One-on-One interview: Gary Evans of Ravenscroft Homes
Name and Business Title: Gary Evans, Joint Managing Director Ravenscroft Homes NW Ltd.
What regions do you cover? Primarily North Wales, concentrating on Conwy and Anglesey as counties, but we have also developed new homes in Cheshire and Merseyside.
Our current premium development, Briarswood, Upper Colwyn Bay, is located in a very desirable location opposite the Welsh Mountain Zoo and consists of six luxury executive detached houses.
We will also be commencing shortly on a scheme of 22 contemporary apartments in Deganwy, Conwy. The development will consist of one- and two-bedroom apartments with views of Conwy Castle and Deganwy Marina.
What are housing market conditions like in those areas? The housing sector in North Wales appears to be improving. However, had the New Buy - Wales' equivalent to England's Help to Buy scheme - not been scrapped by the Welsh government weeks before it was due to be introduced, I am convinced the market would be a lot stronger.
Although there is solid demand for new homes in the area, a lack of mortgages and market confidence has held the sector back over the past five years or so. The introduction of the New Buy scheme has left a lot of the larger housebuilders considering whether they would be better off building new homes over the border in England.
What type of properties is you firm building? As a firm, we would consider any development site and a wide range of house types. We are currently developing a scheme of large luxury houses, measuring in excess of 2,700sqft, and will soon be commencing a scheme of 22 apartments. We have also worked for Housing Associations, as well as built large developments on a contract basis.
What does a new home by Ravenscroft cost to buy? Our Briarswood scheme has houses ranging from £465,000 to £560,00, while the apartments will start from approximately £120,000. The average house price in Conwy is £156,000, so our housing development is certainly bucking the trend of average house prices in the area.
Is our company offering any incentives or discounts? On our present schemes, we are not offering any incentives or discounts. However, at Ravenscroft, we believe there is always room for negotiation on price or an upgrade in the specification that is available.
Why should buyers consider buying a new home over an older property? Buying any new home, especially property by Ravenscroft Home, gives the buyer peace of mind that it has been built to exacting standards and quality. We are currently building to Code Level 3 of the CFSH which guarantees all our new homes are energy efficient. Furthermore, all our new homes come with a NNBC ten years warranty. All the latest specifications and building techniques are used on our developments and all houses are completed to a very high standard.
Buying any new home means the homebuyer can move in straight away without any renovation or decoration work to be done and fuel bills are substantially cheaper on new build, this can prove a great selling point to first time buyers when money is a little tight.
Is it worth buying off-plan? We would always advise that our homebuyers purchase off-plan as they can have an input in kitchens, tiling and in certain circumstances, internal and electrical layouts, as well as having the pick of the plots. Plus, there would always be a financial incentive from us as a company for an off-plan purchase and early exchange.
Which of your sites has best chance of winning a What House? Award? Without question, our Briarswood development in Colwyn Bay, Conwy LL28, which features six luxury executive houses, built to the highest standards, incorporating both contemporary design and traditional quality.