Despite the property market grinding to a complete halt during lockdown, leading investment firm Property Experts, took the plunge and launched one of its flagship developments in Kenley, Surrey. Welcomes Road, a collection of eight high-end apartments, is now fully sold out despite only being released on the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, during the peak of the crisis.
Since the Kenley launch and following the easing of lockdown measures, Property Experts has further reported a sharp increase in demand at a similar development, West Hill, in Sanderstead, Croydon. Interestingly, two parties that missed out at Welcomes Road have since reserved homes at the new seven-unit scheme, where prices start from £300,000.
Completing the Welcomes Road project at the beginning of 2020, the COVID-19 crisis could have caused a delay to the launch, however, utilising past experience of operating in turbulent markets, Property Experts Founder and CEO, Bruce Burkitt, pressed ahead with releasing the project to the market.
To comply with the social distancing rules in place at the time, the team set up physical viewings to allow potential purchasers to view the show apartments. This provided applicants the opportunity to make an informed decision, in a safe and secure environment, ahead of making an offer.
Bruce Burkitt said, “There is an always an element of risk when you launch any new development. There are various market conditions that you must assess that range from the time of year to the availability and pricing of similar projects nearby that provide direct competition. However, we have never before faced a set of challenges that COVID-19 created, and I’m delighted that we managed to negate these and sell out in record time.
“This is a testament to both the quality of our offering, as well as the hard work from our team to ensure that we could allow people to tour the apartments safely and securely. Video and virtual tours will only get you so far in the process, a discerning purchaser will always prefer to see the final product and we knew that Welcomes Road was unmatched for both its location and quality of finish.”
The majority of purchasers at Welcomes Road are first and second time buyers, with most utilising the Government’s Help to Buy scheme. The current Help to Buy scheme is set to end in 2021 for second time buyers, and the Property Expert’s sales team have recorded a surge in interest from those keen to view and purchase ahead of the impending deadline.
Yasmin Bunn, a first time buyer, and Phillip Staples, a second stepper, just missed out on purchasing at Welcomes Road, however, the Property Experts team were able to offer an exclusive tour of their West Hill development ahead of the official launch. A similar scheme, with thoughtful design and a high-quality specification, Yasmin and Phillip both reserved their respective two-bedroom apartments on the same day of viewing.
Yasmin Bunn, a recruitment specialist said, “As a first time buyer I am cautious that some mainstream developers are not all they live up to be, so it’s crucial in the current climate to find a company you can trust and also to physically see what you are buying, which was proving difficult during lockdown.
“I tried to see as many new developments as possible, whilst following Government social distancing guidelines, however, Property Experts really stood out to me as going the extra mile to ensure I could walk around the show apartment and really take my time. I was impressed by the specification and added extras that you don’t normally see, such as a wine fridge installed as standard and a sound bar in the kitchen.
“Initially Kenley was my first choice, so I was disappointed to miss out, but once I saw the homes at West Hill I knew it was perfect for me.”
Phillip Staples, a mechanical engineer, said, “Unfortunately, I just missed out in Kenley, so went back to Property Experts to find out if they had any similar properties. Kindly, they let me view an apartment at West Hill ahead of the official launch and I could not believe that the quality was just as good. I spoke to the team about making a couple of changes to the flat, one being an extra storage cupboard in the corridor and alteration to the kitchen layout which they were happy to accommodate.”
West Hill in Sanderstead is a collection of seven one and two-bedroom apartments, designed for open-plan living. The kitchen, dining and living room is the central hub for each apartment, with a central corridor leading onto the bedrooms and bathrooms. Benefiting from high-quality interior specifications, the bathrooms are designed using crittall doors and Crosswater fittings, whilst the kitchens boast instant boiling water taps, wine fridges and Bluetooth soundbars creating the perfect entertaining space.
Bruce added, “During the initial design phases of every development we produce we really focus on the functionality of the interiors of the developments. We believe this helps potential purchasers envisage themselves living in their chosen apartment rather than just seeing a blank box. This has evidentially been a real success for our recent launches at Kenley and Sanderstead.”