stated that this Budget would be the ‘Housing Budget’. A Budget to deliver the environment that would solve the UK’s housing crisis. It would produce the means to build hundreds of thousands more new homes, fund the infrastructure needed to support the new homes and their residents, and release land necessary to achieve the vision. He would tackle land banking, and provide impetus to the first-time buyer market.

What did Hammond deliver?

The Chancellor made all the announcements that we’re becoming used to – an increase in the personal income tax allowance, diesel and petrol duties frozen, etc, etc. – but it was his measures on the housing market that we were waiting for. Here’s what he gave us:

  • £44 billion to help build 300,000 homes per year by the mid-2020s
  • £8 billion of financial guarantees to support private housebuilding
  • £2.7 billion extra into the infrastructure fund
  • £1.7 billion for transforming cities
  • £1.1 billion for urban regeneration
  • £630 million in a small sites fund
  • £34 million to train construction workers
  • £28 million for housing schemes in the West Midlands, Manchester, and Liverpool, aimed at eliminating rough sleeping by 2027

He also:

  • Committed to five new garden towns
  • Said that 1 million new homes would be built in the Cambridge/Milton Keynes/Oxford corridor by 2050
  • Announced a review had been set up to examine how planning permissions can be accelerated, specifically looking at land banking, with potential penalties including compulsory purchase of development land

But, admirable as all these measures are, the headline-grabbing announcement was the one designed to help first-time buyers.

Stamp duty scrapped for most first-time buyers

With immediate effect, first-time buyers paying £300,000 or less will no longer pay stamp duty. Those buying a first home in London for between £300,000 and £500,000 would only pay stamp duty on the amount above £300,000.

What does this all mean for property developers?

First, let’s look at that stamp duty announcement. While made to help first-time buyers, the actual effect could be muted. Where supply is already constricted, if extra demand comes in because first-time buyers are now more able to buy, property prices could push upwards. It will reduce the positive impact of the first-time buyer stamp duty exemption, while merely increasing house price inflation in the lower price band.

The money that has been committed to supporting infrastructure and regeneration is certainly welcome, and, with more powers of spending devolved, should help to free up urban land and enable development where people want to live. However, the actual impact will depend upon how local authorities interpret government policy: saying planning permission will be accelerated and making it happen are two different things.

It would have been good to see stamp duties reduced on more expensive properties, and the surcharge on additional properties is still a dampener on investment activity. However, the Chancellor could have been much harsher on foreign investors: the major announcement in this direction was the 100% council tax premium on empty properties.

The ambition to build more properties has been slowed down, and the £34 million investment for training new construction workers is most certainly welcome when so many developers are worried about losing access to EU labour when the UK leaves the EU. It could give developers the breathing space and resource needed to achieve building targets.

Building in cities, creating new garden towns and preserving the green belt should be applauded. The extra financial support is certainly welcome. However, the key to how successful these policies will be will be determined by the detail. How will the urban land be unlocked for development? One solution that is not being discussed enough if should we be building more purpose-built retirement developments. The UK population is getting older. By providing more suitable, quality homes for the silver-haired generation, and encouraging them to downsize, perhaps more homes for families could be released more quickly?

In summary

In brief, this is a Budget that addresses some concerns but doesn’t go the full nine yards. But, as always, government finances and the political climate didn’t allow a more radical Budget. So, a foundation has been laid. We must wait and see how it pans out.

To benefit from access to natural buyers and an incredible investor database, call the Castlereach team on + 44 207 923 5680. Our partnership will help get your new build and off-plan development sales to where you need them to be, whatever the market conditions and whatever the politicians do.

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood


Marketing your off-plan development in a crowded market

Four steps we take to promote your property through the sales funnel

The market for selling off-plan property has become a little more stressed lately. Take Brexit as an example. It’s weighing on people’s minds. The media is not doing the market any favours, either. Every good news story (and there are a lot of them) is introduced with the prefix ‘despite Brexit’. It makes many homebuyers and investors hesitant to buy property because they perceive that we’re all waiting for the economy to implode because of Brexit.

Further, in some areas, especially those that are being regenerated, so-called market experts have started talking about a glut of new properties, as the number of transactions in the property market slows down.

Despite all this, we aren’t experiencing a big slowdown in interest from our investors. Why? Because just like we did through the Global Financial Crisis, when we market your property development we do so to make it stand out from the crowd.

Here are four things that we do to stay at the forefront of investors’ minds, remind them of the long-term benefits of investing in the UK property market, and promote your property to interested investors.

1.    Identify the appeal of a development to identify off-plan investors

How can you develop a marketing plan if you don’t know who the potential residents will be? When we examine new developments for their potential to sell, uppermost in our considerations is who will want to live there. We want to know who the development is aimed at. It means understanding the location, and its appeal to residents.

We gain a deep understanding of the fabric of the local economy and community. Will it appeal to young families, empty nesters, or single professionals, for example? Is it in a bustling area with an eclectic nightlife, or does the location offer benefits to those seeking a rural, more gentle way of life?

It’s not enough to say a property or development is an ideal investment; we must show why it is so. Our investor clients are long-term investors. They want to know that there will be demand for rentals as well as from homebuyers. When we know who the target residents are, we can show investors that demand. Most importantly, we can market your development to the right investors in our database.

2.    Support investment decisions with regular property investment content

Property investors want to feel loved. They want to know that their property investment company cares about them. And we do. So, we provide a wealth of online content to investors. Content that educates informs, and builds relationships. From videos to blogs to eBooks, our material is continuous and consistent.

We publish content that takes an investor (and potential investors) on a journey from considering investment in the UK, to deciding to invest in a specific location. Throughout this journey, we are gathering information about these investors and website visitors. The last piece of the puzzle, of course, is to market directly and selectively to the most interested investors – those who have travelled all the way through our sales funnel.

We’ve found that our blog content for investors (see the Gladfish Academy) is one of our most powerful marketing tools. We publish five blogs every week, and the Gladfish blog is ranked in the top ten of the best real estate investment blogs on the planet.

3.    Highlight what makes your development different

At the stage of direct marketing, we expand our message by highlighting why an area is so good for investment, to why your development is the prime property in its location.

We figured out a long time ago that to sell best, a development needs to offer something that makes it stand out from the crowd. We explain to investors the main selling points and features of your development. For example a sustainable community; features such as 24/7 concierge or residents’ gyms; proximity to transport hubs; or within catchment areas of great schools. We then link these features to the properties for sale and the target residents. It helps make your development stand out as a great investment proposition.

4.    Reiterate the financial benefits of investing in your development

Now that we’ve taken investors from concept to reality, we show them how the numbers could stack up. They’ve already become excited by the prospect of capital growth and rental income, but we find that when they see this potential in black and white, it cements their interest.

We provide a two-year cash flow projection and cover different scenarios within those projections – rising interest rates, void periods, and so on. The investor now has a deep realisation that we have taken the investment view, by helping them answer the investor’s golden question, “How much return could I make by investing in this property?”

Property investors are no different from other investors. They want to know why they should invest, where they should invest, how they should invest, and what their investment is likely to return. In a crowded and uncertain market, our approach stands out from the crowd. It’s this approach that helped us to continue to sell and grow our business through the worst of the GFC, and its why our investors aren’t concerned by Brexit, Trump, or any other banana skin that the politicians throw at the market.

You don’t have to suffer from media-induced apathy in the property market. Call the Castlereach team on 0207 923 5680. Our partnership will help get your new build and off-plan development sales to where you need them to be, whatever the market conditions.

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood


How do we find the property investors who will buy your off-plan?

Second-to-none services that fuel the property sales funnel

One of the questions we’re always asked by developers when we start working together is, how do we find the property investors who will buy their off-plan properties? It’s a fair question, so I’m going to answer it in this article.

Hard work, resources, contact, and ease of use

In truth, there isn’t a magic formula to finding and keeping property investors interested in the UK property market. Despite Brexit, the UK property market is still fundamentally strong. There’s a high demand for new build property, especially among foreign investors.

This said, no one can expect investors simply to walk through the door. Not if you want to be successful. Our track record of off-plan and new build sales speaks volumes about the way we do things:

  • We put a lot of hard work into reaching out to investors
  • We provide a huge amount of resources for investors around the world
  • We ensure that we keep in contact with investors and understand their objectives, so when we show them new developments it is in line with their goals
  • And we make everything easy, from learning about the UK property market to completing investments and building a successful portfolio

Meet Gladfish

Gladfish is the arm that we set up to search for, find, and service private investors. Based in London and founded in 2004, its reach is global. It has marketed and sold UK property to investors in many countries, including the important target markets of Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, UAE, South Africa, and Australia.

Staff at Gladfish are highly trained and experienced not only in property but in sales, too. They work hard to cultivate investor relations, communicating in a variety of ways and learning more about their clients with every contact.

Gladfish provides investors with amazing resources. These include:

  • Property investment education
  • Area investment guides
  • HOTspots Magazines
  • DDInvest Magazines
  • Cash flow worksheets
  • Sales progression management

Property investment education

The amount and quality of our new build and off-plan property educational resources is unique in the market. It’s a massive and growing resource to which we add daily. Content includes videos, podcasts, blogs, books, and webinars. And it’s all free.

The Gladfish Academy – our blog for property investors ­– provides information and advice for beginners through to professionals, whether UK-based or investing from foreign shores. Feedspot ranks it as the 10th best property investment blog on the planet (and in the top 90 of all investment blogs on the planet).

We also have two YouTube channels with over 3,000 subscribers. Type ‘property rant’ or ‘Brett Alegre-Wood’ into Google, and you’ll see the results of our marketing efforts on these.

As we continue to grow our property investment education, news, and information resources, we aim to continue to climb up the lists of the top property and investment blogs in the world.

Area investment guides

We help investors to move out of their comfort zones – investing only locally to where they live – by publishing area investment guides. To date, we have published more than 150 of these, helping investors focus on the reasons to buy property where you are developing.

These guides help investors to become interested in and excited about an area. Our experience has shown that this is key to an investor taking the next step – searching for property to buy. It’s a far subtler way of selling your property, and a strategy that has been proven to work.

HOTspots Magazine

In addition to our area investment guides, we also produce a HOTspots magazine. It covers key topics of interest to property investors. Recent issues have detailed High Speed 1 and 2, Crossrail 1 and 2, Wembley, and Commuter Towns.

DDInvest Magazine

It is where we get down to the nitty-gritty of marketing your development.

We prepare a professionally printed magazine called DDInvest, covering your story, your development, the fundamentals that make the decision to invest a good one, price and rental comparisons, property specifications, etc, etc.

By the time we get to this stage, the investors we are now targeting have travelled way down our sales funnel. They are almost ready to buy.

Cash flow worksheets

It is often the information that compels an investor to pull the trigger and purchase property on your development. This isn’t provided to all investors, only those who have come through our sales funnel to this stage.

Our two-year cash flow worksheet in the most comprehensive on the market. We help the investor understand exactly what their financial commitment will be, and how their returns should stack up in different scenarios. Seeing their finances in black and white for the next two years enforces our commitment to them, and helps them realise the potential that they are buying.

Sales progression and updates

Now that the investor has decided to buy, we hold their hand throughout the purchasing process. Our Sales Progression Team manages the whole process from reservation to exchange. Included in our progression process are contacts and liaison with mortgage brokers and solicitors, and we also manage the investor’s choice of finishing touches – carpets, flooring, furniture, and so on. We also offer post-completion property management services through Ezytrac.

It is the most comprehensive marketing, managing, and aftercare property investment service on the market today – completely Set and Forget for the investor. For you as a developer, you get access to a huge database of property investors from around the world, as we take the effort out of you selling your development.

Of course, this is only part of how we work with developers to maximise sales. To learn how we can customise our approach to your specific development and sales goals, call the team on 0207 923 5680. Our partnership will get your new build and off-plan development sales to where you need them to be.

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood


How property developers can use social media to hit off-plan sales goals

Maximum reach, minimum splash, utmost integrity

Recently, I was chatting with a developer who was keen to know how we use social media in our sales process. After all, it is an integral part of our strategy to guarantee sales for developers with whom we partner. It’s also a strategy that forms the backbone of our off-plan sales success.

In this article, I explain how we have developed our Property Launch Formula over the last two decades, and why it works so well.

What do the best salespeople do every day?

Figuring out how to use social media as a sales tool isn’t rocket science, but it does need you to understand what your best people do naturally every day. When we analysed what our best salespeople did so well, we were able to condense their incredible talents into six specific areas:

  1. Positioning of company, product, and opportunity
  2. Prospecting, and building rapport with new connections
  3. Presenting opportunities, and ensuring that those opportunities were relevant to the prospect
  4. Following up, ensuring constant contact and maximising the good work done to date
  5. Closing a deal, and ensuring the sale runs smoothly
  6. Maintaining contact and encouraging repeat purchases

Why social media is so important in the off-plan sales process

As social media apps started to take off, we realised that in the future people would use apps like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Quora as sources to make buying decisions. We also understood that each different social media app has a different audience and different use.

Our Property Launch Formula is designed to maximise the reach of each different social media app, targeting different types of investors and answering different investor needs. Some investors want information. Others want specific solutions. Swathes of investors want to be kept in touch with industry developments and investment opportunities. We mix and match our messages through social media to satisfy these and other needs.

Social media gives us the ability to replicate all six of the sales talents that we identified, but on a scale that human salespeople could never hope to achieve. We have used social media to build a sales funnel that takes investors through a journey from initial contact to purchase. It allows us to start this process with tens of thousands of prospects, before funnelling through to a list of hot, registered prospects.

This scale of contacts would require hundreds of salespeople to perform. Social media has enabled us to act more effectively and target your development at those investors who are most likely to buy at earlier stages of development.

We use 16 social media platforms in our Property Launch Formula, including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Quora.

Here are a few of the ways in which our social media strategies replicate and enhance what the best salespeople do:


Social media is an exceptional tool for prospecting when it is used correctly. We target keywords and search phrases to attract investors who are considering investment in the UK property market. They are already looking, and social media helps us to leapfrog the cold call phase of prospecting.

We offer these prospects. Why not reach out to them and offer your support and expertise? Establishing yourself as a useful resource is a strong step in the right direction. You can also use Twitter’s search function to search for keywords associated with pains some people have that might bring them to the solution you’re selling.

Familiarisation and building rapport

Through social media, we can begin to familiarise investors with our offering – driving them to our private investor’s arm, Gladfish, where they can access what is probably the largest property investment resource on the web today. This includes videos, podcasts, blogs, books and webinars all designed to introduce investors to new build property. Check it out at

In addition, our social media reach allows us to directly answer investor questions, and post information that serves to get investors familiar with an area before our off-market efforts begin in earnest.

Engagement and relationship building

We have an excellent record of building relationships, breeding investor loyalty, and encouraging repeat investment. Social media is integral to this process. Several social media channels are ideal for sharing content and adding value to a broad spectrum of investment needs. This is soft relationship building at its best.

Relationships are critical in any sales process. We found that social media accounts such as LinkedIn and Facebook are exceptional tools for maintaining these relationships.

Following up with interested investors

With all the preparation work done, we can launch to only those investors who are most interested in your development. This increases our chances of making sales. And allows our salespeople to concentrate on the end game in the sales process. We’ll share useful resources with these investors through our social media accounts, ensuring that our relationship, message, and your development are at the forefront of their investment plans.

Launching your development into the market

Our Property Launch Formula and social media reach is key to maintaining relationships with more than 50,000 active investors on our database. We’re able to segment these investors for specific marketing – for example if we wish to launch to specific countries.

But there is no need to worry about us making a big splash and disrupting price integrity. When we launch, it’s off-market all the way. The only public footprint will be the name of your development. Investors must log in to see everything else. Cash flow projections are only made available to registered investors who speak directly with the team. The only pricing information that will be posted online is the one that says, ‘Prices from’.

Our Property Launch Formula means you get the widest and deepest reach, without making ripples in the market.

Of course, this is only part of how we work with developers to maximise sales. To learn how we can customise our approach for your specific development and sales goals, call the team on 0207 923 5680. Our partnership will get your new build and off-plan development sales to where you need them to be.

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood


Mount Anvil – world renowned London property developer

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.

Quality homes in quality London locations

Mount Anvil is a property developer focused on being London’s most respected residential developer. Its team have decades of experience across the entire spectrum of property development – from land acquisition, through planning, design, development, construction, and sales, and in public, private, and residential sectors. The winner of many industry awards and a property developer with an almost 100% recommended rating, when you buy a Mount Anvil property, you are guaranteed a quality property in a quality London location.

A passionate, employee-owned property developer

Jointly founded by current Chief Executive Killian Hurley, Mount Anvil operates an integrated model – it acts as both developer and contractor on its projects. It ensures it remains in complete control of all details as it creates quality homes.

Almost three-quarters of Mount Anvil’s employees are shareholders in the business, meaning they all have a vested interest in people development as well as quality housebuilding and the creation of communities. You would be hard-pressed to find a more passionate, dedicated, and hardworking team.

Building incredible partnerships to deliver incredible homes

Mount Anvil works with partners to create some stunning developments, and its track record includes repeat partnerships collaborating with six partners across 15 schemes over the last five years.

This high level of repeat partnerships is reflected in the esteem with which Mount Anvil is held by property investors and homebuyers.

Developing exceptional customer experiences

Mount Anvil has one of the highest customer recommendation ratings in the industry, with an astounding 98% of customers saying they would recommend to another. This high rating is evidenced by the number of repeat customers it serves: a third of its properties are sold to previous buyers or people who have been recommended by a previous customer.

Undoubtedly, Mount Anvil’s customer satisfaction numbers owe much to its values and passion for its projects. It is also evidence of the way in which it selects land and designs and develops homes on that land.

Focus on location and build quality

Mount Anvil focuses on the most desirable London locations, working with internationally acclaimed architects and building with the best materials. Combined with its passionate approach, these characteristics have helped Mount Anvil’s name become synonymous with quality and recognised around the world.

No two of its developments are the same, meaning buyers are assured of a unique, individualised development designed with the community in mind.

A cabinet full of awards

Mount Anvil’s awards cabinet is full to overflowing, including:

  • The Evening Standard winner for New Homes in 2017
  • 11 years in a row as a Sunday Times Best Small Companies to Work For
  • RoSPA awards winner for safety
  • The UK’s number one company for health and safety for four years running

Where can you buy a Mount Anvil property?

Two of Mount Anvil’s fast-selling developments are:

Queen’s Wharf, Hammersmith

Queen’s Wharf is a statement of elegance adjacent to Grade II listed Hammersmith Bridge, offering apartments on the Surrey bend of the River Thames. The properties here benefit from an engaging aspect and easy access to central London.

Queen’s Wharf offers an exceptional combination of relaxed river living and the capital’s world-class shopping, culture, schools and restaurants.

The 165 residences – ranging from studio apartments to penthouses – have been carefully designed to maximise panoramic views of the river. All have balconies and benefit from landscaped communal gardens. Amenities on site include a theatre, café, restaurant, bar, and cinema, as well as the world-famous Riverside Studios.

Hampstead Manor, Hampstead Village

Located on leafy Kidderpore Avenue, and just a few minutes from the centre of Hampstead Village, this development comprises 156 exquisitely designed residences, ranging from studio apartments to five-bedroom homes.

The 13 buildings that make up the development sit along a handsome, historic avenue, offering an eclectic and intriguing mix of architectural styles.

Hampstead Manor is in itself a story of artistry, imagination and rural tranquillity that epitomises the qualities that have long made NW3 one of Britain’s most desirable postcodes. Not surprisingly, the development is receiving rave reviews in the media.

On-site, there is a 24-hour residents’ concierge service, a residents-only gym, spa and swimming pool, and beautifully landscaped gardens and open green spaces.

These two developments demonstrate the attention to detail and quality homes and communities building for which Mount Anvil is famous.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood


Morris Homes – Large, independent, and unique

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.

For personalised properties in top locations

Morris Homes are one of the UK’s largest privately-owned property developers. It builds a variety of houses across the North, East, and Midlands regions, delivering high-quality, sustainable homes ideal for buyers and tenants.

Decades of experience with an enviable reputation

Morris Homes are headquartered in Cheshire and have been building high-quality dwellings for more than 60 years. Its reputation as a responsible and professional development partner in regeneration schemes is unsurpassed. Customers are proud to call a Morris Home their home. They’ve even had home buyers camp outside new developments in an attempt to snap up the best properties, as a group did for five days earlier this year at its Cecil Square development in Stamford.

Superior quality to stand the test of time

Morris Homes use the best-quality materials in the construction of their properties and fit them with eco-friendly appliances. This approach has helped the developer win several national awards for excellence in landscaping, design, construction and energy efficiency. These include the 2014 WhatHouse> award for the Best Sustainable Development.

Personalising homes for customers

Morris Homes give their customers a wide range of personalisation options. From work surfaces in the kitchen to bathroom tiling, buyers have a say in how their new home looks and feels. It helps to make each Morris Homes property unique from all others, with customers selecting from a wide range of hand-picked choices from top-quality manufacturers such as Villeroy & Boch, NEFF, Roca, Porcelanosa, and Amtico.

Environmentally friendly

Morris Homes are equipped with the best energy-saving appliances and built to standards that cause lower environmental impact using the latest building methods and high-quality materials.

This developer produces 45 different house types. Each has distinctive architectural features, allowing Morris Homes to design streets and communities that are spacious, welcoming, and blend into the surrounding natural environment.

Where can you buy a Morris Homes property?

While Morris Homes develop across the country, we’ve picked two locations to highlight their extensive offering.

Egerton Park, Altrincham, Greater Manchester

Manchester is world-famous for its football clubs (United and City). It’s a city that is home to incredible shopping centres, fantastic schools and universities, and has one of the fastest-growing and diverse local economies in the UK.

Egerton Park is a Morris Homes development in the market town of Altrincham, providing exceptional access to Manchester, just eight miles away. Here, buyers will find some of the best schools in Greater Manchester, in a development that is ideal for commuters and families.

At Egerton Park, Morris Homes are building a fantastic range of one, two, three and four-bedroom properties, all designed and finished to the exceptional standards that mark out a Morris Home as different to the competition.

Alconbury Weald, Cambridgeshire

Situated on the outskirts of one of Cambridgeshire’s most picturesque towns, and surrounded by acres of woodland, Alconbury is a home for explorers and good old English countryside appreciators. Luton and Stansted Airports are both around 45 minutes away, and London’s King’s Cross is only an hour from nearby Huntingdon station.

From Alconbury Weald, residents can be in Cambridge or Peterborough inside an hour.

The site provides everything with community needs. Its schools, and a GP surgery. Play areas, open green spaces, a village green, and footpaths. It’s a perfect environment to raise a family in one of Morris Homes’ fantastic two, three, four, and five-bedroom homes.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood


Telford Homes – Making London accessible for investors

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 local property developer offering exceptional quality and value

Telford Homes is a dream property developer for those investors buying in London. Delivering around 500 to 600 new homes each year, many for the investment market, it concentrates on building high-quality, affordable properties in non-prime locations. It has a defined strategy, ambitious expansion plans, and a large development pipeline.

Telford Homes develops sites and builds homes to stand the test of time, supporting its ambition of creating places for future generations.

The London property developer

Telford is a property developer born and bred in London. The three directors who founded the company in 2000 have an enviable history of successful housebuilding behind them. For Telford, its success is not only about the product it produces, but about the people who deliver it. The company now directly employs around 250 people, each with a genuine passion for the business of building sustainable homes.

It started by concentrating its efforts in East London, but in the last, two to three years has expanded south and west.

Building local in London

Telford’s business model is very easy to understand:

  • It acquires land in parts of London that are evolving. Specifically, it seeks up-and-coming locations, which benefit from regeneration, great transport links, and good town centres. Places such as Camden and Islington.
  • It then uses its local knowledge to work with planners and provide imaginative development concepts.
  • The next stage is the design of sites and homes. The company excels here, its efforts helped by the architectural backgrounds of many of its employees and its enthusiasm to work with local communities, engaging and communicating with local people to discover what makes an area ‘tick’.
  • The construction process begins, with in-house expertise focused on delivering more reasonably priced homes that still benefit from the high-quality build and finish standards set by larger developers.

It’s unsurprising that two-thirds of Telford’s properties are snapped up by investors, with the remainder built for owner-occupiers and tenants.

Creating value for property buyers

Telford has an ambitious expansion plan which will see it double its output from the current level of around 500 to 600 homes per year. Already it has a pipeline of 4,000 new homes and adds value to each project it undertakes by:

  • Buying land in the right location
  • Accepting planning risk
  • Controlling the whole development process
  • Selling off-plan to reduce risk
  • Driving capital returns through an expanding build-to-rent strategy, and working with institutional investors
  • Delivering excellent customer service

This last point is key. It currently has a 99% customer recommendation rate. It achieves this not simply through the quality of the homes it builds and communities it develops, but by providing for easy and regular communications with its customers and investors around the world. It creates places to live which live up to the expectations of investors and homeowners, offering a product and service with exceptional value for money.

Current Telford development projects

Telford is developing several sites in London, with much more planned. These offer investors exciting opportunities to purchase property in some of London’s most sought-after up-and-coming locations. Here are two such developments, worthy examples of Telford’s offering:

City North, London N4

The City North development is found at the centre of vibrant North London. It’s an award-winning development on the edge of Finsbury Park, benefitting from fantastic transport links that make the commute to the City or West End just 15 minutes. This mixed-use space provides for incredible lifestyle – close to work, with exceptional local amenities, including great schools and 110 acres of parkland to enjoy.

Here, Telford is building a number of apartments that benefit from specifications expected of far more expensive properties in prime central London locations. These include:

  • 24-hour concierge service
  • The Pavilion landscaped roof garden
  • Private residents’ roof terrace on 10th floor of The Linear building
  • Private residents’ Wi-Fi Lounge
  • High-gloss white, handleless fitted Kitchen units from London designer Urban Myth
  • Fully integrated Bosch appliances: stainless steel oven, induction hob, extractor hood, dishwasher, fridge/freezer, microwave and washer/dryer
  • Pure white Villeroy & Boch bathroom suites with chrome taps and mixers
  • Bath with thermostatic shower mixer and glazed screen (where applicable)
  • Kitchen, living room and hallway in engineered timber flooring
  • Bedrooms carpeted in a warm, neutral colour tone
  • Video entryphone system to all apartments
  • Monitored CCTV system

Manhattan Plaza, London E14

Manhattan Plaza is perfect for city life. This location is in striking distance of Canary Wharf and the O2 Arena, and Telford are building an exclusive collection of one, two, and three-bedroom apartments, penthouses, and townhouses here. Stratford is only 10 minutes away.

Residents here benefit from stylish homes and exceptional specifications, which include:

  • Concierge service
  • Private residents’ gymnasium
  • Two landscaped residents’ rooftop gardens
  • Outside space to all apartments
  • Basement car parking
  • Video entryphone system to all apartments
  • Looped CCTV system to communal areas
  • All properties are finished with high-quality fixtures and white goods, including bespoke cabinetry, Smeg appliances, and stone worktops.

These two developments are only a couple of examples of Telford’s quality sites and properties available today, with many more in the pipeline.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood


DeTrafford – unique among 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 clear vision and refreshingly innovative development vision

DeTrafford Estates Group is a reflection of its founder – entrepreneurial and driven to produce quality properties in strategic locations in emerging markets. It has acquired several sites across the UK and can develop more than 2,000 residential units. The company has not had to call on third-party funding, a measure of its incredible financial management which will appeal to property investors.

A family firm with real passion for their product

DeTrafford was founded nine years ago, but its history goes back much further. It’s a family affair, headed by founder Gary Jackson. The senior management team has almost seven decades of property development experience between them and has developed a brand inspired by Victorian manor houses, New York’s rooftop living, and the townhouses of London, Amsterdam and beyond. They seek to produce pioneering concepts, combining the functional and flexible with innovative design delivering the needs of the everyday home.

What strikes you most about DeTrafford is the family atmosphere and 100% passion for their business, and designing and developing beautiful homes in ideal locations.

The savviest of property developers?

Gary Jackson first stepped into property development in 1984, with money he’d saved from working while a teenager. In 1986, he used the proceeds of that first foray to secure bank lending on a six-apartment conversion of a Victorian house. He learned the hard way through the 1991 market crash. Since those dark days, he has refused to rely on banks or other third-party lending.

Gary regrew his business and has since developed more than 800 properties including land, factories, industrial mills, houses, apartments, and a variety of other investments. By 2007, Gary had built a property portfolio that he traded for £85 million. He closed all his existing development companies and rode out the market storm that was brewing at that time.

DeTrafford – founded to fill a void

In 2008, Gary founded DeTrafford with the intention of acquiring strategic locations and sites for redevelopment in readiness for the anticipated emerging market – he had spotted a void in the market. Developers were not designing and delivering pioneering concept projects for modern lifestyles.

The group first successfully completed the Lawnhurst development and has acquired several sites in highly strategic locations on which it plans to develop more than 2,000 residential units. This process has started, and the uniqueness and quality of build ensure that DeTrafford developments are sold out quickly.

The company is also busy acquiring other sites, in London, the North West, and Europe. No acquisition has been made with third-party funding.

The vision and passion to create stunning and sustainable communities

DeTrafford has a unique philosophy. Its mission is to craft bespoke sustainable places to enhance communities. It is the community which is at the heart of every project it undertakes:

  • It converts heritage buildings into distinct and unique living and outdoor spaces
  • It works with local tradespeople and consultants, utilising their local knowledge to better inform the identity of their developments
  • It treats corporate partners, home buyers, investors, and other stakeholders with a personal touch often lacking in today’s frenetic society

Producing the modern by preserving the historical

DeTrafford is committed to developing for sustainability and preserving historical and culturally unique buildings and sites. When it develops a site, DeTrafford seeks to produce the minimum environmental footprint as it builds out low energy solutions for environmentally conscious living.

Central to its strategy is to use its own liquid and non-leveraged financial position, combined with its extensive market experience, to acquire new sites on which to develop its vision for the enjoyment of residents.

Where can you invest in a DeTrafford property?

Some of the most awe-inspiring developments in Manchester have been crafted by DeTrafford. Here are three at various stages of completion:

The City Gardens

Here you will find accommodation to meet different needs, all with high levels of comfort and convenience. There is a total of 78 one and two-bedroom apartments, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows. All are modern, spacious and light, capturing a warehouse conversion atmosphere perfectly balanced by the stylish use of wood panelling.

There is a spacious double-height lobby, where residents benefit from lift access to all floors. The top three floors offer exclusive triplexes, each with their own private terrace. On floors, two to eight, rear elevation apartments all enjoy individual balconies.

St Georges Gardens

This collection of 20 one-bedroom and 40 two-bedroom apartments are generously equipped for modern living. Each benefit from their own private terrace. A communal roof garden provides an attractive space to breathe and soaks up the atmosphere of the Grade II listed church next door, from which the block derives its name. There is allocated parking and secure cycle storage for residents in this new, thriving community of Manchester Gardens.

Elisabeth Gardens

This sensitive restoration project will create 152 one and two-bedroom apartments in the sought-after Houldsworth conservation area of Reddish. Each apartment will provide its residents with bright, modern, open living space, as a complimentary juxtaposition to the building’s period façade. There will also be an array of amenity spaces, communal gardens, picnic areas, sun terraces, and wildflower gardens. A paradise within five kilometres of Manchester city centre.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood


Be Homes – the ‘new’ property developer transforming the south of England

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.

Regeneration and residential excellence working in tandem

Be Homes is a new and exciting name in the UK housebuilding market. It’s the amalgamation of two fantastic names – Willmott Dixon and Prime Place specialise in building communities in popular urban locations that benefit from excellent transport links. The company currently has 7,500 homes either under construction or in the planning process waiting to be built. Masters in the field of regeneration, Be Homes is delivering real answers for the UK’s need for housing, and exceptional developments with real potential for property investors.

Combining regeneration excellence with residential expertise

The two parts of the newly formed Be Homes complement each other perfectly. Willmott Dixon has a long history of transforming urban centres into desirable places to live and work. Prime Place develops residential communities that benefit from high-spec finishes and attention to detail. Combining these two specialities have created a developer fully loaded and prepared to meet the demands and challenges in today’s property market.

Specialists in urban regeneration

Willmott Dixon specialises in partnering on regeneration projects, and creating unique locations on brownfield and constrained sites, as well as working on ‘live sites’, where residents and businesses remain in occupation. They have particular experience developing mixed-use sites, dovetailing housing, retail, leisure and community facilities.

Willmott Dixon regularly partners with local authorities, housing associations, retailers, developers and housebuilders. Notable projects include:

  • Flemingate Centre in Beverley, a £120 million town centre development including major retail brands, a new Premier Inn hotel, and leisure facilities such as a new cinema. This follows other town centre transformation products, such as Redcar and Woolwich.
  • Trent Basin, Nottingham’s highest-profile residential development, eventually providing 350 low energy apartments and family homes with a community focus.
  • Woolwich Central, the biggest Tesco development ever with an 84,000 square feet Tesco store and a 259-home community above, as well as £3 million of infrastructure and community improvements.
  • In Westminster, Willmott Dixon is creating a modern lifestyle mixed-use development, providing a new leisure centre and 156 new homes built by Be Living. This development is a perfect example of how the combination of Willmott Dixon and Prime Place are working hand in hand – with the completed development called Prime Place, Kensal Rise.

Specialists in residential development

Prime Place is a brand synonymous with quality build standards in urban locations. Willmott Dixon’s intent to create the Be brand can be traced back to 2016 when it combined Prime Place with Be:here into Willmott Residential.

Now simplified to Be Living, it is a company committed to growing its residential presence, developing homes to buy and rent. Its sites and the homes it develops on them are in prime locations, which are ideal for today’s lifestyle needs.

At the start of 2017, Be became a standalone company, concentrating 100% on residential development. Be works with a host of joint venture partners and landowners to develop unique residential communities. One such partnership is the Westminster project mentioned above.

Be Homes has an enviable history behind it. Willmott Dixon started in a specialist residential building in 1974. Its experience includes building all types of tenure: affordable, care residential, retirement villages, housing for sale and private rent, plus student accommodation.

As Be Homes, the company brings extensive experience and expertise in a ‘one company’ approach to all its partnerships. Investors benefit from an exceptional range of skills and know-how that delivers all types of housing projects, including complex high-density schemes.

Where can investors buy a new build Be Homes property?

Be Homes’ current developments are located in the South of England, in and around London. On the outskirts of London, and ideal for commuters, you will find:

Godalming – A range of one to four-bedroom apartments and three and four-bedroom townhouses, only a couple of minutes’ walk from the high street and station. The commute to Waterloo is only 47 minutes.

Sevenoaks – A few minutes’ walk to Sevenoaks station, where regular trains transport passengers to London Bridge in just 30 minutes, Be Homes is building an exceptional range of luxury two-bedroom apartments. They include a dedicated concierge, hotel-style foyer, and private business suite: elements you would usually find only in central London developments.

Cheshunt – Signature design and superb specification are what you will find in this idyllic location of Cheshunt. A range of two to four-bedroom houses benefiting from contemporary interiors is just 24 minutes by train to London.

There are several Be Homes developments in inner London, including the incredible Aberfeldy Village. This development is just four minutes from Canary Wharf and 15 minutes from the City by Docklands Light Railway. Here, suites and one and two-bedroom apartments, designed by award-winning architects Levitt Bernstein, combine with new shopping, healthcare and community facilities, public and green spaces.

For investors seeking to benefit from some of the best locations in and around London, Be Homes is a developer you can’t afford to ignore.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood


Salboy – the experts in Manchester regeneration property 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.

Inner-city locations delivering luxurious quality for the modern lifestyle

Salboy is a Manchester-based property developer, financier, and equity provider. Its roots are firmly in Manchester and, with a fantastic relationship with both Manchester and Salford councils, Salboy is helping to unlock some of the most promising brownfield sites in the North West of England. Further afield, the company has around 2,000 units under construction countrywide, either under its name, via joint ventures, or as equity partnerships.

Salboy – property development experts in Manchester

Salboy provides the financing, design, and construction of what many consider to be the best schemes in the best locations in Manchester with the best quality materials. With more than 1200 residential units under construction in Manchester city centre, Salboy is currently the largest developer on site in the city.

The Salboy team is Manchester born and bred and believes in the buzz in the city. It is passionate about helping Manchester grow while maintaining its heritage. It aims to aid the development of Manchester for the city to reach its full potential, as a globally recognised city.

Lending, developing and partnering

The founders and core of the company come from a development finance background, and this is how Salboy started its life – as a financier of quality developments. Salboy partners with experienced property developers and investors, providing the equity to kick-start and complete exciting commercial and residential property developments in key city locations throughout the UK.

To deliver its vision of quality of location and build, Salboy created its own construction company, Domis Construction. Together with its partnerships with award-winning architects 5Plus and IDP, Salboy prides itself on delivering high-quality and locational ideal residential developments.

Three Salboy developments you shouldn’t ignore

Salboy is undertaking some of Manchester’s most ambitious property developments. They are all designed for modern living and in exceptional locations. Here are three examples of what Salboy is creating in Manchester.

Local Blackfriars

A gated community of 380 apartments, townhouses and penthouses across two striking towers, which have been designed to blend with a Grade II listed former public house that is repurposed as the gateway entrance. Open living spaces are perfectly aligned with open green spaces. Units are light, spacious, and airy.

Everything that modern lifestyle living needs is here: a substantial communal garden space and top-class amenities that include a 24/7 concierge service, bistro, bar, gymnasium, yoga and dance studio, cinema room and fully equipped laundrette.

The development is just a five-minute walk to Manchester’s shopping district and vibrant nightlife.

M One Central

Partnering with one of the top inner-city property developers in the North West, Salboy is delivering 119 one and two-bedroom apartments in a 12-storey tower in this highly sought-after Northern Quarter location.

Salboy’s relationship with developer Factory Estates goes back years and leverages the experience and expertise of both partners – financing, land acquisition, design and planning, construction, and sales.

Here at M One Central, the Great Ancoats Street development will deliver quality residential units for the private rented sector, with features that include a roof level terrace, ground floor gym, and landscaped public square. Again, while the feel of the building will be modern, benefitting from up-to-date quality and style, it will remain sympathetic to the period architecture of its local environment.

Tib Street Manchester

Just one minute by foot from Market Street in the city centre, Tib Street is the ideal location for residents who want to live where they work and play. The development will deliver 183 apartments as part of a near £30 million mixed-use redevelopment on the site of a former car park and the Tib Street Horn.

Like M One Central and Local Blackfriars, there will be a host of communal facilities, and internal courtyard and a rooftop garden. And like all of Salboy’s developments in Manchester, units are selling fast.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood

1 3 4 5 6 7 11