Marc Da Silva continues his series of head-to-head interviews with some of the biggest names in housebuilding by posing the questions to Debbie Small, sales & marketing director at Hyde New Homes.
Where in Brighton is Hyde New Homes developing residential properties?
We are currently working on two schemes; Super B next to Brighton railway station and St James Street in the Kemptown area near the seafront. Both areas have their own individual character but share the inherent qualities that Brighton is known for; friendly, vibrant and rich in character.
We are also working on One Hove Park in nearby Hove, which is targeted at a slightly more mature, upmarket audience.
What are housing market conditions currently like in those areas?
The market remains very buoyant and bears similar traits to London. Demand is strong and prices are increasing month on month, with interest coming from a combination of first and second time buyers, commuters and affluent downsizers looking for a more laid back lifestyle. The combination of living near the seaside yet still being within reach of the capital in under an hour makes for a highly attractive proposition.
What types of properties is your firm developing?
To date, our focus has been primarily on apartments, in line with our target demographic. We are looking at developing houses in future schemes.
What projects in Brighton are Hyde New Homes working on and what is in the development pipeline?
Super B will be the first of our new schemes to be completed, handing over in Autumn 2014. The development is situated in the New England Quarter - one of Brighton's most vibrant new areas - and features some quirky design cues coupled with competitive pricing. Being situated right next to the station, it is perfect for buyers who commute to and from the capital.
We have also started work on St James Street and One Hove Park, both of which are aimed at buyers looking to downsize, or buy a second home, conveniently situated for access to London. These are expected to handover in early 2015.
How much does a new home by Hyde New Homes typically cost to buy?
This is, of course, dependant on the location, aspect and size of the homes. We have one-bedroom apartments starting at £265,000 and two-beds at £330,000 at Super B, which we feel is competitive and within reach of our target demographic.
Why should more buyers consider buying a new build home as opposed to older property?
There is nothing quite like owning a brand new home - a bit like buying a brand new car, you have the reassurance of a 10 year NHBC warranty, low maintenance and no pesky DIY tasks to undertake, meaning you can just move in, relax and enjoy your new home. Our new builds are specifically designed with energy-saving features in mind, such as PV panels, low temp underfloor heating, rainwater harvesting and triple glazing, meaning they are far more economical to run than their older counterparts, which can translate into considerable savings especially during the colder months.
Is it worth buying property during the off-plan stage of construction?
Yes, as you can secure yourself a great new home at a lower price than if you waited for it to be completed. We launched Super B last August and one bed apartments started at £210,000, during that period values have risen by around 10%, as such our cheapest one bed is now £265,000 and we only have a single unit left at that price!
It is crucial to do your homework though, as it's a two way street and values can go up or down depending on market conditions.
What is Hyde New Homes' USP?
Hyde New Homes is more than just a developer or landlord. We build sustainable communities and remain involved with the development after handover through our resident management services, ensuring we make a lasting difference to the lives of our residents.
We also keep customer focus at the core of our business, creating innovative initiatives such as our Style Studio - a complimentary new service which offers owners the convenience of buying the latest interior design furnishings and furniture packs without having to leave their home. We also endeavour to constantly improve our offering, using surveys and feedback from tenants at our previous developments to positively impact future schemes.
Which of the developments Hyde New Homes is currently developing do you think stands the best chance of winning a What House Award?
Down in the Brighton area, I think Super B would be a great contender for Best Apartment Scheme, thanks to its combination of cool styling, competitive pricing and simply unrivalled location just seconds from the railway station. The off-plan sales success of almost 80% is a testament to this.