One-on-One Interview: Jonathan Layzell of Raglan
Name and title: Jonathan Layzell, Assistant Director of Development at Raglan Housing.
Where is your firm developing new homes? We are working in a number of different areas focusing on building new homes in the Midlands, South West and South East. We have shared ownership homes for sale in each of these locations.
What types of properties is Raglan building? We offer a wide range of properties across the region but largely focus on developing two, three- and four-bedroom houses.
How much does a new home by Raglan cost to buy? Through our shared ownership scheme the average cost of a 40% share is £68,012. The scheme allows buyers the opportunity to purchase a 40% or 50% share of their property and pay rent on the share which they don't own.
What makes a Raglan home stand out from the crowd? We build high quality homes that people want to live in. We focus on ensuring that our homes are sustainable and help to reduce typical household costs by using the latest environmental technologies such as solar panels and heat recovery systems.
Have you noticed any particular buying trends recently? Most buyers are now receiving help from their parents and the average age of a first time buyer has increased to 34. We are also seeing an increase in the number of buyers who cannot afford to purchase in their own right on the open market following a separation.
Is your company currently offering any incentives or discounts to home-buyers? We offer shared ownership on our new build developments which enables buyers to own 40% to 50% of their home to start with. This requires a much smaller deposit for the mortgage than if they were to purchase the whole of the property, and makes it much more affordable. Further shares are able to be bought after 12 months. Subject to eligibility our existing tenants may be able to buy the home they currently rent via the Right to Acquire.
Which Raglan development potentially offers the best property investment prospects? We work closely with house builders and local authorities to ensure we develop homes in key locations where there is a significant housing shortage and in areas in which people want to live. Our greatest success this year has been our development in Christchurch, Dorset called The Parsonage, where off-plan sales were achieved for all 11 shared ownership homes.
What is Raglan's USP? A combination of the quality of our homes, coupled with the time and effort spent ensuring that our developments enhance the local community. We create communities and opportunities for people. A recent scheme in Swindon for example, has seen us create a community garden in collaboration with the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust to enable residents to grow their own fruit and vegetables.
Which of Raglan's current developments do you think stands the best chance of winning a What House Award? Hayes End in South Petherton, Somerset. Here we are delivering attractive, quality homes in a rural area where it's difficult for local people to access the market.