One-on-One interview: Jon Di-Stefano at Telford Homes
This time, Marc Da Silva continues our weekly series of interviews with senior figures in the new homes industry by catching up with Jon Di-Stefano, chief executive at regional developer Telford Homes.
What regions do you cover? We develop new homes in inner London.
What are housing market conditions currently like in those areas? Very strong, with high demand from prospective owners, investors and tenants.
What impact is Help to Buy having on the housing market? Although we have joined the Help to Buy scheme it is still the case that all of the Group's sales have been achieved without the need for any assistance from government-supported mortgage schemes. In the wider market it has clearly been of great benefit to many purchasers, particularly outside of London.
What types of properties is your firm developing? The majority of our homes are apartments ranging from studios to three bedrooms.
How much does a new home by Telford Homes typically cost to buy? This varies depending on the specific location of our developments but anything from £180,000 up to seven figures for some of our penthouses. Our average price of homes sold in the year to 31 March 2013 was £353,000.
Why should more buyers consider buying a new-build home as opposed to older property? This is very much each to their own and we recognise that some people just prefer an older property. However our new properties come with a ten-year guarantee from the NHBC and are built to exacting building standards and using high-quality materials. In addition we offer a free 24/7 emergency service for the first two years.
Is it worth buying property during the off-plan stage of construction? Demand in London is so high that many buyers are finding they need to do this to secure the property they want. In our case we always price sensibly and often buying off-plan, particularly as an investor, can mean you benefit from price inflation between the date of purchase and the date you take possession of the property.
What is Telford Homes' USP? We specialise in our area, we know the market and we deliver a high-quality product with excellent customer service.
Which of the developments Telford Homes is currently developing do you think stands the best chance of winning a What House? Award? All of them!