There's no doubt about it - 2013 was quite a year for the property market. With a huge range of new mortgage products giving buyers a far greater choice of finance and of course Help to Buy offering first-time buyers and homeowners access to equity share and 95% home loans, the year ended with a renewed optimism about housing in many parts of the UK.
This week. Marc Da Silva continues his series of interviews with senior figures in the new homes industry by posing the questions to Lesley Stringer, regional residential development and investment director at Hamptons International.
What areas do you cover? We market new homes for sale in Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Hertfordshire.
Following on from impressive new homes sales activity in 2012, Colin Tutt, CEO of Octagon Developments Ltd, takes time out of his busy schedule to talk to WhatHouse.co.uk about his firm's plans for 2013.
Continuing in the direction that has kept the company healthy during the last few challenging years, Tutt says that Octagon will only consider land in prime locations for their new homes.
While I only get to see a fraction of the awards entries in person during the judging process, one of the perks of my role as editor of whathouse.co.uk is that I get to go out and about around the country all year round, so I get to see an awful lot of new homes at other times. I'm always pleased when I see a scheme I've really liked on site earlier in the year is entered for an award, and even more so if the judges decide to recognise its excellence.
It has been a great year for British pride and 2012 will be fondly remembered for the pomp and ceremony of the Jubilee and the hugely successful Olympics and Paralympics. With those events fresh in mind, the interior design team behind Octagon’s St George’s Place town house show home have celebrated a remarkable year by creating a Vivienne Westwood themed British pride bedroom. Claire Grant of The L&C Company says: “We wanted to celebrate Britishness in this room with it being the Jubilee year and Vivienne Westwood is one of the icons of British design.
The What House? Awards are the most prestigious and longest established new homes awards, and so it is only fitting that they should reward the very best new homes in Britain - and you do not get much better than Best Luxury House. Gold in this category last year was awarded to Ocatgon, while Consero London walked away with silver and joint bronze awards went to Huntsmere and Centenary Homes.
Housebuilder Weston Homes beat off tough competition to win Best Interior Design gold for their prestigious King's Island development in Uxbridge. St James took silver prize for Queens Acre, Berkeley was awarded joint bronze for Queens Acre, along with Octagon for Canford Heights.
Given that retired people now form the UK's fastest growing demographic group, demand for dedicated retirement developments has never been higher. But with more and more retirement properties coming to the market, this category is essential in helping homebuyers make the right choice when it comes to buying a new retirement home.
As summer approaches, there is a great choice of luxury new homes in Surrey. Living in the county of Surrey offers a lifestyle that combines the best of the city with the delights of the country. With plenty of open space, rolling hills and beautiful market towns, Surrey residents enjoy high-performing schools and a wide range of championship golf courses, with good transport links to The City and major airports.