One-on-one interview: Lauren Abrahmsohn of Glentree's new homes division

Posted 5 November 2015 by Keith Osborne

Insight and opinion on the new homes market in north London in this exclusive interview with a local estate agent...

Marc Da Silva turns his focus on north London as he continues his weekly series of interviews with senior figures in the UK housing industry, posing the questions to Lauren Abrahmsohn of the new homes division of agent Glentree.

What are property market conditions currently like in and around north London?

We are just starting to see movement post-election with sales above the £2m price point being secured in recent weeks. Homes between £500,000 and 900,000 are still moving and enquiries coming in.

For the higher end, where mostly people need to sell their properties before they can buy, now that the government is secure we believe people will start looking to sell and there will be a subsequent uplift in enquiries to buy towards the end of this year or early 2016.

What sort of new build homes is your company currently selling?

The new homes we currently have to offer range in price between £300,000 and £6.25m, but the developers we work with are all very focused on providing quality new homes in the north-west London area – this makes our job easier as we believe in what we are selling and the homes sell themselves.

Can buyers typically expect to pay a premium for a new build property?  

Yes, approximately 10-15% premium for the peace of mind that comes with buying a new build property, and having new warranties with all appliances and 10-year guarantee for the building. It will take a bit longer for the value of the property to increase as it can stay stunted for a time, while the ‘newer’ building next door sells for the premium, but as long as it is a quality build situated in a stable and reliable area, the value over time will only go up.

How much does a new home offered by Glentree typically start from?

We have one-bedroom apartments starting at £300,000.

What’s the most expensive new build home ever sold by Glentree?  

We secured £12m for a stunning apartment in a luxury development located on The Bishops Avenue.

Why should more buyers consider buying a new build home as opposed to older property? 

Contemporary architecture, a gorgeous modern kitchen, convenient gym facilities and concierge service are often included with most new builds in our local area and are keenly sort after – these are not necessarily found in second homes.

Is it worth buying property during the off-plan stage of construction?

This isn’t for everyone. The advantage is that it will secure the property at today’s price. If the market is on the way up it should, in theory, be more valuable upon completion. It also means you can secure the apartment of your choice and provides the opportunity for some internal changes to the plan and finish to be accommodated.

The disadvantage is that you’re buying something you haven’t seen before, you don’t know the exact light available and noise pollution and the home can sometimes come out differently to how you may have imagined. It takes some courage and imagination to purchase a home this way – not for the feint-hearted.

What is Glentree’s USP? 

Glentree’s new homes team specialises in new build homes in north-west London; we are very in-tune with what the buyers in this area are looking for and we are more than happy to work in a ‘hands-on’ way,  with developers giving support and advice throughout the process of building a development.

From planning and architect plans through to specification and amenities and then pricing and launching a scheme - we are there all the way through and beyond. We like to have fun along the way – who likes working with a bore?

Which of the developments Glentree is currently selling do you think stands the best chance of winning a WhatHouse? Award?

We have some gorgeous properties which we’d love to think would be eligible – One Highgate is going to be a stunning converted luxury development with all the' bells and whistles', West Heath Drive is another lovely development situated in front of Golders Hill Park, The Village Green in Mill Hill offers a magnificent finish and specification overlooking a gorgeous green common which all the residents can enjoy – I could go on and on!

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