One-on-one-interview: Barry Tansey of Mizen Group
Marc Da Silva continues his round of interviews with some of the biggest names in housebuilding by speaking to Barry Tansey, CEO of Mizen Group.
Where in London does your firm cover?In the period pre-2007-08 our focus tended to be focused on urban regeneration projects in the East End areas of London, including the Docklands. The downturn led to a refocusing of our development work to more established areas in West and South West London, namely Ealing, Wimbledon and New Malden. We have recently renewed our regeneration efforts in London's East End having become involved in schemes in Bow and Canning Town.
What are housing market conditions currently like in those areas?In the West and South West areas of London the market has remained pretty robust during the downturn. These areas are now performing well. Demand is strong from both owner-occupiers and investors alike. The strong demand I believe is underpinned by the presence of well-regarded schools, good transport options, including the prospect of Crossrail's arrival, and an established night economy, including good restaurants and bars.
There is renewed demand in areas such as Bow and Canning Town again. These areas are much more affordable by comparison with West and South West London and people are beginning to see these as ‘good value for money' areas.
What types of properties is your firm developing?We tend to focus on blocks of apartments although we do have some projects which provide traditional three- and four-bedroom houses. We provide both private sector and affordable housing homes to the market place.
What projects are Mizen working on and what's in the development pipeline?Two new build projects comprising a mix of flats and houses in New Malden featuring a total of 90 unitsA conversion of a derelict office building in Ealing to luxury residential flats (14 units plus ground floor commercial).A new build block of 24 flats on Palmerston Road, Wimbledon.A new build block of 73 units at Devon Wharf, Leven Road, Bow.A number of JV projects in Cheltenham, bidding on a number of sites in both South West and East London.We are also working in conjunction with another party in taking a large regeneration project in the East End of London forward through the planning process.
How much does a new home by Mizen typically cost to buy? It varies depending on location. We tend to focus on the mid-market product - neither first-time buyer nor high end style purchaser. The properties in the East End of London tend to retail from £430 per square foot, while those in Wimbledon retail at from £650 plus per square foot.
Why should more buyers consider buying a new build home as opposed to older property?A new home requires much less maintenance, provides the best in modern design and technology and should provide the homeowner with lower utility bills going forward, thanks to things like well insulated, solar and sustainable energy sources, as compared with an ‘older style' properties.
Is it worth buying property during the off-plan stage of construction?Yes - most definitely in the current rising market. It also allows the purchaser to modify or make changes to the specification of their new home, allowing them to make it their own!
What is Mizen's USP?We strive for excellence in all that we do - from day one when we commence design to the day we hand over a property to our customer. Our moto is ‘Building Excellence'. We aim to provide an excellent product and provide good value for money. We engage our architects and interior design specialists early on to focus on the ‘ergonomics' of our properties. We always focus on providing the optimum usage of space and provide a well specified product to our customers.
Which of the developments Mizen is currently developing do you think stands the best chance of winning a What House Award?I think the New Malden projector the Devon Wharf project which is the first regeneration project on Leven Road, Bow, both would be worthy winners.