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Property Market
April 13 / Property

State of the UK Property Market: April 2016

The property market in the UK gets in the news headlines as often as Donald Trump does. Any slight movement will set off both local and national media alike, so it can be difficult to keep track of what exactly is going on.

For that very reason, we’ve pulled together a list of updates on the UK property market so you can simply skim through this blog and be caught up in minutes. Handy, huh?

London property market

The big smoke is a place where a parking space alone can go for £400,000. With an increasing population and shortage of housing, prices keep going up and up.

But that’s not always true. In fact, right now, property prices are falling in super-prime postcode areas (such as SW1). That’s not to say the rest of London is seeing the same decrease, as it turns out the suburban areas are in fact seeing a sharp increase in prices.

This is good news for buyers of luxury property, but if you only just recently invested in property in these areas then you may want to keep a close eye on how it pans out. Perhaps suburban is the way to go next.

First-time buyers

The age at which people are buying their first home is increasing, as people struggle to make the jump from rented to owned. The problem is the deposit and usual 10% minimum mortgages, but there is a saving grace – Help to Buy.

The scheme, along with changes to the way stamp duty is calculated, has delivered a positive impact on the housing market, with an increase in houses sold under the scheme, which allows for a 5% deposit, and in some cases a 20% loan from the government on top.

National house prices

Despite stronger sales for first-time buyers, it seems that the struggle may not be over just yet, as housing prices nationwide are up 10% year on year, with the average house price now 5.58 times earnings.

Cited as the reason for the increase is the lack of homes available, highlighting the problem reaches far beyond the capital. However, the latest budget did promise more homes to be built, so there may be light at the end of the tunnel, and a good opportunity for developers.

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March 29 / Design, Property

6 of the Best City Centre Office Developments in the UK

The UK is experiencing real growth in the property development industry at the moment. One sector where this growth is particularly high is office development.

Last year Deloitte Real Estate’s Crane Survey showed that a new wave of office construction was well underway in London alone. The capital saw a growth of 24% in the amount of space under construction for large-scale developments from late 2014 to mid-2015.

It’s not just London where this kind of development is high in demand. New office blocks are being planned up and down the UK and prospects don’t look like there’ll be drying up anytime soon.

Luckily for property enthusiasts like us, much of the office square footage currently being developed is a little out of the ordinary. We’ve gathered together 6 of the best city centre office developments for your perusal.

No.2 Capital Quarter, Cardiff

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No.2 Capital Quarter is an eye-catching seven-storey development right in the heart of Cardiff’s City Centre Enterprise Zone. We think the scale of this development is particularly impressive for a smaller city: it covers more than 85,000 square feet. It’s also designed to meet the technological and environmental needs of even the most discerning of business clients. The project was set for completion in late 2015 and was developed by award-winning team J R Smart.

More details available here.

11 York Street, Manchester

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11 York Street is currently a 1960s office building known as 40 Fountain Street. The team at Aberdeen Asset Management have put forward plans to transform it into a state-of-the-art uber modern new office development. This site is an interesting one as it sits on a traffic island. Architecture firm AHR are behind the stunning design of the redevelopment which includes a glass, stone and steel elevation and a fantastic double storey corner entrance we can’t wait to see. This development is still in the early stages and has no set completion date as yet.

More details available here.

Aldgate Tower, London

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Aldgate Tower is a truly modern skyscraper. It sits right in the centre of one of the capital’s most popular regeneration areas. This newly completed development has a range of features we think would make it ideal for an unbeatable corporate HQ. There are flexible floorplans and a huge range of interior facilities as well as panoramic city views, high-speed lifts and a large basement space. One of our favourite parts, however, is the brand new tube station entrance, built right at the front door! The project was developed by Aldgate Developments and designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects.

More details available here.

Paradise Circus, Birmingham

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If you’re on the hunt for a dramatic office development, there’s no need to look beyond Birmingham’s Paradise Circus development. This ongoing city centre project includes better road and pedestrian routes, new public spaces, and two new office developments. One Chamberlain Square has been designed by Ed Parry Architects and manages to honour its historic setting while still looking fantastically contemporary. Two Chamberlain Square was designed by Glenn Howell Architects and is strikingly modern. Both developments have ‘wow’ features we’re keen to draw attention to; number one has a roof terrace on the sixth floor and number two feels spectacularly bright and spacious thanks to floor to ceiling glazing. Both buildings are expected to be completed in 2018.

More details available here.

Broadway Two, Glasgow

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Titan Investors have set forward plans for a ten storey office development on the former city centre site of STV studios. Along with existing development Broadway One, Broadway Two will complete a full city block. In order to ensure the two developments sit well together, Cooper Cromar, the architects behind Broadway Two, have created an unusual stepped profile. And the impressive design features don’t stop there! Interestingly, the north side of the building will be finished in natural stone while the east side will feature transparent curtain glazing. No completion date has yet been published.

More details available here.

S1 Handyside, London

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S1 Handyside is an upcoming development phase in the capital’s new King’s Cross development. It will be a Grade A office building offering 175,000 square feet. This is the ideal development if top notch transport links are important to you: within a ten-minute walk of the building, there are six tube lines, two mainline stations and the Eurostar. We particularly like the environmental aims of the building: it’ll use thermal modelling, thermal mass and sun terraces to keep the interior cool. The building has been designed by Mossessian and Partners and is scheduled for completion in early 2018.

More details available here.

Are you involved in an office development project that’s a little out of the ordinary? Take a look at our services to find out how we could help get it the recognition it deserves.

March 18 / Marketing, Property

Property Awards, Are They Worth It?

There are dozens of annual property awards worldwide. With more ‘gongs’ being added each season, it’s natural to ask how much value they really bring to the industry. Some people believe that property awards are a prestigious way to get esteem for great work, while others find themselves asking whether they’re really worth all the work that goes into the application process.

We often get asked about this and our answer is always the same. Quite simply, we believe property awards are an excellent way to showcase impressive work. This is true whether we’re talking big international awards or small local ones.

Need a bit of convincing? Here’s why we think property awards are well worth the effort.

An award can put your work in front of valuable contacts

Award ceremonies typically attract guests from all areas of the property industry. This can include agents, developers, architects and investors. An award win, or even a nomination, can help to put your hard work in front of all these people. This can be a great way to make new contacts and get your company name out there. Who knows what it might lead to?

An award can add prestige to your company

Reputation is hugely important in the property industry. Many factors will have an impact on yours, but the prestige of an award nomination or win can give you an excellent boost. This is why many winners choose to advertise their award nods as much as possible, such as by adding it to their website, email signatures, printed literature or even signage.

An award can result in local or national media coverage

A nod from an award ceremony can lead to a great deal of free publicity. This can be particularly beneficial for smaller or newer companies who don’t have much of a budget for PR. Most local papers will offer award coverage, and in some cases, you may even make it to a national paper. Just make sure you take advantage of the situation by putting together a strong press release and distributing it to as many relevant media outlets as possible.

An award can open up new opportunities

One of the best things about winning an award is that it can bring you to the attention of some of the really big players in the industry. An award win could help you to catch the eye of a big investor, or could help you make future project bids really stand out.

We’re not the only ones who are big fans of property awards. In fact, we’re very far from the minority! A range of national property companies rely on awards to gain PR, boost their reputation and showcase their work. This includes estate agencies such as Savills, Coulters, Reed Rains and Your Move as well as big names in development such as Heritage Homes, Dandara, Ortus Homes and Higgins Homes PLC.

Would you like to get in on the action? Here’s a good place to start. Earlier in the year, we blogged about 8 Prestigious Property Awards to Look Out for in 2016. Take a look for some inspiration on what you could put yourself forward for.

If you’re thinking of entering your work for an award and want some advice on how to maximise your chances of winning, we’d be happy to help. Here’s how to get in touch.

February 26 / Marketing, Property

6 Oscar Winning International Property Developments

Photo by Davidlohr Bueso

On the 28th February members of the international movie industry will gather at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood for the 88th annual Academy Awards. Nominees include Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett and Jennifer Lawrence. Millions of viewers will tune into the ceremony from all over the world… but what about those of us who are more interested in the property industry than the film industry?!

No problem. We’ve decided to host our very own virtual Oscars, with a twist. The star-studded winners you’ll meet here are all international property developments. Our six award categories include: Best Use of the Outdoors Indoors, Best Impressive Residential Wine Storage, Best Glamorous Transformation, Best Beautiful Corporate Headquarters, Best Attractive and Environmentally Conscious Office Space and Best Use of an Enviable Roof Top Swimming Pool.

Please put on your black tie attire, smile for the cameras and walk the property development red carpet with us…

Best Use of the Outdoors Indoors

Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales

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Universidad de Buenos Aires, Faculty of Mathematics, Computer Sciences and Environmental Sciences, Argentina

Designed by internationally renowned architect Rafael Viñoly, this impressive new faculty building for Buenos Aires University offers expansive open spaces and a central atrium. We think the real stars of the development are the two interior courtyards, one ellipse and one infinity shaped, designed to allow the trees that pre-dated the development to be protected.

Full details available here.

Best Impressive Residential Wine Storage

the wilhelm

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The Wilhelm, Berlin

This luxury residential development is right in the centre of Berlin. The project is a partnership between a group of developers and architects including interior architect Sibel Huhn. The 165 apartments cover seven floors and we feel the team in charge have made some really good calls. The common areas on the ground floor really impressed us as they include a meeting room, a lounge and a wine vault with humidor!

Full details available here

Best Glamorous Transformation


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Percy Place, Dublin

This attractive water side residential development reached practical completion late last year. The four storey building overlooks Dublin’s Grand Canal and contains a restaurant, a cafe, retail space, 6,500 square feet of office space and 12 luxury apartments. We were impressed at how far it’s come from the vacant 0.25 acre car park development partners U + I and Oakmount Property Investments acquired in 2013!

Full details available here

Best Beautiful Corporate Headquarters

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Bestech Headquarters, Gurgaon, India

This innovative office space was designed by Chapman Taylor architects to represent an unfolding Lotus flower. The architects set out to create a development that would be an impressive feat of engineering and would stand out from other buildings in the area. We think these aims have definitely been achieved. The Beseech Headquarters will open this year and has already been awarded the International Property Award for Best Office Architecture in the Asia Pacific Region.

Full details available here

Best Attractive and Environmentally Conscious Office Space

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Ratho Park, Edinburgh

This modern office development has been designed to look great and ease your conscience. The development offers efficient and comfortable office suites over three floors. Led by Muir Construction, this development has been built using sustainable and recycled materials. We particularly like that it’s been designed to maximise natural light and fresh air.

Full details available here

Best Use of a Enviable Rooftop Swimming Pool

wynwood central

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Wynwood Central, Miami, Florida, USA

This mixed-use development in Miami, Florida, was designed by an inspired team of locals to be a central hub for the Wynwood neighbourhood and act as a catalyst for further regeneration. The building’s 8 stories incorporate retail space, residential apartments, parking, offices and green space. To (literally) top it all off, there’s an expansive roof terrace complete with swimming pool, sun deck and bar. We’re not sure rooftop terraces come much better than this!

Full details available here

If you’re involved in a property development that’s a potential award winner, we’re keen to hear about it. Read about our property marketing services to find out how we could help your development make an impact.

February 22 / Marketing, Property

6 Key Speakers to Look Out for at MIPIM 2016

Photo from the MIPIM press room

The countdown is on for one of the biggest global real estate events of the year. MIPIM 2016 will take place in Cannes, France from the 15th – 18th March. If you’re not yet clued up on this industry-leading real estate show, don’t worry. We recently blogged about everything you need to know about MIPIM.

One of the things that makes MIPIM stand out from other real estate shows of its kind is the impressive programme of conference events. Across the four days of the show there will be more than eighty events to choose from, many of them led by the big players of the property industry.

If a conference programme so big and so varied makes you unsure how to spend your time, we’ve done some of the hard work for you. Below we’ve set out six key speakers you won’t want to miss out on. Want to know more about them? We’ve included links to further details where possible.

Tim Rowe


Tim Rowe is founder and CEO of the Cambridge Innovation Centre. This facility is the largest in the world dedicated to housing early stage technology businesses. Alumni of the centre include Google Android. He’ll be speaking at MIPIM on Innovation Districts: A New Urban Development Model Emerging in the United States.

Over the coming year the Cambridge Innovation Centre will be incubating more than three hundred of Boston’s most promising start up companies.

You can find Tim on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Melanie Epp


Melanie Epp is Head of Communications at Allianz Real Estate. Her team is based in Munich and is the strategic centre for real estate expertise within the Allianz Group. Melanie will be speaking at MIPIM on Digitalisation in Real Estate: Risk and Chances for Retail and Office.

Allianz Real Estate has a number of high profile retail investment projects currently underway including the Fischapark Shopping Centre in Austria and the Central Shopping Centre in Slovakia.

Professor Greg Clark CBE


Greg Clark is an independent global advisor on cities. He currently holds eight roles in the industry, including Global Fellow at the Metropolitan Programme and Global Cities Initiative, Senior Fellow at the Global Land Institute, Board Member at the London Enterprise Partnership, Chairman of the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium and Visiting Professor at University College London. He will be speaking at four events during the conference including Using Retail and Leisure to Unlock Waterfront Regeneration.

Greg is currently working on co-authoring a range of studies and reports, the results of which can be viewed on his website.

You can find Greg on Twitter.

Melanie Leech


Melanie Leech is Chief Executive of the British Property Federation. The federation is the membership organisation for the UK real estate industry. They work alongside the government and other regulatory bodies to ensure the real estate industry is given the space to grow and thrive. At MIPIM Melanie will be speaking at the Mayor’s Think Tank for Housing the World.

The federations key aims are: to improve legislative, fiscal and regulatory conditions, help members access information and understand policy, and to raise the profile of the industry as a whole.

You can find Melanie on LinkedIn.

Dan Miller


Dan Miller is the founder of global investment holding company Myrtle Grove Ventures. He also co-founded Fundrise, the first US real estate funding platform. Finally, Dan is also a managing partner of WestMill Capital Partners, a real estate development company. At MIPIM he will be speaking at the Re-Invest Summit 2016: Real Estate Risks and Awards.

You can find Dan on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Louis Paillard


Louis Paillard is an architect and founder of Paris-based firm Louis Paillard Architecte. He is part of the FGP Atelier du Grand Paris which focuses on international and prospective urban capital. At MIPIM he will be speaking at a Case Study Presentation: Disruptive Innovations in Building.

Louis Paillard’s architecture firm are currently working on a student accommodation building in La Defense area of Paris.

You can view the full programme of MIPIM events here. If you’re planning on attending the show, we’d be keen to hear your thoughts and recommendations. Why not share them with us in the comments?

All speaker images from the MIPIM website.


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