You recently launched an unmodernised London property finding service – can you tell us more about it? Why did you decide to diversify your offering?
London’s real estate is well suited for the global occupiers and strong covenants. Investing in London is attractive for international buyers, due to its legal system and standardised market. Nevertheless, Brexit has triggered uncertainty, which creates risk, indecision, and in turn market stagnation when coupled with legislative and taxation changes. Despite its negative impact, this situation has presented an opportunity for a new generation of buyers to purchase homes. We spotted an opportunity to offer clients their dream homes for 10 – 20% below market value. By sourcing unmodernised London property, we are able to reduce the cost of purchase when compared with a recently renovated turn-key home. This reduction in price will also lead to a significant saving in stamp duty; all of which can be re-invested to create an entirely bespoke home for significantly below market value.
Additionally, people face difficulties finding a property that is the right size, location and price, let alone design. They lack time to search, buy and develop the desired property, and are often left dissatisfied with the results after purchasing from developers. Because of this, they frequently look to refurbish the house and therefore waste large amounts of money. So, to facilitate their purchase, we develop and design properties in the location and size they desire & according to their high-standards. Above all, we create bespoke interiors that reflects their unique personality and vision, ticking every box in their brief.
Therefore, by noticing the need in the market place we offer the only property finding service to exclusively look for unmodernised properties. Our In-house design and project management is unique to someone who is looking for unmodernised London property for a client.
Where will your buying activity focus, London or nationwide?
With over 20 years of experience and over 30 of our own completed projects we are confident that our expertise can be best applied in Prime Central London.
Particularly when working with local councils, it is very important to have good relationships and an in-depth knowledge of how different processes within the council work. We have a sound understanding of the challenges, the different constraints from the council, especially Chelsea, Kensington, and Westminster Councils – whether it is a basement, a conservation area or a re-sold property.
What is the biggest challenge for you in the current market?
The market currently has an imbalance between buyers and sellers. This can present a challenge for various aspects of the property market, however it does create a window of opportunity for a few buyers to use this slump as leverage to achieve exceptional prices on their new homes. We advised that clients approach Enness, who can use their expertise to ensure the buyer has all the funding agreed in advance. This will be a massive help and a valuable negotiation tool, when we come to find the right property.
Can you give an example of the kinds of properties you acquire, and the potential returns on investment?
This is not a service created with the primary purpose of making money. What we offer is the chance to purchase and create an entirely uncompromised and bespoke home at significantly below market value.
This service is about saving money; our emphasis is that we are creating a home in a financially savvy way. The value added will certainly be significant as far as capital growth is concerned however we are not approaching clients and offering returns or instant profit.
In relation to examples of properties we will help clients acquire there are no rigid criteria. Our initial feedback has been interest from clients who are looking for a trophy home in London; somewhere where they are invested in committing to creating their perfect home.
Perhaps surprisingly there are still a number of properties in the most desirable areas in London that require modernisation and offer a great chance to add considerable value to. Even areas such as Ennismore Gardens; Montpelier Square, Eaton Square and Mount Street have properties with incredible potential still available and now is undoubtedly a great time to buy.
Alan Waxman is the Founder and CEO of Landmass London, a property development and design company that has become synonymous with exceptional attention to detail, coherence throughout the project lifecycle and alignment with clients’ requirements.