One-on-one interview: Jason Colmer of Barratt Homes Eastern Counties
Marc Da Silva continues his series of interviews with prominent housebuilders by speaking to Jason Colmer, sales & marketing director of Barratt Homes Eastern Counties.
Where in the Eastern Counties do you cover?
We are a dual branded division with ownership of both the Barratt and David Wilson Homes brands. We develop new homes across Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.
What are housing market conditions currently like in those areas?
All locations are buoyant, due to strong demand. But the availability of product mix as far as housing is concerned is a challenge.
What types of properties is your firm developing?
We are working on developments that will be providing a wide range of new build homes, from one-bedroom apartments through to executive five-bedroom detached homes.
What projects are Barratt Homes Eastern Counties working on and what's in the development pipeline?
We are currently trading from a low volume of developments, but by the end of 2014 this will have increased by 150%. This is due the hard work in the division, including land acquisitions and conversion into consented developments. This success provides the division with a structure for the next five years.
How much does a new build property by Barratt / David Wilson Homes Eastern Counties typically cost to buy?
Our current average selling price is £377,000.
Why should more buyers consider buying a new build home as opposed to older property?
The customer is at the heart of our business. Barratt and David Wilson Homes have invested into providing buyers with new homes in great locations. With thoughtful design in both the internal layouts or the external finishes of the new home but a great pride in the living environment. This is reflected in our latest independent customer service results which show we are doing a good job. But naturally we always want to strive for perfection.
Is it worth buying property during the off-plan stage of construction?
Within a rising market, economically it makes sense. From a design perspective, early reservation allows our customers time to select the colour choices they would like in the key rooms of their new home, then just sit back and wait to move in.
What is David Wilson / Barratt Homes' USP?
It has to be the five year warranty that we offer. We are committed to customer satisfaction and are aware things can sometimes go wrong with a new home, and so the fact that we provide the reassurance to purchasers is a great benefit. What's more, no other national housebuilder provides this!
Which of the developments Barratt Homes Eastern Counties is currently developing do you think stands the best chance of winning a What House Award?
Trumpington Meadows, Cambridge, as this is our flagship development, which has already won a host of awards, which is great recognition for a great development.