Marc Da Silva speaks exclusively to Lee Barnard of Hopkins Homes.
Name and business title: Lee Barnard, Sales & Marketing Director, Hopkins Homes.
Where is your firm developing new homes? We are developing new homes mainly throughout East Anglia. This includes Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, but also in Essex. Specific sites are Mulbarton, Costessey, Walsham le Willows, Soham, Aylsham, Halesworth, Norwich, Bocking, Felixstowe, Saxmundham, Framlingham, Kilverstone and Reydon. We currently have 14 individual active sites, 17 including Hopkins & Moore our sister company, which has developments in Framlingham, Southwold and Norton just near Bury St. Edmunds.
What types of properties are Hopkins Homes building? Traditionally built terraced houses, semi-detached, detached homes, flats and town houses both 2.5 & three storey, ranging in size from a small studio in central Norwich to a large five-bed detached family home with double garage and generous plot on the outskirts of Norwich.
How much does a Hopkins home cost to buy? Currently as little as £115,000 for the small studio in Central Norwich through to £550,000 for a detached home in Reydon on the outskirts of Southwold.
What makes a Hopkins home stand out from the crowd? Anyone who knows us knows we are renowned for the environment we create and external and internal design of each individual property. Spacious layouts and space between properties, generous plots where possible, tried and tested materials used chosen both for their durability and aesthetic appearance, mixture of render and brick, plinths and paintwork, wooden windows some sliding sash, barge and pentice boards all brought together to create that distinctive Suffolk chocolate box appearance.
Have you noticed any particular buying trends recently? This is area dependent. Flats in Norwich have been very successful recently, mid to large detached homes in village locations on the outskirts of major employment areas have also proven popular.
Is your company currently offering any incentives or discounts tohomebuyers? We have FirstBuy available at Felixstowe, Costessey, Kilverstone & Soham, which is a shared equity scheme that helps first time buyers buy their first home with just a 5% deposit. We also offer Part Exchange & Assisted Sale schemes as well as plot specific promotions.
Which Hopkins Home development potentially offers the best property investment prospects? Yields vary but can be around 5%. However, new homes by Hopkins Homes tend to appreciate well over time and thus can achieve good capital growth long term.
What is Hopkins Homes' USP? Again it has to be the environment we create and the homes we create within it, which blend seamlessly with their surroundings. We spend a lot of time considering what materials work and look best, with additional cost regularly incurred as a result purely because we want each and every home to look right. The good thing about Hopkins Homes is it is not all about the bottom line. We have a vision and do our absolute best to create it. We also have a dedicated Customer Service Team to support everyone who buys one of our new homes. We want it to be right from start to finish.
Has Hopkins Homes ever won a What House? Award? Yes, we have been recognised by What House? throughout the years, but the most recent award was in 2011 when we won gold for Best Brownfield Development.