One-on-One interview: David Pollock of Greene & Co estate agents
Our weekly series of interviews with senior figures in the new homes industry continues with Marc Da Silva putting the questions to David Pollock, managing director of London estate agents Greene & Co.
What regions do you cover? All London postcodes, with a focus on residential developments and investments, dedicated to land, sales and acquisitions.
What are housing market conditions currently like in those areas? With the government's Help to Buy policy extending further this autumn, sentiment in the market is certainly positive and this growing demand is not being met with supply. This imbalance is creating a lot of competition for every property and fuelling price growth across the capital. As a result, we are seeing sensibly priced property selling within the first two weeks of coming to the market and buyers returning to off-plan purchases.
What types of property is your firm selling? We have a lot of first-time buyers and second-steppers coming to us and therefore we have a wide range of exclusive luxury new apartments and family homes. The developments are strategically located in close proximity to good transport links, good schools and local amenities, hence, appealing to young professionals and families looking to either enter the property market or move up the ladder respectively.
How much does a new home offered by Greene & Co typically cost to buy? A typical newly built two-bedroom apartment in a central London location will cost an average of £700,000. There are new-build apartments available from £400,000 in the capital while larger new-build homes can cost from £900,000 to £2m.
Why should more buyers consider buying a new-build home as opposed to older property? In such a competitive market where gazumping and sealed bids are becoming increasingly common, new homes are a preferred option for many as there are no chains, significantly simplifying the buying process and ensuring a quick and less stressful transaction.
Developers are also creating increasingly cosmopolitan and stylish developments across London boasting a range of outside spaces from roof terraces to balconies and raised gardens. They often have energy-efficient features and maximise the amount of incoming natural light.
New homes also offer buyers high levels of specification and convenience, such as concierges, secure fridge storage for food deliveries, secure bike storage and gyms.
Is it worth buying property during the off-plan stage of construction? Absolutely! Off-plan buyers often get the opportunity to customise their property and tailor it to their own personal taste which is a huge incentive. It means buyers don't have the hassle or expense of having to move into a property and then redecorate. Instead they can move into a home that is functional and livable immediately.
What is Greene & Co's USP? Greene & Co.'s new homes expertise is second to none. With the likes of Harry Handelsman from Manhattan Lofts Corporation and John Hitchcox from Yoo involved in our new home projects, we understand the market - we know what buyers want when it comes to chic urban living.
Greene & Co. also have offices on the high street across London. We know what is happening on the ground and what local buyers are looking to purchase in their specific location which makes us the experts of choice.
Which of the developments Greene & Co is currently selling do you think stands the best chance of winning a What House? Award? That's a tough question! We have an incredible range of new developments in the capital and each offer something different and cater for a variety of tastes and lifestyles.
At a push, my winning vote would go to The Yard in Clerkenwell which is due for completion early next year. The apartments have been finished to a very high standard and are in a prime central London location, conveniently located close to Farringdon, Angel, Holborn, Russell Square and Chancery Lane. The future Crossrail services and subsequent regeneration make this development especially appealing as an investment.